Summary

Sustainable Food Development in 2015

The term 'sustainable food' seems to be growing in popularity, even though most of us use it without too strict a definition. I was offered '$750 to sell my domain name www.sustainablefood.com, so something must be happening!

1. SOILS
Despite being the international Year of the Soil, we've not really heard much. I have been involved with some interesting events, buut on the whole, nothing has come from government, and not much from the NGOs either. My contribution in particular Bringing Soil animals to life. Strangle World of Soil Animal Gatsby. See Soils for full summary of the year in soils.

CC says: Can an 'animator' link up with me to transform these rough and ready videos of soil creatures into animated characters?

2. FATS
The emerging evidence that there was no evidence for the dietary fat guidelines needs to be addressed much more. BMJ  Open Heart  says "Evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) did not support the introduction of dietary fat guidelines in 1977 and 1983 according to a systematic review and meta-analysis, The RCTs were examined to find a relationship between dietary fat, serum cholesterol and the development of Chronic Heart Disease (CHD). There is none.Conclusion Dietary recommendations were introduced for 220 million US and 56 million UK citizens by 1983, in the absence of supporting evidence from RCTs. This confirms 'Butter isn't bad for you' written earlier in the year. It is also clear that the likes of John Yudkin in the famous Pure White and Deadly (p85/6) knew over 30 years ago, that the key work by Ancel Keys - '7 Countries Study'  that indicated a relationship between consumption of fat consumption, serum cholesterol levels and CHD, left out  15 countries, which together, as 22 Countries, showed there is no relationship at all. 

Response from the nutrition community is very mixed, to put it politely.  
Science Media have collected a few that vary from"The claim that guidelines on dietary fat introduced in the 1970s and 80s were not based on good scientific evidence is misguided and potentially dangerous. Whilst it is important to ensure we continue to interrogate the evidence on diet and heart disease, this must be approached through an holistic assessment of the evidence base and recognition of the clear improvements in population cholesterol levels that have taken place over the past 30 years....At the time of the introduction of the guidelines in UK and USA, consistent evidence for cholesterol raising effects of saturated fats was available from animal studies, cross country comparisons, retrospective and prospective cohort studies" Are these the same cross country comparisons that Ancel Keys presented to original McGovern Report - but only 7 out of 22 countries? 

to 
"in order to maintain appropriate energy intake by reducing fat in the diet, carbohydrate (CHO) intake was therefore increased to more than 50% of energy intake. This has the effect of increasing the requirements for increased circulating concentrations of insulin. This in itself will tend to change the nature of the LDL cholesterol  (so called 'bad cholesterol') particles to a smaller size, increase their number and such particles are actually more atherogenic (ie even worse). Increasing circulating insulin concentrations also has the effect of promoting fat deposition."

CC says: Somebody should organise a big Conference on this, then ask what the government are going to do about the Guidelines?

3. GLOBAL WARMING
Climate Change Conference and Food..may actually impact on farm/food production.
The Paris agreement says:
Article 2 1. This Agreement, in enhancing the implementation of the Convention, including its objective, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, including by:

(a) Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change; 

(b) Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production. Farming and Agriculture do not get a mention. Each Party (country) has to produce Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). Where are ours?

CC says: Can we get some food/farm stuff in those INDCs?

2. CITIES
There is a distinct shift to seeing the cities as a distinct entity in relation to the land. With more people living in cities than on the land, the FAO realised 15 years ago that it needed addressing. And certainly China are planning how cities can grow more. The Sustainable Cities Network seems to be gathering apace, and you can sign up for FAO Discussion Groups to find out what is going on all over.
 
Comments