The EAT-Lancet 2.0 Committee is launching a new report to inform the global community about healthy diets and the goals of sustainable diets.
First EAT-Lancet Commission Report Published in 2019. The EAT-Lancet 2.0 report will be launched in 2024 and will focus on diverse dietary guidelines, local diets, and food justice. In addition, the 12-month global report will include Consulting For the audience and other stakeholders concerned with global food systems to share their thoughts on the transition to sustainable food systems, and the modeling efforts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to assess the multiple pathways to sustainable food systems.
The second EAT-Lancet panel includes 25 scientists from 19 countries and five continents. The panel includes EAT, a science-based non-profit organization in collaboration with the Stockholm Resilience Center (SRC), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Harvard University, and one Advisory Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Shakuntala Thalested, co-chair of the EAT-Lancet 2.0 panel and recipient of the 2021 World Food Prize, told Food Tank that the panel’s research “will take into account the role that sustainable and nutritious foods play in culture.” Thelstead adds that the commission wants to “integrate indigenous and traditional knowledge and integrate it with the latest scientific evidence”.
During the commission’s press conference at Stockholm+50, Johan Rockström, co-chair of the EAT-Lancet 2.0 committee and director of PIK, said the EAT-Lancet 2.0 report will include guidance on investing in renewable farming systems and carbon sequestration. Walter Willett, co-chair of the panel and professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, adds that carbon capture will be an important part of the solution to staying “below 1.5 degrees or two degrees Celsius by the end of the century.”
Matthias Kaiser, professor emeritus at the Center for the Study of the Sciences and Humanities at the University of Bergen in Norway, tells Food Tank that the policy suggestions in the 2019 report sound like a “silver bullet.” He believes that the simplified recommendations in the 2019 report are not universally applicable. Kaiser also says that the 2019 report did not address the uncertainties and complexities of global food chains. He says the upcoming report should take into account “different food identities, food cultures, and traditions.”
Kaiser notes that reducing red meat consumption or production is possible, but the guidelines should address specifics in “different regions and cultures.” In coastal cultures, for example, Kaiser says, “a significant amount of protein” may come from seafood and less from red meat. While regions that are low-income or located far from the sea, “do not have the supply chains” to support a diet rich in seafood.
Stineke Oenema, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Nutrition Program, tells Food Tank that it is “important to look at context” when making nutritional recommendations. Oenema notes that in low-income countries, it may be beneficial for eaters to consume more animal proteins.
During the EAT-Lancet 2.0 press conference, Willett said the committee will take a “new look” at the impact of red meat on healthy diets, among “many other health and systemic relationships.”
The 2019 report also raised doubts about the private food industry’s participation in the 2019 EAT-Lancet Report. Scientist Nina Tichols Writes“[EAT’s] The massive level of corporate support raises serious questions about the interests behind this report.” Specifically, EAT Food Reform for Sustainability and Health (FreshThe initiative includes multi-billion dollar food industry giants such as Pepsico, Danone, Syngenta and Unilever.
The Food Tank EAT-Lancet 2.0 Commission says, “EAT works with food system actors from all sectors, including business, civil society, and governments (local, national, and global). It believes that alignment of actors, which reflects a combination of A variety of viewpoints and sensible paths, is critical to supporting the transformation, and in particular creating a space for dialogue and discussion among disparate voices.”
Kaiser tells Food Tank that power relationships within the food industry may tacitly influence the committee’s recommendations. “If we see that approximately 70 percent of all food consumed globally comes from small producers, this is not necessarily the case,” says Kaiser. [in] Big corporate interest that represents the facts in our food system.”
The 2019 report was written by experts “from the rich industrialized nations of the Global North,” Kaiser notes. Kaiser advocates that the next report include a bottom-up approach. He says this should include frameworks for “local, regional and cultural food identities that improve the sustainability of food consumption” rather than top-down guidelines from wealthy, industrialized nations.
Kaiser also recommends that the committee focus not only on nutritional sciences, or health science fields, but also include the social sciences, “such as anthropology, sociology, and political science, which relate to power structures” within the food system. “What they need is to have an attraction, not a recipe,” says Kaiser, “an appeal to these diversities and suggestions, and how to develop a different path to sustainable food from existing traditions, from social and economic relationships or power structures.”
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