Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Consumption and diets

The type, quantity and formats of foods we eat vary considerably over time and space. A person’s consumption of food is rarely a matter solely (or even largely) of personal conscious choice. Instead, it is affected by such wide-ranging factors as cultural identity and taboos, food availability and price, genetics, legislation, technological innovation and marketing campaigns. Governments and civil society organisations have long been promoting healthy diets to reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases both at a global and national scale and the concept of ‘sustainable healthy diets’ – diets that have lower environmental impacts but fulfil nutritional requirements –  is very slowly gaining ground.

23 June 2020

This handbook by US think tank Brighter Green is a guide for chefs on how to promote change towards a “plant-forward” food system. It includes sections on key concepts in food systems, the social, economic and environmental implications of the food system, how chefs can help to change the food system, examples of sustainable food initiatives, and practical tips on using plant-based ingredients.

17 June 2020

The Food Systems Dashboard has been developed by Johns Hopkins University and The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition. It brings together data on over 150 food system indicators, such as yields, climate, trade, dietary guidelines, non-communicable diseases and income. Users can compare regions and visualise indicators on a map.

17 June 2020

This book looks at how local food biodiversity can help to improve nutrition. Chapters cover the impacts of poor diets, evidence for the role of biodiversity in supporting healthy diets, agroecology, public food procurement, youth-led innovations and reframing food systems narratives.

17 June 2020

This briefing from UK NGO Sustain examines pressures on land in the UK and overseas, including the impacts of agriculture and the foods we choose to eat. It considers competing land uses such as biodiversity, hedgerows, food production, supporting new entrants into farming, climate mitigation, bioenergy production and land for leisure.

9 June 2020

This paper by FCRN member Anke Brons explores the meaning of inclusivity and exclusivity in sustainable diet recommendations, specifically in relation to the experience of Syrian migrants in the Netherlands. 

26 May 2020

In this episode of the Futuremakers podcast, Dr Monika Zurek and Dr Jim Woodhill of the Food Systems Group at the University of Oxford's Environmental Change Institute discuss the future of food in the light of population growth, dietary choices and technologies such as lab-grown meat.

19 May 2020

FCRN member Sander Biesbroek of Wageningen University & Research has co-authored this paper, which is the first modelling study to include and monetise social costs and benefits of a 15% or 30% meat tax or a 10% fruit and vegetables subsidy in the Netherlands. It finds that all three interventions could lead to a net benefit to society over a 30 year time frame.

19 May 2020

This commentary piece draws on the experience of nutrition labelling to explore whether environmental sustainability labelling on food products can encourage more sustainable food choices and contribute towards building a healthy, sustainable food system.

12 May 2020

This paper explores the association between consumption of ultra-processed foods and indicators of obesity in a sample of the UK adult population, using data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey between 2008 and 2016. 

5 May 2020

This policy guide from the US nonprofit Centre for Biological Diversity calls for US federal, state and municipal policymakers to take immediate steps to reduce beef consumption by up to 90% and consumption of all other animal products by 50%. It draws on the research Implications of Future US Diet Scenarios on Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

29 April 2020

This paper by FCRN member Diego Rose estimates that 16% of adults in the United States might be receptive to changing their diet if national dietary guidance were to include information about environmental sustainability. It also estimates the impacts of a range of different dietary changes for those people on greenhouse gas emissions, dietary quality and dietary costs.

31 March 2020

This systematic review looks at dietary patterns and food sustainability in the United States. It estimates that the healthy US-style diet recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is associated with similar or higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and water use compared to the current US diet.

31 March 2020

This paper, co-authored by FCRN member Christian Reynolds, discusses public engagement at the authors’ ‘Take a Bite Out of Climate Change’ stand, which used infographics, short games and displays of vertical farming and insect-based foods to encourage discussion about the climate impacts of food production.

24 March 2020

FCRN member Nicole Tichenor Blackstone has co-authored this paper, which compares the diets recommended by the EAT-Lancet Commission and by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). It finds areas of similarity as well as areas of divergence.

16 March 2020

This e-book, which has been translated into English, sets out the carbon, water and ecological footprints of foods and culinary preparations (items composed of more than one ingredient) consumed in Brazil. 

16 March 2020

This report from UK campaign group Action on Salt finds that three-fifths of plant-based restaurant meals and two-fifths of plant-based food options in fast food outlets and coffee chains contain 3 grams of salt or more - half of an adult’s daily recommended salt intake. The report argues that consumers should have access to healthier plant-based options, particularly since the public tends to perceive vegan food as healthy.

16 March 2020

FCRN member Elin Röös has co-authored this paper, which finds that the average Swedish diet far exceeds the planetary boundaries (scaled to the per capita level) suggested by the EAT-Lancet Commission for greenhouse gas emissions, cropland use, application of nutrients and biodiversity. The diet is within the boundary for freshwater use.

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