Newly launched second EAT-Lancet Commission has greater focus on equitable and inclusive food systems

EAT, the science-based non-profit dedicated to transforming the global food system, in collaboration with partners the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Harvard University and OneCGIAR, has launched the second EAT-Lancet Commission (EAT-Lancet 2.0) on healthy diets from sustainable and equitable food systems.

In 2019, the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health published the first set of global scientific targets for healthy diets and set forth six environmental boundaries for food production, flagging the disproportionately large impact that food has on planetary boundaries.

The Commission showed that feeding 10 billion people a healthy diet within safe planetary boundaries by 2050 is both possible and necessary. The adoption of the ‘Planetary Health Diet’ would help avoid severe environmental degradation and prevent approximately 11 million premature adult deaths annually.

Building on the findings of the first publication, EAT-Lancet 2.0 will accelerate progress and contribute to Sustainable Development Goals by including several new elements: (1) greater inclusion of a diversity of diets and production processes evaluated as healthy, sustainable and equitable; (2) greater focus on inclusion, both in the composition of the Commission and in the local diets; (3) a new focus on food justice and social food system goals; (4) a 12-month global consultation with the aim of increasing local legitimacy, inclusion, and adoption of the Commission’s recommendations; and (5) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) like modelling efforts to evaluate multiple transition pathways to health, sustainable, and just food futures.

“We require nothing less than a total re-construction of human civilisation within a single generation, and all of this begins with the very foundation of that civilisation, food.”

EAT-Lancet 2.0, due to report in 2024, will be co-chaired by Walter Willett (Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), Johan Rockström (Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research), and Shakuntala Thilsted (Global Lead, Nutrition and Public Health, WorldFish CGIAR, 2021 World Food Prize Laureate). The Commission is made up of 25 commissioners from 19 countries, to reflect diverse perspectives across continents and in various fields including human health, agriculture and livestock production, political science, behaviour change, food justice, and environmental sustainability.

Speaking about the announcement, Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief, The Lancet, said: “We require nothing less than a total re-construction of human civilisation within a single generation, and all of this begins with the very foundation of that civilisation, food. My goal and my hope for EAT-Lancet 2.0 is that we are going to scrutinise the necessary evidence and actions that we must take to rebuild human civilisation to protect our futures, to strengthen the possibilities for survival during the present century. It is no more, no less, than that.”

Dr Gunhild Stordalen, EAT Founder and Executive Chair, said: “There has been much progress since the first EAT-Lancet in 2019, and this should be applauded. But critically we still lack consensus on global targets, and that means the key trendlines are not yet bending in the right direction. We continue to accelerate in the wrong direction, on a full collision course with nature, away from a future worth having for humanity. The escalating climate and nature crises, the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, and now the terrible war against Ukraine – this entire cascade of interconnected crises scream out to us that we have indeed entered the territory of Code Red for Humanity as the UN Secretary-General termed it, and what’s wrong with food sits at the heart of it all. EAT-Lancet 2.0 will set out to reaffirm and confirm the evidence needed to solve this for all of us.”