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.
When you think about sun-dried food, you might think of pantry staples and beloved ingredients, from the raisins in your morning müsli to the sun-dried tomatoes in a fancy risotto. But did you know that solar drying is also an essential component of sustainable food systems? In this article we explore how solar drying works and how it fits into the bigger sustainability picture.
You may have heard about the so-called ‘Planetary Health Diet.’ In January of 2019, a group of 37 leading researchers on sustainability and nutrition from 16 countries published the EAT-Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets From Sustainable Food Systems. Its objective was to answer one vital question: Can we feed a future population of 10 billion people a healthy diet within planetary boundaries? We discuss the conclusions of the report and address some misconceptions that have sprung up since its publication.
Professor Vaclav Smil has made a career of digging into the numbers behind sustainable development and environmental challenges. We reached out to him to talk about the challenges of food system change, the effects of COVID-19 on meat prices, and what we as consumers can — and can’t — do to push for a more sustainable food system.