The EAT-Lancet Commission /
Eating in the Anthropocene: The need for a radical 'Global Food Transition'

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A landmark report has been released this week that outlines how to achieve healthy and sustainable eating patterns for a future global population of 10 billion.

The report was produced by the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health – a partnership between a global non-profit group and one of the world’s leading medical journals. It is the product of three years of work by 37 international experts working across a range of scientific disciplines.

Given that the current global food system has detrimental effects on both planetary and human health, and is the single largest driver of environmental degradation, the report's main goal is to deliver specific targets, based on rigorous evidence, around quantities of key foods for human consumption. It also hones in on ways in which food system transformation can be accelerated.

Importantly, according to the Commission itself: "It will be impossible to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals or the Paris Climate Agreement without a radical transformation of the global food system."

A summary report is available here.

The video below summarises the 10 key messages of the EAT-Lancet report:

Food systems are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. They are the main user of fresh-water, a leading driver of biodiversity loss and land-use change, and cause eutrophication or dead zones in lakes and coastal areas. Simultaneously, unhealthy diets are the leading risk factor for disease worldwide, causing rapidly growing rates of non- communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancers... Given that the current food system has detrimental effects on both planetary and human health, a radical global transformation is needed."
EAT-Lancet, 2019

Authors:
Anna de Mello & Jono Drew

Founders, Plant-Based Living Initiative

January 22, 2019

Topic / Planetary Health

Introduction /
Meat consumption, the planet, and our health

Grass-fed Beef /
Grass-fed beef is not the solution: it's the problem

Relevant articles

Food in the Anthropocene /
The EAT-Lancet Commission
Report 2019

The report’s findings emphasise the detrimental impacts of intensive livestock production, highlighting the importance of greatly reducing, if not eliminating, both red and processed meat intake for both personal and planetary health; findings also stress the need to consume a much greater quantity of whole plant-based foods (and plant-sourced proteins such as legumes), which are healthier and more environmentally-friendly.

More specifically, according to the authors, global consumption of fruits, veggies, nuts and legumes will have to double, and consumption of red meat and sugar will have to be reduced by more than 50% on a global scale (mainly by lowering intake in wealthier countries).

The graphic below summarises eating pattern recommendations from the commission- collectively termed the 'Planetary Health Diet.'

Key points

  • No more than 98 grams of red meat (pork, beef, or lamb), if any, per week
  • Less than 5% of energy intake from sugars
  • At least five servings of fruit and vegetables (500 grams) daily
  • At least 50 grams of nuts and 75 grams of legumes (beans, peas, lentils) daily
  • Moderate intake of dairy is listed as optional (250 grams or ~half a cup) on a daily basis.

The report further calls for a substantial reduction (50%) in food losses (from production) and food waste (from consumption habits) through both tech. solutions applied along the food supply chain and implementation of public policies and public education.

Overall, a combination of measures are required to address the environmental pressures faced by our planet, and integrated policies aimed at food system transformation will be highly important.

Food in the Anthropocene /
The EAT-Lancet Commission
Report 2019