What is EAT?

Science, politics and business sharing food for thought.

Providing the growing global population a healthy and nutritious diet within safe environmental limits is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity today. It can only be addressed through an integration of knowledge and action in the interwoven areas of food, health and sustainability.

What is EAT?

The EAT Foundation builds on the work of the EAT Initiative, created by the Stordalen Foundation and Stockholm Resilience Centre in 2013. Together with the Wellcome Trust, they launched the EAT Foundation in March 2016. The EAT foundation’s ambition is to reform the global food system and enable us to feed a growing global population with healthy food from a healthy planet. The three organisations will use their unique experience in health, science, policy and sustainability to convene experts and decision makers who can transform the way we eat.

EAT will stimulate interdisciplinary research by establishing collaboration across scientific disciplines that interact with food issues, to improve nutrition and food safety and tackle global health and environmental challenges including obesity and non-communicable diseases, climate change and ecosystem degradation. EAT’s scientific output is guided by an Advisory Board that brings together over 30 world-leading experts in the fields of food science and policy, nutrition, public health, environmental sustainability, veterinary sciences, and economics. A long-term focus for the initiative is to establish a set of practical guidelines for consumers and the private sector defining healthy and sustainable diets, which can improve outcomes from field to fork. EAT also aims to encourage innovations and business development along the food value chain that will benefit public health and the environment. Finally, EAT aims to provide policy makers with evidence to inform decision-making, and will suggest strategies to change consumer behavior in all segments of the population.

Every spring EAT hosts a high-level forum, EAT Stockholm Food Forum, which brings together the brightest minds from science, politics, business and civil society to exchange ideas on how to shift food systems towards sustainability, health, security, and equity within the boundaries of our planet

VISION AND OBJECTIVES

EAT’s vision is a transformation of the global food system to sustainably feed a healthy population of over nine billion people by 2050. Fulfilling this vision will require major cooperation across countries, stakeholder groups and disciplines because the health and environmental problems associated with food are interconnected and span all sectors of society. The EAT Initiative was established in 2013 as an international platform for interaction between stakeholders in science, policy, civil society and business. In connecting leadership from previously isolated sectors and academic fields, EAT is guided by the core working hypothesis that productive food systems, global health, and a sustainable environment are all prerequisites for human development. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines a sustainable diet as one that has low environmental impact, contributes to food security and to a healthy life for present and future generations. FAO highlight the need for diets and food systems that protect and respect biodiversity and ecosystems, are culturally acceptable, accessible, economically fair and affordable, nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy, and optimize natural and human resources. With a holistic perspective on health and environmental aspects of food systems it is possible to identify solutions and innovations that promote diets that enhance human and planetary health. But to achieve this broad view, we need more knowledge about the interconnections between food and agriculture, health and nutrition, environmental sustainability, and socio-economic factors.

Food, health and sustainability. Science, politics and business.

Scientific research is at the heart of the EAT Foundation and, with a network of world leading universities and research institutions, EAT drives a shared objective of advancing knowledge about the nexus of food, health and sustainability (Figure 1). EAT also collaborates with governmental organizations and enterprises in the food industry to translate new knowledge into action and innovation that benefits public health, nutritional security and environmental sustainability.

Focus

The focus of EAT’s research and actions is on facilitating agriculture and food processing that minimize health and environmental impacts; new technologies to reduce waste; improved supply chain efficiency; effective environmental and health regulations; interventions to improve nutrition; innovative approaches to shifting consumption; reducing poverty through food systems; and population-level education on food, health and sustainability.   Examples of input and output focus opportunities for EAT EAT aims to engage with various stakeholder groups, recognizing that cross-sectoral collaboration is crucial to achieving the overall vision of transformative change. A specific set of objectives has been outlined for each sector.