January 22, 2019

The Planetary Health Diet

Among people in Metro Vancouver paying attention to climate change and its mitigation, what we eat is a rising issue.

Here’s a look at the source document of a major paper on the topic.

More shopping here for food

The Lancet and Science Daily

Urging major changes to our planetary food system, the authors of this study in the Lancet say in their preamble:

Civilisation is in crisis. We can no longer feed our population a healthy diet while balancing planetary resources. For the first time in 200 000 years of human history, we are severely out of synchronisation with the planet and nature. This crisis is accelerating, stretching Earth to its limits, and threatening human and other species’ sustained existence. The publication now of Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT– Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems 1 could be neither more timely nor more urgent.

And in a summary article in Science Daily:

“The food we eat and how we produce it determines the health of people and the planet, and we are currently getting this seriously wrong,” says one of the commission authors Professor Tim Lang, City, University of London, UK. “We need a significant overhaul, changing the global food system on a scale not seen before in ways appropriate to each country’s circumstances. While this is unchartered policy territory and these problems are not easily fixed, this goal is within reach and there are opportunities to adapt international, local and business policies . . . “.

“The world’s diets must change dramatically. More than 800 million people have insufficient food, while many more consume an unhealthy diet that contributes to premature death and disease,” says co-lead Commissioner Dr Walter Willett, Harvard University, USA. “To be healthy, diets must have an appropriate calorie intake and consist of a variety of plant-based foods, low amounts of animal-based foods, unsaturated rather than saturated fats, and few refined grains, highly processed foods, and added sugars.

Tamara Lucas, Richard Horton. The 21st-century great food transformation. The Lancet, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)33179-9

Well — “uncharted policy territory“.    This is in the running for understatement of the year in 2019.

And while I’m at it, I wonder where most people get their information about food.  As in what to eat, and why I’m eating it, and what’s the bigger picture?

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