Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Health and nutrition policy

3 December 2018

In this report, the Food Ethics Council analyses the 2018 Food Sustainability Index (view interactive graphics here), which ranked the UK 16th out of 28 European Union countries and 24th out of 67 countries when averaged across a range of food sustainability indicators.

Image: Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, May Beef Month, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic
3 December 2018

This editorial in The Lancet argues that countries and people should “limit their consumption of intensively farmed meats”, discusses recent papers on the environmental and health impacts of meat production and consumption, and points out that policies to reduce meat consumption may have to be tailored to different contexts.

28 November 2018

In this interview with the New Food Economy, author Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm discusses the barriers that people of colour often face in accessing fresh food in the United States, and the origins of many sustainable farming techniques in various African countries.

28 November 2018

This book, edited by David Barling and Jessica Fanzo, explores challenges related to protecting environmental resources while also meeting human nutritional requirements.

28 November 2018

This policy briefing by Kelly Parsons and Corinna Hawkes of the Centre for Food Policy outlines the connections and conflicts between health, environmental and economic goals in the food system.

12 November 2018

This report by the UK Health Forum argues that the UK’s current food system does not support the UK government’s healthy eating goals. For example, many subsidies support animals products and relatively few support fruit, vegetables and pulses, while healthy foods often cost more than unhealthy foods.

Image: Jon Sullivan, Fresh meat, Wikimedia Commons, Public domain
12 November 2018

Optimal taxation levels would cause the price of processed meat to increase by 25% and the price of red meat to increase by 4%, on average, according to this paper. The calculations are based on the additional healthcare costs incurred by one additional serving, as opposed to the total healthcare costs associated with all meat consumption. The paper concludes that such a tax on red and processed meats could reduce the deaths associated with consumption of these products by 9% and reduce associated healthcare costs by 14%.

Image: Akarsh Simha, Spraying pesticide, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
6 November 2018

Researchers have called for governments to phase out organophosphate pesticides in agriculture, ban their non-agricultural uses, and take steps to reduce human exposure to organophosphates. The researchers’ argument is based on systematic reviews that link foetal organophosphate exposure to adverse effects on the development of children’s brain and nervous system.

29 October 2018

The book “Narratives of Hunger in International Law: Feeding the World in Times of Climate Change”, by Anne Saab, explores two different views of hunger in the context of climate change (neoliberal vs. the food sovereignty movement) and how international law affects these narratives.

29 October 2018

The European Public Health Alliance has published a policy briefing outlining 11 ways in which the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) could promote public health.

Image: Beetle, Candies, Pixabay, CC0 Creative Commons
16 October 2018

A paper argues that current definitions of ultra-processed foods are inconsistently applied. Furthermore, while higher consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with higher sugar intake and lower fibre intake, the paper claims that intakes of fat, saturated fat and salt are not associated with ultra-processed food consumption. The paper questions the policy recommendation that ultra-processed foods should be avoided.

Image: Scott Veg, Veggie Loaf Prison Food, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
8 October 2018

A new law requires that state institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes and prisons in California must provide a vegan menu option. The move has been welcomed by health and animal welfare campaigners.

8 October 2018

The UK’s Global Food Security programme has published a think piece that argues for a systemic approach to food sustainability and health by governments and businesses. The report argues that the whole food system must be examined to identify the root causes of problems before policies are designed.

8 October 2018

The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published “Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit” - a summary of the responses to its consultation.

2 October 2018

In a technical report, the American Academy of Pediatrics outlines the health concerns associated with several classes of food additives (including those unintentionally added to food, e.g. from packaging), including bisphenols, phthalates, perfluorinated compounds, artificial food colours, and nitrates and nitrites. The report notes that children may be particularly susceptible to the effects of these additives because of their lower body weight and because their metabolic systems are still developing.

4 September 2018

This book, by Jonathan Coppess, explores the history of agricultural policies in the United States.

Image: Pxhere, Field, farm, meadow, Public domain
4 September 2018

If everyone in the world ate a diet consistent with the United States Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines, we would need more additional farmland than the amount of fertile land available, claims a recent paper.

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