Sustainable Diets: How Ecological Nutrition Can Transform Consumption and the Food System

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Routledge, 2017 - Agrobiodiversity - 353 pages

How can huge populations be fed healthily, equitably and affordably while maintaining the ecosystems on which life depends? The evidence of diet's impact on public health and the environment has grown in recent decades, yet changing food supply, consumer habits and economic aspirations proves hard.

This book explores what is meant by sustainable diets and why this has to be the goal for the Anthropocene, the current era in which human activities are driving the mismatch of humans and the planet. Food production and consumption are key drivers of transitions already underway, yet policy makers hesitate to reshape public eating habits and tackle the unsustainability of the global food system.

The authors propose a multi-criteria approach to sustainable diets, giving equal weight to nutrition and public health, the environment, socio-cultural issues, food quality, economics and governance. This six-pronged approach to sustainable diets brings order and rationality to what either is seen as too complex to handle or is addressed simplistically and ineffectually. The book provides a major overview of this vibrant issue of interdisciplinary and public interest. It outlines the reasons for concern and how actors throughout the food system (governments, producers, civil society and consumers) must engage with (un)sustainable diets.

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About the author (2017)

Pamela Mason took her first degree in pharmacy and then studied nutrition, gaining an MSc and a PhD in nutrition from King's College London, UK. She has an MSc in food policy from City University of London, UK. She is a registered public health nutritionist with the UK Association for Nutrition. She works with local food networks in Monmouthshire, South Wales.

Tim Lang is Professor of Food Policy at the Centre for Food Policy, City University of London, UK. He founded the Centre for Food Policy in 1994 and was Director until 2016. He is co-author of Food Wars (2015), Unmanageable Consumer (2015), Ecological Public Health (2012) and Food Policy (2009). He is policy co-lead on the EAT-Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems (2016-17).

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