WWF Response to EAT Report, Diets for a Better Future

In response to the EAT report, Diets for a Better Future: Rebooting and Reimagining Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems in the G20, released today, WWF issued the following statement:

Dr. Brent Loken, lead author of the new EAT report. Loken has since joined World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as Global Lead Food Scientist:

“The coronavirus pandemic exposes the fragilities and inequalities of the global food system. It is hard to imagine that only 20 countries together use up 75% of carbon emissions that the Paris Agreement allocates to food production. While G20 countries consume at an unsustainable rate, too many countries still have high rates of hunger and malnutrition.

“The power is on our plates and with our leaders. Healthy and sustainable diets decrease total global greenhouse gas emissions, ensure that all countries can adequately address malnutrition, and leave our children with a thriving and healthy planet. National dietary guidelines can serve as a lever to drive the urgently-needed transformation to healthier, more sustainable diets.

"Many G20 countries have taken significant steps to promote more environmentally friendly diets, but it is time to double down on these efforts. We must reimagine and reboot the food system. The G20 has the power to profoundly re-shape every aspect of global food production and consumption—and if we are serious about feeding every person on the planet healthy food, then the G20 must lead.”

Dr. Melissa D. Ho, Senior Vice President, Freshwater and Food, WWF-US:

“Transforming the global food system is one of the most pressing issues facing the future of humanity and should be an urgent priority for global policy agendas. This report elevates the importance of diets and the link between human health and the environment, especially in the G20 context. While WWF does not believe in a “one-size fits all” global diet, the research is clear that food consumption patterns in most G20 countries drive significant and negative impacts on human and planetary health, including on climate change, land and water resources.

"Achieving healthy diets and a healthy planet will require more ambition on National Dietary Guidelines (NDGs). It will require a shift in many G20 countries in the overconsumption of red meat, dairy, sugar and highly processed foods, and the underconsumption of fruits and vegetables primarily. At the same time in many other parts of the world, healthy diets may require increased consumption of quality nutrition, including more meat, fruit and vegetables. And always, sustainable diets should reflect the local context, and culture.

"WWF takes a holistic approach, understanding that while important, dietary shifts alone will not meet the future challenges of sustaining people and planet. WWF is working with a wide range of partners on sustainability solutions including, improved production, food loss and waste reduction, building resilient supply chains that return value to producers and communities, and conservation of critical landscapes. These efforts together with sustainable diets will help transform the global food system for the benefit of people and planet.”