What do policy and food systems researchers have to say about using policy and scientific advice in transforming food systems? Food systems are complex systems and it can be difficult to ensure success and avoid trade-offs. However, taking a systems view is rarely enough to avoid this. In the context of uncertainty, science does not always provide clear answers. How can we move forward? In this piece, Abigail Muscat reviews some of the latest research on policy solutions and presents three key lessons for driving sustainable change. She argues we should avoid the traps of ignoring unacknowledged assumptions, ignoring multiple viewpoints and sticking to a singular framing of food systems.