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The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health

Vegetable market in India. Photo credit: Jeda Palmer.

The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health brings together 37 international experts on nutrition, health, sustainability and policy to reach a scientific consensus that defines a healthy and sustainable diet.

Unhealthy food is the leading cause of disease worldwide, and undernutrition is a problem that persists across the globe. At the same time, food production is causing considerable environmental issues. Food production produces a third of all greenhouse gas emissions and is the largest driver of biodiversity loss and freshwater depletion.

Meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement targets to reduce carbon emissions means we need to change the way we eat and produce food.

The EAT-Lancet Commission addresses these challenges. The Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems sets out clear, scientific targets for producing higher quality food without depleting the planet’s resources.

Working alongside other international research organisations we have developed global data that provides much needed evidence on how and where our agricultural systems can be more productive and sustainable.

The Commission recommends radical improvements in the way fertilisers are used; minimising over use and increasing use in regions where fertiliser is under applied. Not only would this increase global food production but also improve the water quality of lakes, rivers and oceans.

The Commission urges we stop the expansion of new agricultural land at the expense of natural ecosystems and better adapt cropping to environmental conditions.

And not surprisingly, we need to strive hard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

When it comes to what we’re eating, the Commission calls for a universal global shift towards healthier diets, with less added sugar and processed foods, and higher consumption of plant foods. In addition, a greater focus on reducing food waste.

The Commission sets out a pathway to achieve healthier and more sustainable food systems. This will not only improve our health but also that of our planet and help us to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement.

Contact Mario Herrero for more information.