Sustainable Diets: How Ecological Nutrition Can Transform Consumption and the Food System (Paperback) book cover

Sustainable Diets

How Ecological Nutrition Can Transform Consumption and the Food System

By Mary Puckett, Tim Lang

© 2017 – Routledge

354 pages | 44 B/W Illus.

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About the Book

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.

Table of Contents

1. Sustainable Diets: Welcome to the Arguments

2. Methodologies: Measuring what Matters while Not Drowning in Complexity

3. Health: Nutrition Science and the Messy Effects of Diet on Health

4. Environment: Why Food Drives Ecosystems Stress

5. Culture: the Social Conditions Shaping Eating Patterns

6. Food quality: Everyone Likes their Own Food

7. Real Food Economics: Runaway Costs and Concentration

8. Policy and Governance: Will Anyone Unlock the Consumption Lock-in?

9. Conclusions: Why Sustainable Diets Matter Now

About the Authors

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 isProfessor 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).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MED060000
MEDICAL / Nutrition