sustainable diets

By Professor Mike Hamm, C. S. Mott Professor of Sustainable Agriculture at Michigan State University (MSU) & visiting fellow of Mansfield College, University of Oxford.

Mike was one of the two experts on sustainability consulted by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in developing its 2015 report.  This report’s  publication has attracted widespread interest and - from those ideologically opposed either to actions on sustainability that necessitate a change in habits or to government intervention - a great deal of criticism. In this blog Mike shares his thoughts on the new Guidelines, and explains clearly what they actually say.

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Speaker: Dr Elin Röös, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Title: Designing Sustainable Diets at a National Level – a Case Study of Sweden

Date: Wednesday 18 February

Time: 4.15pm

Location: Gottman Room, OUCE

The talk will be 30-45 minutes, followed by a Q&A session and then a short wine reception.

Everyone welcome.

Livestock production is responsible for 14,5% of global GHG emissions and one third of arable land is used to grow feed. The consumption of meat and dairy must be reduced in the developed world to meet sustainability targets. But what is a sustainable level of animal products in the diet? Many advocate raising animals on resources that are not suitable for human consumption such as grass from marginal land unsuited for crop production and by-products, while using arable land to produce human edible foods. But how much meat and what kind of diet would such an approach result in? In this seminar I will present and discuss the sustainability of such diets produced in Sweden and its implications for Swedish agriculture.

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Oxford SciBar: Should we all become vegans to save the world?

Date: Wednesday 19th November

Time: 6.30pm

Venue: Port Mahon, St Clements St

What lifestyle changes are you willing to try in order to reduce your carbon footprint? Walking or cycling to work? Taking less long haul flights? How about going vegan? A new study suggests that greenhouse gas emissions associated with vegan diets are about half that of a meat-based diet, and the difference in a year amounts to an individual flying from London to New York and back. Join us to hear Dr Peter Scarborough discuss the role of meat in sustainability and dietary health and find out whether cutting back on meat could make you and the planet more healthy.

SciBar is a relaxed informal event.

Find out more about Oxford SciBar on their website.

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Oxford Martin School Seminar series: Health in the 21st century: what’s new?

The Oxford Martin School's Michaelmas Term seminar series will examine the frontiers of technology and ideas in healthcare in the 21st century. 

Health and wellbeing concerns us all, but how is medical care changing and how does it affect us? What new ideas and technology are out there to take better care of us? Does where you live matter? What can we do to extend the quality and length of our lives?

Non-fat, low-fat, saturated fat, trans fats, healthy fats - in an era where we seem to be constantly bombarded with often conflicting messages about our diets, is all this information actually making us any healthier? How can we cut through media hysteria and make wise choices about the food we eat, and what impact do our consumption habits have, not just on our own health but that of the planet?

Well fed? The health and environmental implications of our food choices

Date: Thursday, 6 November

Time: 3.30pm - 5pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School, 34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

Speakers:
Professor Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford
Dr Tara Garnett, Principal Investigator, Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food
Dr Mike Rayner, Principal Investigator, Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food

Please visit the Oxford Martin School website to register for this event.

Join in on Twitter with #c21health

This seminar will be live webcast on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UbwkWsEdmU

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New FCRN report - Changing what we eat: A call for research & action on widespread adoption of sustainable healthy eating

Government leadership and substantial investment in research are needed to shift global consumption habits towards eating patterns that are both healthy and sustainable, say academics, industry and NGOs representatives in a new report.

The report, Changing What We Eat, published by the Food Climate Research Network (FCRN), part of the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, outlines the work needed to shift societies to consumption patterns that can meet both public health and environmental goals.  

Research is now needed in three key areas, say those involved in the report:

  • What are healthy sustainable eating patterns?
  • How do we eat now, why, and what are the health and sustainability implications?
  • How do we achieve positive change?
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The Food Climate Research Network has released a new FCRN discussion paper which considers the increasingly topical question of: ‘What is a sustainable healthy diet?’

The paper begins by highlighting the rationale for focusing on the diets question, and then moves on to discuss definitions of ‘good nutrition’ on the one hand, and ‘sustainability’ on the other. The main substance of the paper concerns itself with the major food groups that constitute UK’s Eatwell plate, examining the health and sustainability issues that their consumption raises, before drawing some conclusions. A review of recent studies in this area is also included. An important limitation of the paper is that it focuses largely on developed country contexts.

Download the Discussion Paper.

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The Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food Lecture 2013 is now available to listen to on our website.

The lecture was given by Professor Susan Jebb was entitled "Food, Health And The Environment: Towards A More Sustainable Diet".

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By Hannah Rowlands.

We were honoured to have Professor Susan Jebb present our first annual lecture on November 27, 2013.

Professor Susan Jebb is a nutrition scientist, but recognises that dietary advice for consumers needs to optimise health within the constraints of a sustainable food supply.

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Diet, Health and the Environment: Towards a More Sustainable Diet

Time & Date: 4pm, Wednesday 27 November

Venue: Lecture Theatre A, Department of Zoology, South Parks Road

Speaker: Professor Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health, Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

Professor Susan Jebb will speak about the relationship between diet, health and the environment, and how we might encourage changes in behaviour towards a more sustainable diet.

Book Launch for "Food: A Very Short Introduction"

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception and a book launch for Professor Lord Krebs's new book entitled, "Food: A Very Short Introduction".

In this Very Short Introduction, Prof Lord John Krebs provides a brief history of human food, from our remote ancestors 3 million years ago to the present day. By looking at the four great transitions in human food - cooking, agriculture, processing, and preservation - he considers a variety of questions, including why people like some kinds of foods and not others; how your senses contribute to flavour; the role of genetics in our likes and dislikes; and the differences in learning and culture around the world.

In turn he considers aspects of diet, nutrition, and health, and the disparity between malnutrition in some places and overconsumption in others. Finally, he considers some of the big issues - the obesity crisis, sustainable agriculture, the role of new technologies such as genetic modification of crops, and ends by posing the question: how will it be possible to feed a population of 9 billion in 2050, without destroying our natural environment?

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People » Kremlin Wickramasinghe

Kremlin Wickramasinghe, Researcher, Nuffield Department of Population Health

Kremlin joined the British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention (BHF CPNP) in 2009 to work on the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and associated risk factors.

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