This book, by Pamela Mason and Tim Lang, explores what is meant by sustainable diets and why and how this can be made the goal for policymakers as we enter the Anthropocene. We do recommend that you take a look at Tim Lang’s blog-post for the FCRN where he discusses the book’s findings and insights.
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.
Mason, P. and Lang, T. (2017) Sustainable Diets: How Ecological Nutrition Can Transform Consumption and the Food System. Routledge, London and New York.
Read more here.