UN EAT Report

March 28, 2019

LAUNCH EVENT: EAT-Lancet report

  • First peer reviewed report of its kind, looking at the global perspective of food, connecting different angles from health to environment
  • This event was to a) shortly present the report and b) hear in a panel discussion about different dimensions of implications. 
  • #foodcanfixit #EATlancet

PRESENTATION OF THE REPORT

Brent Loken, Lead/Co-Author, EAT Lancet report (summary here)

  • Report sets high-level global targets; the next stage would be to break it down to country level
  • The world is off track to meet all global nutrition targets
  • The report tries to answer how to feed 10bn people by 2050 considering two dimensions: 1) health (nutrients needed) and 2) sustainability (define planetary boundaries: GHG, cropland use, water use, nitrogen and phosphorus application, extinction rate)
  • Food: Some parts of the world are dramatically over-consuming (mainly meat) and others are under-consuming most elements of a healthy diet
  • We have to win on / keep within all below boundaries
  • We can get there: feed every single person a healthy diet and do it within our environmental limits – shifting diets, halving waste and optimize production practices >> ALL of them, not just one or two!

How to achieve this?

  • Strategy 1: Seek international and national commitment to shift towards healthy diets
  • Strategy 2: Reorient priorities from producing high quantities of food towards healthy food > more fruits and veggies and much less meat
  • Strategy 3: Sustainably intensify food production to increase high-quality output: more efficiency, climate mitigation options etc.. Global food system must become net carbon sink from 2040 onwards to achieve negative emissions globally as per Paris Agreement
  • Strategy 4: Strong and coordinated governance of land and oceans
  • Strategy 5: At least halve food losses and waste
  • WE NEED TO CHANGE GLOBAL FOOD SYSTEM otherwise we will fail to meet UN SDGs and Paris Agreement and thus exceed our planetary boundaries
  • Report is promoting an omnivore diet, not a vegan or vegetarian diet

PANEL DISCUSSIONS

  • Dr. Modi Mwatssama, Senior Science Lead, Wellcome Trust: Governments should translate report into local guidelines and policies
  • Dr. Francesco Branca, Director Nutrition for Health and Development, WHO: Healthy diet is not a punishment, it’s great for us and for the planet
  • Dr Shirley Tarawali, Assistant Director General, ILRI: Livestock food is necessary for low middle income countries and a healthy diet. In developing and emerging economies, the report translates to eating a little more meat and dairy products, livestock > income, manure, etc.
  • Gerda Verburg - UN under Secretary General: Food is the problem and can be the number one solution to climate change. Can we have a COP for climate change, food and health? How many SDGs does Food affect?