Feeding 10 Billion By 2050: Creating a Sustainable and Healthy Food Future
Welcome. To the forum, live streamed worldwide, from the leadership studio, at the Harvard th Chan School of, Public Health I'm, Dean, Michelle Williams, the. Forum is a collaboration, between the Harvard Chan School and independent. News media each, program, features, a panel, of experts, addressing. Some of today's most pressing, public health issues, the. Forum is one way the school advances, the frontiers, of Public Health and makes. Scientific, insights, accessible. To policymakers, and the public, I hope. You find this program engaging, and informative thank. You for joining us. Hello. Everyone and welcome my name is David Freeman I'm the editorial. Director of NBC, News mock which is ma CH I'm. Also today's moderator, and, I'll introduce our panelists right away starting, to, my immediate right Walter, Willett professor of epidemiology, and nutrition. At the Harvard th Chan School of, Public Health, Gina. McCarthy professor. Of the practice of public health in the department, of environmental health at, the Harvard Chan School and also the thirteenth administrator, of, the Environmental Protection Agency. David, banal the manager of food land and water and member relations, at, the World Business Council for sustainable development, and on. A sortin, chef and owner of the restaurant Oh Liana here in Cambridge and a winner of the James Beard Award this. Event is being presented jointly with NBC News digital, we're, streaming live on the websites of the forum and in d c-- news mock we're, also streaming live on Facebook. And YouTube, this. Program will include a brief Q&A and you can email questions, to, the. Forum at HS pho harvard.edu. You. Can also participate in a live chat that's happening on the forum site right now. So. With. A total population of about seven, and a half billion today, the. World is already pretty crowded and that, the global population is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050. How. Can we feed that many people how, can we do that while protecting human health and the health of the planet, one, thing's for sure I think the panels here would agree we. Can't do what we've been doing because current patterns of food production, and consumption. Aren't. Good for our bodies or for the planet earlier. This year the the eat Lancet, Commission introduced. A planetary. Health diet that, offers possible, solutions, and Walter, you're a part of that or you co-author the report can, you please tell us what it is and, take us through it sure. The. Challenge. Put to this commission was to feed the world a diet, that is healthy and sustainable and, by, 2050. We'll reach close to 10 billion people, and as. You said we're, currently far, off track from arriving, at that at, that goal therefore, the, Commission. Really faced it a tremendous. Challenge. In fact just. To paint a quick picture, if, we look at the nutritional, status of the world it's. Not a pretty picture we. Have still. About 800, million people who are undernourished, we, have about 2 billion people who. Are overweight, or obese and that number, is increasing. Rapidly. All, around the world and, most. Of the rest of the world is eating, a diet that's far from optimal, and to. Make it more complicated, as you also notice, the way we produce our food and the way we produce what we're eating today is degrading. The planet and really undermining, the resources, that are critical, to feed. The future population, of the world. And. Then, we are adding close to two, and a half billion people by, by. 2050. That's, a pretty daunting challenge, given that to arrive at a sustainable and healthy diet, for everyone so. To get. At this issue we booked, the process, down into, several steps the, first was to using. The best available evidence. From all around the world to define, what is a healthy, diet, and. I, can't, go into all of the details, of that but if I could have a slide up. Basically. What we realized, that putting. All the evidence together was, that there's quite a bit of flexibility, and. This allows a lot of diversity of diets. From different cultures, different, agricultural.
Systems. But, primarily. This will mean a substantial. Shift from what we're doing today to. A diet, that is largely plant-based, but still has some meat, some dairy fish. In, it and. Plenty. Of healthy. Sources healthy, foods, in the diet more. Nuts more. Fruits. Vegetables. Legumes. And, the, amount of fish would increase. Given. From what we are doing today very. Briefly this slide, shows the, major, food groups and the. Vertical line, toward the left of that figure, is. Essentially. The target numbers that we came up with to, define an optimally, healthy diet and. The then, the various bars, indicate. What different regions of the world are eating today and as, you can see we're, in. General, quite a bit over the target numbers for a red meat but that's very different for different countries Southeast, Asia for example is below the target number so there's a lot of variability, but. Toward the bottom we, see again the healthy, foods fruits nuts legumes, soy. Products, and, that's where. We would, be better off with substantial, increases, we, used several different. Approaches. To evaluate, the healthfulness of this, diet and they, all converge, to suggest, that if we did. Is a world. Moved, to this these dietary, targets, we, would prevent about 11 million premature deaths per year which, is about 20 to 25 percent of the total deaths, for a year so, there's a huge health, benefit, of adopting. This healthy diet we. Then as a second, step went on to look at whether. We could possibly produce, this diet within, the planetary, boundaries we can't infinitely, produce more, greenhouse gas use unlimited amounts of water there are planetary. Boundaries that where, I, have. Been defined, by other research. Groups and. The, good. News is when we went through all of this that, it is possible, to feed the world a healthy and sustainable diet, by 2050, but it will require major changes, in what, we eat and how we produce our food well. And part of that you mentioned the role. Of environmental, change and global warming and so on that's gonna be a big thing that we'll talk about in a bit but, let's watch a brief clip at this point that shows how climate change has been affecting the food that we affected, our planet this, clip refers to the years 2000, through 2009, and of, course the four hottest years of record have occurred since, then in 2015 16. 17. And 18, in. A warming planet really does have big impact on our systems or food systems the, video is courtesy, of nasa's, goddard space flight center let's, take a look at that. All. Of the events of the past decade all, of our memories have, something in common they all took place during the hottest decade, ever recorded, since, humans began keeping temperature, records about 150.
Years Ago. In. The last decade, the earth's temperature rose, roughly, a third of a degree fahrenheit since. 1880, it's, risen about one and a half degrees, you. Might say the Earth's running a fever and scientists. Predict it's going to get much worse. Already. We, can tally the signs. Global. Sea level rose by over an inch during the decade almost, twice as fast as the average during, the 20th century. Arctic. Summer sea ice declined, by over 300,000. Square miles, enough. Ice to cover the states of Texas and Kentucky. The. Vast majority of climate scientists, say evidence. For human-caused, warming is clear but. Less understood, is exactly how this warming will change the complex, interactions, between our planet's, land water, sky, and the, living organisms, that inhabit our, world. So. Gina. You're kind of as a former EPA Administrator. You're kind of in a good position to talk about the relationship. Between climate, and food so if you would fill us in well. Let me just, start by thanking Walter, for doing this report and all the other researchers. It's remarkable, that it's the first time we've really ever looked at at, what is a healthy, diet and, what are the foods we need and what does it mean for the planet, it's great to be healthy individually, I'd like to still stick make sure people are on the planet as well which. Which seems to be a key, issue and. And I think really that's what. It what it's all about we have to look as Walter said at how we produce our food you, know it's not just about what kinds of food but, how we produce it and when you talk about what kinds of food we have to recognize, that you know food is really culturally, and in many cases religiously. Embedded, and how, people think about their lives this, is a big shift that needs to begin or should have begun a long time ago and how we look at food and how we get people, to to. Demand. Food that's both healthy for them and meets their cultural, and religious needs and then, secondly, you have to look at how you produce that food you, know right now we have, industrial agriculture. Factory farming, that we know is degrading, our environment, and we also know you have to think about the future under, a changing, climate with. Droughts and intense. Floods and how do we change the way we think about growing, food to make sure that that it retains, the carbon, that you have rich soil, that you don't rely on fossil fuel, fertilizers. And pesticides, that. You shift. Organically. Based, farming. And you think about the best way you can to, actually keep. Farms, local to, the extent that you can because the third issue is how do you manage food, because. We waste 40, percent of the food between. The farm and the, table, and then, we have to think about how do we get people engaged in, this we want them to demand healthy food but, we also want, them to have a a rich. Sense. That of where their food comes from you, know they, I want, them to be engaged in the food process, and I, want to think about how we eliminate. That waste by engaging them, because, it's not just about what happens from, the farm to a manufacturing. Or a production shop it, is about what happens in your own fridge you. Know one of the best things you can do to stop wasting food is shop your fridge, you. Know understand. What food labels, mean don't throw it out before you need to but don't let it hang in the back for a long time these, are small things but they engage people, in the solutions. And with, food as concerns it's personal, and we need people denebian, agriculture, that is respectful, of the environment that understands.
That We're already in, a changed, environment that. Takes a look at what's happening in Nebraska, and Iowa, and other places where farms, are now, destroyed. And flooded, out we, need to figure out how to do this better keep, our forests, and tax keep our ecosystems. Functioning, and figure. Out how we feed these, 10 million people I have, no doubt that we can do it the, real question, is how do we engage enough, people to, make the demands and make their shifts in behavior, so, that this is what we deliver to the world and, that's, the challenge and really climate, change is the, biggest public, health challenge, that we face today as is. Our nutrition. We have to blend them together and think systemically, how to make this happen. Well. David you work with the companies that are trying to make some of these sorts of changes that Gina is talking about tell, us about your role your organization, and what businesses. See is the big obstacles, and opportunities if there are opportunities as well I'd, be happy to first of all I want to say thank you to the School of Public Health for inviting, me and us here Lillian particularly, you and Walter and a, special thank you to the students in the room and online because I know it's break time and there are many many other things you, could, be doing but, I really, appreciate that you're here and online and, with us because we need you can. You cue the first slide please the. World Business Council for sustainable development, is a Geneva Switzerland based, organization. Where in other places around the world 200. Multinational, companies and CEO, LED we. About 60, Network partners around the world - and of, those 200. Companies, about 80 are, involved, in the food and eggs base and they're, they're ones that you would think of but. There are also companies like Google and Microsoft and, some of what some of the really interesting ones, that I may, touch on in a little bit we've. Got six, primarily. Primary, areas. Of focus there, are six economic, drivers, we believe we can most, influence, you can see them there on your screen, circular. Economy cities. Mobility, mobility climate. And energy I'll, skip over food and nature that's why work and I'll come back to that one. People. We have a really interesting new program called the future of work let's, feed a billion a planet, of 10 billion people but we should probably employ, them to everyone, not, just people that look like me and then. Back to and. Redefining. Value which is a fascinating one our CEO likes to say that accountants. Will save the world and I think, he might be right I mean we really need to get financial, markets and capital, markets to reward sorts. Of things that I think many of us in this room and on believe in in, our financial disclosure, and reporting so we're working hard to try and make that happen, through. Working with the capital markets and, the. Securities and other agencies, that reward, them food. Nature you see there is the program I work in about. 80 different companies involved in this space and, we. Try and work through this lens of the, sustainable, development goals they were referenced, just. A couple of minutes ago so go ahead and tee up that next slide for me if, you, haven't heard of the sustainable, development goals there, are 17, of them this, cool pin of mine is, sort of the graphic, representation, of it so if you've ever seen anybody with this on you can say oh the SDGs. And. If you think about it it really is and, the lot you, know, the SDGs. They. Are in 2015, basically. The world 193. Companies, the UN General Assembly agreed, on a path forward you can call it a roadmap if you want to be more politically, correct maybe it's a bike path but. It is an agreed-upon. Path. Forward, for how to do this thing that we call the earth sustainably. The, goals are set to, be achieved by 2030, that's a stretch but what are we if we're not ambitious. And the. Slide up here is one that we use specifically. A focus on sort of the farm and AG space, 17. Different sustainable, development goals 169. Targets and. 232. Indicators, backing, up the targets, but here's an example of when we work with. Our companies, looking, at how do we achieve the sustainable development, goals they, oftentimes need to focus and should focus on those SDGs. That are most applicable to the business and the, next slide please I've been, asked to focus on technology which we'll do in the second half here's. A cool and this is called the cocoa cloud this. Is a project you'll see with some of our member companies and, partners we're running in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, using. Data. Enabled, climate, solutions, through mobile phones and other really interesting applications.
To Help we, hope up to 1 million smallholder, farmers. Make. Better, farming, decisions, based on better ability to forecast and, plan for weather and as, Gina's just said you. Can't forecast for what's happening in the Midwest, right now. But. To the extent we can help farmers better use data to plan their work we, believe we can contribute to the sustainable, development goals and as our, more importantly to the livelihoods of those farmers. Thank. You thank you. Well and, Gina and I guess everyone that's mentioned to some extent the one, of the big challenge here is getting everyone to change eating. Habits, and. The key here is to make food that is tasty. As it is helpful and sustainable, and Anna you're. Well. Known for your Mediterranean, cuisine and, so you're part of the the work on that delicious, part of the equation, so, what do you see is the biggest challenges to bringing, this planetary health diet that. Walter was talking about to people's plates and how, can cooks at home and in restaurants, help that. Yeah. I think it's. First, of all it's an honor to be with all of you you guys are changing the world as we speak and it's um it's pretty fabulous but, I think we've, all touched upon it and it, really to me it comes down to good ingredients. You. Know it can, be in general hard. To find really good quality. Food. That's, fresh and it's also got some some. Health benefit, to it as well especially. When it's on a bigger, commercial. Scale. And. I think you know ultimately it's it's easier said than done how do we buy less you know commercially, produced. Industrialized. Food how do we try, to keep it more local. And. Use smaller, suppliers. Especially. Like when we're in the airport or you, know we're traveling or what there's just it's just so hard, to do it on a constant, basis, but, there. Isn't enough access, to a really good fresh food. And, I think there there could be more and I think, from. A chef's point of view I mean fresh, equals flavor and and I'm one I can't even imagine it's, all I really think about is flavor I can't even imagine not, liking, vegetables. So I think I. Think. It's I, think, it's also a little bit of a spin, it's, really just sort of understanding, a little bit more about you. Know how to find though that flavor, where, to get it. Shopping. Farmers, markets, and, and, it. Gets into sort of an economical, thing now but I think there's so much change as far as that. Is concerned and, a lot more access to, locally. Grown vegetables for. Everyone. And. Then. It's also in the kitchen it's like okay how do I achieve more. Flavor, when, I'm cooking with aunt, without, adding, the cheap Trick's and we all know what the cheap tricks are it's some it's fat, it's sugar it's.
All It's high fructose corn syrup it's all that stuff, and, so you, kind of have to be creative, but not at the same time there's some some, really cool natural, high fructose corn syrup like, onions. Can be really amazing just adding, you know onions, to your cooking and, using. A lot of them can can transform, things you, know and for me I've always been really. Focused. On the use of spice and how to use spice and in a Mediterranean way and for me that's. Where the flavor the, depth the, richness comes from and then nothing becomes, heavy so in other words you can you, can eat and you can eat quite quite, a bit of vegetables, without having, it being without, feeling, really bad. So, you know finding flavors. Like. Umami. Umami. Is another one - there's a lot of umami just. Right under your finger trip under, your fingertips so it's it's kind of re invigorating. Your pantries, finding. Using a little tomato paste here and there which is umami soy, sauce is sort of an a, well, a better known 'mommy a little. Bit of Parmesan cheese goes a long ways. So. It's really on how to change, the tools that you have and the, way you think about what tastes good I mean a doughnut tastes good but, so does broccoli, if you cook, it with some of these tricks, it really really does and. I know that's like a really sad comparison. But it's it's the opposite, it's, the opposite, swing of the pendulum right. And. I think most of all I mean this is like one of my famous and my favorite quotes because I'm married, to an organic vegetable farmer, but, Michael Pollan says that that, the, more we the deeper, the connection, we have with the person that, grows or makes, our food it, tastes better right and then, it's also it is about the soil it the soil is really. A big difference when it comes to flavor a tomato, tastes so different, when it's grown in soil really. Rich soil versus, sand. So I mean there really is a difference, and sort of being able to figure. That out is the. Fun part it's, kind of an adventure, so. Yeah. Wood wood all organic, the ideal sure I don't think pesticides, are doing any of us any good but I think it's, a tricky. I, think, we we want to empower ourselves to be a little bit more creative to to, get through some of these challenges, to. Make. Sure about the donor, versus likely but I guess we can move ahead so, now, we're gonna shift a bit not, to launch unfortunately. But to. Talking, about solutions, but. Before, we do with swatch a clip from the World Business Council for sustainable development, it. Shows some of these solutions in action and particularly how new technologies, are helping make farming, more sustainable. So. David you work with companies businesses. That try to make farming more efficient tell us about how that works well. First of all I want to talk about the image of cops and broccoli shops instead of doing it I think that. Would, be we I think we've had it solved, now if, we can move to that, how. About that image yeah. And. I had I had nothing to do with that that beautiful video so I can't take credit for that but it does tee up sort of this great sort of conversation, about how, are we going to do this and again because I've been asked to focus on technology I'm going to give three different, examples, one. I referenced, earlier is this idea we called a cocoa cloud, you. May not know this but its climate, week in Africa this week and we actually launched this thing, at. Climate. Week and cloud, is pretty, straightforward premise. That as you. Know many, people around the world carry. Mobile phones and it's all, of us who get to live in places like we're, living now and watching this from but. It also includes, many farmers and Ghana, and the Ivory. Coast and so the, idea is could, we create, a. Mechanism. That would enable through, the, mobile phone network to. Enable these farmers to make better predictions about, weather and make. Better predictions about when to plant when. To harvest etc. So, using, the mobile phone network in, a series of satellites and a. Series of really interesting partnerships. Against, very interesting. Bedfellows. Or bed people. We're. Trying to work this through and the the application, of the cocoa cloud if we get it right I referenced. It in the opening comments, and it could impact 1 million smart smallholder. Farmers in Ghana and Cote. D'Ivoire in the Ivory Coast so you, know if we get that right there the, implications. And applications are, really interesting, for other places in spaces so how, do we sort of normalize. Technology. That's available and we use every day, it's. Okay if some of you are texting. Right now you. Know we're using as we speak, to, really make some very logical. And, obvious, sort, of solutions, available in the field there's. A great quote that goes something like look unpredictable.
Weather Makes for an unpredictable, harvest, just. Ask anyone who's trying to deal with the deluge, in the Midwest or or drought, in other places so, trying to really make this available. And and affordable. And, also. Contribute, to the equity, that doesn't, exist not. In those two countries exclusively. But everywhere so let's make this normal, for everyone. There's. Another one. Called. Loop. Imagine. Haagen-dazs. Being, delivered to your house like. In the olden days when you had a milkman, and sorry to use that pronoun. But milk person. You. Know we still have that I live in Maine and there are still milk people that will come once in a while so there. Actually is this really, interesting I'll call it a test of a number of different companies across, the value chain where. You can order certain. Kinds, of. Consumables. Will be delivered, to your door door by UPS in. Containers. In a, tote that you then eat and you, you. Then get online and you send it back and it comes back whenever, you're ready with more haagen-dazs more. Or more dove or more so. Really. I mean it's happening now as we speak if you think about sort of these old models that are not so. Crazy how. Do we bring them into the 21st, century using the technologies, that we have and. Then. The other one is. Something really interesting, I fold. Disclosure started my career at Microsoft and, and so I'm gonna mention a project from them because I know the company well it's called farming its called farm beats farm. Beats have. You ever turned on your television, I know some of us on this panel do. Know what I'm talking about you, turn on the television and there's a channel it's just white space, well. Those white. Spaces exist all over the place including on, farms. That sort, of television, space. Is available. And underutilized, so, there's, a project, that Microsoft, is leading through their AI for Earth. Artificial. Intelligence for Earth project, around. The internet of things to, try and capture that white space and use it on farm, and so. You, can imagine a, drone. If you can afford it but a helium balloon if you can't that, takes a mobile phone up gets a view of the farm sends. The data up the cloud and gets. It right back to you very quickly with real-time data that you can use to look at your field what's overwatered, what's under watered where. The pest where aren't the pests and that's. Being tested right now by Microsoft, and places like carnation, Washington, and in other places so, really. Interesting sort of things that some of our member companies are, doing and others that are non-members are doing and I just thought I'd tease some of those up yeah interesting. So Anjana, you know we're talking about this kind of high technology, but also what can you tell us about the way better ways to use the agricultural, land that we do what doesn't, we need to do with the land, well. Let. Me begin by saying and. You might think that we. Are out to change the world but you rock my world. Your. Food experience, is quite amazing so thank your husband I had no idea he was part of it, you. Know part. Of the the, challenge, that we face is that. Agriculture. Today at least the way the majority of it is practiced, it can be considerably, damaging, to the environment I mean, we see it we see the harmful algal blooms that are just, about everywhere, across, the United, States most, notably, we saw it in Toledo, where they. Had cyano. Toxins. Created by harmful algal blooms what, that were really a result of runoff that went into Western, Lake Erie and where the water gets warmer, and climate change those things happen, and we have to think about keeping soil in its place so every time you till for farming, you, have the challenge, of, increasing. Carbon. Emissions, and you have the challenge of runoff that right now and they even in the United States, fifty-five. Percent of the rivers and stream miles are, actually, too heavily contaminated, with, nutrients. From. Runoff to be able to have healthy ecosystems. So, for many reasons, we need to change the way we think about it we, need to store the carbon in the soil soil is, everything. I think. People have always known this and we, have to recognize, that with the. Exacerbated. Storms, that were seeing with the changing, climate is you have to plan for runoff you have to think about how you, use no-till.
Farming, Where you can you, have to think about how you use, the, kind of technologies. You're talking, about to, be able to understand, where water needs to be used and where it's wasted, because water is going to compete between drinking, water and feeding, people. That's a competition, we don't want to either side, to lose and, so. There are ways in which we have to think about feeding. More people, but, making, our ability. To produce that, an. Opportunity. To. Reduce. The current impacts. And an, opportunity, to reduce the methane and greenhouse, gases that are being emitted without. Eliminating the, best foods that are available and, nutritious, for us and I, think it's a challenge but I think by no means, is it an insurmountable one. We, have regenerative, agriculture. That, is all about policies, and practices, that do exactly this that, use natural systems. Ecosystems. Biodiversity. Instead. Of looking at dead end use of chemicals. Where, they have nowhere to go but in our food or in, our water and so, there are ways in which this is already, being explored. In its successfully. In so, many places the issue is how, do we scale that up how do we spread the word how do we make change. The the equation, for agriculture. To shift from being a common emitter, to, being a carbon sink, which, could make them opportunities. For significant, resources, as we, start really, valuing. Carbon. Emissions, and put a price on carbon the. Way I think everybody, knows and expects will happen, so there's opportunities, for agriculture. To do what they do best which is to protect the land and produce our food and do, it in a way that makes them more economically. Viable at, the, same time and that's the wind that we have to go for. Well. So let's just a bit from production to consumption, so yes you're an intuition expert, as. Well as being part of this commission so what is the eight Lancet, Commission say, about what we should eat for health yeah. Well, we did, spend, a lot of time on defining as a healthy, diet I don't have time to discuss. The really, hundreds, of thousands, of papers, right, there we like that right yeah. And that we in Courage. Nuts but not donuts. So. Again. Very broadly without, going into all our numbers, we. Did, suggest. More, limited, amounts of animal. Source protein, especially. Red meat because it, is such it is the. Huge. Emitter of greenhouse. Gases. For all the time it's living and breathing. Plus, I, in. General feeding, grain to cattle in particular, is hugely inefficient, depending. On how you measured. Roughly a 20 to 1 conversion, of what we feed a. Cattle. To. Convert. It to edible, food for humans a massively, inefficient and, of course the production, of all that grain and sorry that we feed to them has the, kind of environmental footprints, that genus. Is talking, about, so. In. The end we. Came. Up with some numbers for say red meat which might be low, by what American, expectations. Are it's about, 14. Grams a day with. Some, flexibility, around that in. That amounts to about one hamburger for a week or a. Big. Steak once a month and some. People would think that's small but actually. The amount of poultry. Plus red meat that we suggest. In terms of target numbers is a bit, more than what was consumed, in the traditional, Mediterranean diet, when. It was a really. Traditional before, the industrialization. Of it back in the 1950s, and 1960s and. At that time people, had the, longest life expectancy in, the world where are those men consuming, the Mediterranean, died. At that time, now. This. Is partly how we think of food, red, meat and the Mediterranean, diet is something special we, might have small amounts in a mixed dish or.
As. A celebratory, event in fact, it's. It's really about we, have to shift our thinking into something like I consider lobster which. Hopefully. The main people will appreciate, that. I really like it yeah. But it's not something I eat every day it's a special, event and. That's. Sort of how we I think need to shift toward, thinking, about some, of the foods we have in our diet we have, fortunately, lots. Of traditional diets around the world that, are. Healthy. And sustainable and, the. Best, studied one is the Mediterranean, diet and. We've. Learned a lot using. That as an example in terms of analysis and. One. Of the good things about all of this is that we. Have a double win situation. We can improve our health and, improve. The environmental, environmental. Impact in fact to make it sustainable in the long run by. Adopting this or what. Some people called a flexitarian diet is not a vegetarian, diet or a vegan diet but when it emphasizes, plant. Sources of protein so a better. Health better environment. And as, Donna has really shown in the chefs across the country have really shown to it, can be a triple win with being a marvelously. Enjoyable. And tasty to. Accomplish this we've worked a lot with the. Culinary, world in particular our partners at the Culinary Institute of, America. Bringing. Together the major food services, around the country having. Chefs. Really. Demonstrate, and show how to put this into practice but. As, some, of our mentioned really. Starting at home is important, we worked right here at Harvard dining service with, Harvard dining service and we've. Had good partners there we have really changed. Our food service in a way that. Emphasizes. The kind of dietary. Balance that we're talking about and it. Actually, our food service is a destination, place you. Know that people come from around the medical area to enjoy. The food that we have here it's not just healthy, its, unsustainable. It's it's enjoyable some. Of this has been behind. The scenes for, example, we worked, with before it was. Widespread. To eliminate trans fat here, so we improve the diet that way we reduced the amount of sodium, carefully. In stepwise so nobody noticed but even. Without paying, attention to it people, are eating a much healthier diet, here but we've also we have a great salad bar we have creative. Eventually. Use, of vegetables and fish we have a connection with a local fishermen we, that, we eat here what's caught we it's, not that we're ordering ten pounds of salmon every day or something like that and. In fact I think fish, are fresher here at our food service than any. Of, the major restaurants, around town because we we, get it directly whatever is caught that, that day so. There's a lot we have many, people we have to work with is. Gena point out the agricultural, system but, also, the foodservice system. To. Make healthy. And sustainable eating. Enjoyable. For everybody, well. Maybe we talk about you talk about Mediterranean, diet a lot in just, now and in honor, your bless your world so and you talk a bit about things you can do with the onions and so on any other specific, kind of guidance quickly about what people, can do to incorporate this kind of diet. In their in their lives olive. Oil is a great trick by the way it's a good healthy fat that if you are using a great olive oil it, it's. An incredible, it adds, an incredible, dimension. To it and I think we have to think of our cooking, is dimensional. It's not just like. This. Way it's more round so you really want to think about how to maximize, flavor. And oftentimes even a veg. A vegetable, dish can be. Flavoured, with meat so using broth, sand, and using, in, other words not, you, know using the meat wisely, so if you're gonna have that, less. Meat in your diet just, using, it to actually flavor things which can. Do. Extraordinary things but again for. Me the longest time I had cooked. For. What, I thought was Mediterranean, cuisine. Sort of focused on the central part of it and then I was invited to Turkey and went. A little Eastern, in the Mediterranean. And that's, where I saw the really exciting, stuff where I almost couldn't sit down it was so exciting and tasting. Things I what. Is this it's so rich it has so much flavor and then realizing, that I tasted. 30, things for lunch and that's some pretty impossible to do without feeling. Without. Feeling bad and. So I realized after kind, of studying this food that, the richness, and the depth come, from the. Spices and they're not using the spices in a heavy way but they're using them to, add those dimensions, that I was talking about earlier which. Often, can be found in a glass of wine throughout, the rest of the western. Part of the Mediterranean. One. Other thing to you Dave you talked about the SDGs, with your cool pin and all that so let's go back to that for a second and, one aspect of climate change it gets particularly ominous one is that it increases, their kind of widens.
The Gap between rich and poor so, I wonder if you can talk us tell, us about how the UN is trying to, you. Know using the SDGs, to. Prevent. That from happening but, getting any worse well. First, of all I live in Maine so thanks for the shout out the Maine lobster Walter. We. Appreciate, it. I mean wbcs. D looks at everything we do through the sustainable, development goals so if you have not ever, heard of them, that's okay your your normal. But. It really is a powerful sort. Of, it's. A license to operate top. Rate on this earth so take a look at it. SD, SD, g20. Hunger is where, I've spent a good portion of this week working. In Washington DC. So. If you look at SD g2 on zero hunger and you start to look at the targets and the initiatives you'll. Find it really drills down to things like gender. And like climate, change and, like sustainable, consumption and production Gina very. Rightly mentioned a huge. Amount of food loss and waste of food loss and waste were a country, it would be about the third or fourth largest and, Mitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the world so. I mean there's so much wrapped up just in the idea of zero hunger we. Have a program called fresh, which. Walter knows well food reform for sustainability, and health and one. Of the work streams and there early, on was, focused, on nutrition. And security, some of the most nutrition, and secure people in the world paradoxically. And sadly, are farmers, and you. Start to drill down into that and you look at who is the most nutrition. Insecure on the farm it's women and children, so. I, don't, have brilliant, answers, for you on. How to do this but. If you look at SD, jeetu and even Google the, SDG. To hug, you'll. Start to find some really interesting work by amazing, people like. Honest. Cohort group the chef's manifesto. That, are starting to try and put this whole thing together and trying to figure out how do we challenge this and the, answer is it's through systems, and through systems, transformation, and some. Of you all of you can't see this but there's a person. Sitting in the front row here that has an amazing, patch. On her coat that says break the routine I think, part of this is yeah we have to break we, got to break the routine. I. Wonder. If we can I, knew it meant something I didn't know what it meant. Another. Thing that I want time with Gena kind of references earlier about the idea of food waste and, you. Know what are some of the things that we might do to prevent food waste as you says a huge competitive contributor. To greenhouse gas, emissions, and as well as economic, problem well, it's, just like anything else waste, comes at every step of the process so, part of it is keeping, food locally, part of it is making sure that food is properly refrigerated new, technologies. Are helping. That happen so. That you can get food. Away from the farm and, into, the into. Our, homes. And schools and supermarkets. And everything but part of it is you know you just have to look at wherever you are we, talked about the home but talked about schools, you mentioned this Walter, one, of the things that the office of sustainability, here, has not just done working, with the faculty like Walter and the students, to improve the quality, of the food and the nutritional, value but they're also developed, sustainability. And healthful food standards, that, look at where it's coming from and, how, I look. At the full lifecycle of. The school and it's. Available, online for, other schools that want to look at it it's at Green Dot harvard.edu. Slash. Food, you. Know it's it's a way to just tell, the students, what the, what the impact, of this. Food is so they can choose wisely you, know the more information we have the more transparent, the. More you can make good choices and, that's important, but, when I was at EPA. We worked a lot with the James Beard Society. You know I went to a lot of their conferences, mainly, because they had great food at them but. Mostly, because we, talked about these issues to get people, involved and engaged to, talk about food deserts and where they are cities. Now can manage those issues they can demand, that, supermarkets, go in places where people need the most one, of the most hot breaking, issues I had to deal with that in EPA was. The the lead in the water in Flint Michigan when, I went there every street corner had nothing, but a small. Little you, know a five and dime store you.
Know A little store will you could buy cigarettes in a place where you could buy liquor I couldn't, find a supermarket, now. Granted. The city now has in, its midst a really. Nice sort, of farmers. Market, but, we have to address these inequity, issues there's, no question about it and we, can do that we can demand more of businesses, we, can work in us, our schools, to, make sure that one of the things they do is talk at a lot of colleges what, what schools have figured out is if you don't put trays out people. Don't throw food away cuz. Trays just allow you to pile stuff on that you're never gonna eat but it looks good at the time sort. Of how we always act take, the photo in the trays away 30%, of the, waste goes away this tricks to dealing with human beings because. We're all kind of quirky right, and, then, that the other thing we do does work with supermarkets. First of all in how they purchase, their food they, overbought often. Food, that was was going to be perishable, and then, when the food didn't look spiffy pretty, they'd. Toss it away instead, of sharing it and sending. It to other. Places like food, pantries, or soup, kitchens, that, can really make something, of, this food so, there's ways in which we can think creatively about, this and not, make everything so, hard. Instead. Of integrated, into our lives in an everyday, way it, is only when you really, start to do that that you get the breadth and depth of actions, that are, essential, for our future, in our kids health and but. When you do that it becomes ingrained in your own values, in your own behavior, in it and it, matters, and the, last, thing I wanted to mention is that you, know I want to make sure I don't leave oceans, out because we talk about soil a lot not, particularly, as, relevant there you. Know but there is. Significant. Challenge with our oceans, today we now know that our fisheries, are being depleted not, just because of coral, bleaching, but. Because, of the salinity change, in in the oil in the in the, oceans. And a, lot of it has to do with the in Soleri issues, related, to our lives like plastics. That. Are ending in up in in, our bodies, in our blood in our food the, microbeads, that happen, we, have to think more systemically, about, these issues we, cannot, allow the the, sort of things we use around our food to. Actually end up in our bodies and, so there's a lot of work to, be done in that area as well and I think it's part and parcel of the discussion, we're having. Ok. Well running a bit of light so let's go to questions. Right away and, one. That came. Out actually I think before we came. Out here, Walter. You and David were talking about eating crickets or something so someone is asking, would insects, be a good protein source I guess, yes but but raw will quit crickets play in the in the world. It. Certainly is a hot topic now and we need to learn more about of it many, cultures, have used insects. Is a traditional, food from, the nutrient, content that looks pretty good the reality is of course we don't have any long-term studies, that we'd really like to have but in. The meantime might, we think. Integrating. Some of these into our food systems, is, useful. To proceed way to proceed, but. We should study them as we go through this process like. Insects. Can also have some intermediate role, to taking. Foods. That are high in cellulose. That we can't digest and, converting. That food to something, that chickens. Or fish can, eat and so there's some interesting loops, we can put, into the cycle there where insects could play an important role. Did, you want anything, well. The last time I saw Walter in person. Cricket. Bread was served, and. I tried it you. Know I think that the bridge there if people. There. Was. No jam and butter but, you. Know. I think the ick factor for, some people you can jump over that by reminding, sort of all of us particularly those of us that live in New England and there's a slight tick problem, here that animals. Many animals that we eat eat. Insects, so. Maybe. We flipped this thing on its head where we're growing food to feed animals things, traditionally, they didn't eat for millennia many, millennia, and we, remind each other that in fact crickets. And insects, are great sources of food for the animals that we met made them, well. Consumed so I think there was a really interesting sort of construct, we could flip pretty quickly back to what. Was once normal and we, decided I don't know why culturally, was not normal, so. I'm David, I think probably that's where I'd go with that first jam and bread. Before, pants before cricket, yeah. Okay, a couple more questions so I, wonder. If someone's.
Asking About organic which is been mentioned, here before and, one of things that's often said is it well we really can't grow enough food organically. To feed the world can, we achieve the question is from a viewer in Washington DC can, we achieve feeding, the world's population, which organic put up production principles. You. Wanna take that or, we do yeah we did look at this in our report our. Commission report where we had agricultural. Experts there and, I think. With, today. We would probably not, be able to feed the world with a hundred percent organic but, I really applaud and encourage every, effort to produce. Food in a more organic way it's not just a justin'll. Answer. But. Reducing. Our insecticides. Herbicides agricultural. Chemicals, is. Very possible, by, employing, organic. Principles I think, the biggest one of the biggest constraints. Is having, enough nitrogen fertilizer. For. Parts, of Africa, where yields. Are extremely, low the. Long term solution, will involve some organic, practices but, in. The interim at least maybe in the long run some modest, amounts. Of non organic fertilizer, probably, will be. Required. So again, trying. To move in that direction as, much as we can is. Highly. Desirable and. We should learn from that but, just, a quick guys switched 100%, organic today is probably not feasible so. One more question from, my iPad here and they will go to or the audience, here, do. The panel actually this is gene this is for question for you because you were talking beforehand about us some people who are using converting. Lawns in, tilling lawns and recurring crops where there once was a lawn so, someone, is saying, to. The panel see some of the farming production reverting, to homegrown gardens and. Gardeners similar to Victory Gardens during World War two. Well. One of the things I mentioned before we came on was that there. Was a young man who I met during the climate, summit in California, I, was in line, getting. Coffee and he tapped me on the shoulder, and and. He said hey I do this really cool thing and he basically deals with young people, any I think he calls it farms. For bikes or something and he, is he as they go around and they go in in cities, and they they, sign people up to be able to use a front lawn to grow food and the, people get to really, use, the food as much as they want and they harvest it when it's ready and they, sell the, what, they harvest, and it, provides, a you know it a little good economic. Job for for a lot of young people only, it provides awesome, opportunities. For fresh food for those families, now, you have to be careful in the city that you're that the soil is good and it's it's clean enough to. Not. Sort, of sneak other things into your food as it grows but. It's, just. This so much we could do to be more creative and, to me anything, you can do to personalize. These issues make. People, have, the power over these, these, things the, better not they're going to demand that they, have they have, really. Strong naturally. You, know, produced. Products, that they'll. Be comfortable with and and I think it's great. Everyone. Can get involved in these types of issues okay. Thank you so what's does anyone have a question here in the audience yes right here in the front I think that get a microphone to you.
Lillian. Chan from the department of nutrition and, I, want to quote from a recent study. On Australia, is a viewpoint from, my colleagues in the Friedman school of nutrition Impala, science, and policy and that. Was published in JAMA. And. At. Tufts University there. The farm bill remains. A powerful but. Underutilized, tool. For, promoting public, health, reducing. Healthcare, spending and, improving. Disparities. And much, more should be done to fully leverage this potential. Right. Now in a 20-18, allocation. 86. Billion. And. For. The CDC, is only 5 billion, a year and. National. Institute of Health. In. Year. So. And. Also. What's interesting is, that half. The, recipients. Of the. Farm bill. Either. With. Getting. Medicaid, or Medicare so. They're not in good health and, in. Terms of the recipients, on the farming, perspective. Is, still. Crop. Insurance for, corn wheat soy and cotton. We're. Trying to get the public to eat more fruits and vegetables, right, but. It's, far from serving. It that. Amount and where, the farm bill is talking about affecting. 70. Million. Acres, of farmland so. I would like to ask the panel, how can we mobilize, the public of, what other measures, that you know actions, we can do to, move the needle in, the farm bill. Thank. You could, I just say I did I actually, that article and one of the, who. Knew I read Gemma. Must. Have been eclipsed somewhere right I. One. Of the other fascinating, things is how much of the the money that's invested through. The farm bill actually goes just to the top, 17%, of the, largest farms, so. There, is there, is it there is a challenge, here and and I think one of the the interesting, things when you're in government and you're trying to influence the. Distillates. Move, to. Make sure that they protect, people's, health is what I did but. Is this two ways to do it you can regulate it or you can incent it the, farm bill is the biggest one of the biggest tools we have in the United States of America, to, incent, good public health but. It is generally, not, rethought. Every. Year with that, in mind and this, is this, is one area where, it's, not about, Democrats. Versus, Republicans it. Is, everybody's. All in for agriculture. But they do the same thing, with, the farm bill year. In and year out. That. Ought, to be, rethought. So. What can we do. Well. Anyone, else would not have something we're gonna move on to look. At the end here, Walter. Well. Just. Add there's, not a simple answer to this and we were up against very powerful, lobbies here, but we I, do have, to look, at it through. The lens of Health and Environment, that's.
Not The usual lens, that it's looked at through, now it's out political. Interests, and. Powerful. Industries, but. We also, really, do want to another. Goal is. Sustainable. Incomes for farmers who are really trying to do the, right thing and. It's not easy they're they're. Going bankrupt even, even large, numbers, what can you talk briefly about that about the economic, gap you know aspect, of this or impact on farmers, in an agricultural, industry, or general. Well I'm not an expert I really. Am looking at food but I, did grow up in a farming, area and long-term. Farming family in Michigan and so, I do, know firsthand, that. Manan, huge, aggregation. And the. Economics. Incentives. Are the way they are today are pushing. People toward, these mega farms, smaller. Medium-sized, farms are having a very hard, time making it now. Some, people say we shouldn't have any government, intervention but, we clearly are intervening, already. And it's just intervening, in a way, that it's not supporting, health or, sustainability. Or the, incomes, and communities, in rural America, so. We. Really, do, need to work. With others. Organizing. This is a political, issue to a large extent, not a scientific. Issue so. We're, gonna wrap before we wrap up I just want to ask each of you to give kind of a brief, takeaway message so why don't you just continue we'll move on down what's, the takeaway they everyone should leave with very. Briefly there is a big, triple win here, for adopting, diets, that, are both healthy, for us and that, are sustainable and that are. Enjoyable. That's. My bottom line. What. He said plus, I do think there's a market for a broccoli donut. Rockley. Donut with a cricket chaser I. Would. Just end with what I started with thank you and, for. Those of you in the room that are much younger than me sometimes I get asked you know how I got started on my, current sustainability. If you look in my rear view mirror it looks obvious but it's not I think you just have to be curious. And when people ask me they're typically students, like some of you who want to do this sort of work the. First thing I say is thank you so I would ask you go find a hundred of your friends, and bring. Them on because we absolutely need, you we're trying our best to maybe, correct some of the sins of the past but it's going to take all, of us and generations, to come to really. Get this right so go find a friend better yet find dozens and convince. Them to come over and do this work with us. Yeah. And for me it always comes down to the connection, as, I spoke about earlier and. I feel like we're all connected, in our own in our own ways and everything, every, choice we make has. Makes. A difference and you. Know if you're just not thinking about it and if it's just food that's gonna get you through the next couple hours or, is it real is there what's, the story behind this it starts becoming a little bit more interesting, and. I do think you, know, even just if, you're if you I mean nobody not everybody has time or space, to grow their own food but even if you don't to try to make a connection with someone that does. Improves. Our our health all around I just. Think the connection, and the stories and the people are a big piece of it too. Okay. I think we're out of time so thank you very much thanks to all the panelists here thank all of you thanks, to our audience here in the studio and also online and before, we leave I'd like to ask encourage. Of an ask to encourage all of you to tune in to the next forum which, is entitled hi US healthcare costs, what might be done that's. On April the 4th from noon to 1:00 and more details at forum HS, pH dot work so, thankfully body.