Our planet is facing three interconnected challenges: How to prevent climate change; safeguard global health; and feed a population that will reach 10 billion people by 2050. Addressing all three requires transformative and systemic solutions, which is why the Villars Institute hosted the EAT-Lancet 2.0 Commission to advance their work towards a science-based transformation of the global food system.
Shaping the Future of Food and Planetary Health
In 2019, the first EAT-Lancet Commission released its groundbreaking report, which introduced and outlined the concept of the ‘Planetary Health Diet’. This flexible and adaptable dietary framework emphasized the consumption of plant-based foods while reducing the intake of animal products and processed foods.
It was the first global scientific target for healthy diets based on six environmental boundaries for food production. It not only highlighted the disproportionately large impact that the food system has on planetary boundaries but also showed that feeding 10 billion people a healthy diet within safe planetary boundaries was 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. Our food systems contribute more than a third of all greenhouse gas emissions and are the primary driver of biodiversity loss. As Professor Johan Rockström observed at the 2023 Villars Summit: “If you fix food, you fix the planet.”
This powerful insight is why Dr. Gunhild A. Stordalen and Professor Johan Rockström have worked together for over a decade towards a vision of science-based solutions for a more sustainable and healthy future.
They established the EAT Foundation to create a global movement for sustainable food systems, and to provide a platform for dialogue and knowledge exchange, convening global summits, facilitating scientific research, and engaging in policy advocacy. Bringing together scientists, policymakers, business leaders, and civil society organizations, it aims to catalyse a transformation of the global food system.
EAT aims to keep the food system operating within nine planetary boundaries, which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come.
This goal led to the creation of the first EAT-Lancet Commission in partnership with the world-renowned medical journal The Lancet, which brought together leading experts in the fields of nutrition, health, sustainability and policy to provide evidence-based guidelines for a sustainable and healthy diet.
The newly formed EAT-Lancet 2.0 Commission will be developing guidelines tailored to different cultural and geographical contexts, to accelerate the shift towards more sustainable and healthier eating patterns worldwide. It is co-chaired by Walter Willett, Johan Rockström, and Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted. There are 24 Commissioners from 17 countries across various fields including human health, agriculture and livestock production, political science, behaviour change, food justice and environmental sustainability.
The EAT Lancet 2.0 Commission at the 2023 Villars Summit
EAT organized the second global consultation of the EAT-Lancet 2.0 Commission in Villars sur Ollon at the 2023 Villars Summit.
The Villars Institute was honoured to provide a platform for in-depth discussion on scientific targets and recommendations to align with the latest evidence and emerging global challenges. The discussions in Villars focused on several new elements, including:
- A greater focus on diversity and the adaptation of regional and local diets;
- Strengthened diversity in the composition of the Commission;
- A new focus on food justice and social food system goals.
We look forward to the future findings of the EAT-Lancet 2.0 Commission as they engage the public and other interested stakeholders affected by the global food system in discussions about the transition towards healthy, sustainable, and equitable food systems.