Sustainable & Healthy Food Systems
The focus for SHEFS is on bridging the gap between science and practice to understand and solve current social and environmental problems. The project unites partners in different countries to work closely together and share methods, data, knowledge and expertise from a wide range of sources.
How the project works
The programme is made up of two linked research components:
Data gathering, analysis and scenario modelling: Using a variety of statistical, analytical and experimental methods to identify key interactions at global, regional and national levels, including collecting new, integrated data from diverse sites in India and South Africa. Analysis of local evidence, informed by work with secondary data, will enable a granular understanding of the local realities of the food system-environment-health nexus.
Policy design and evaluation: SHEFS will characterise the policy context in which food systems operate in low- and middle-income country settings, and identify food system policy options with the potential to improve population health and reduce environmental impacts. The project also focuses on how to best engage with decision-makers and other stakeholders in order to co-develop policies for sustainable and healthy diets for all.
The study cultivates a comprehensive understanding of the links between the environment, food systems and public health, and the policy environments in which those structures are at work. This allows SHEFS to develop policy options and assess their viability in the existing policy environments, before ultimately ensuring policy uptake.
Biologists, climatologists, nutritionists and scientists of all kinds are part of SHEFS. Click here to meet the experts.
Read on for a selection of recently published articles by the team exploring many different aspects of SHEFS research.
Follow the project’s progress and keep up to date with all the latest happenings, including events near you.
Why it’s important
Food systems are changing rapidly and influencing what we eat, our health and the environment
At the same time, environmental change is challenging food systems’ ability to produce enough nutritious food in a sustainable and socially equitable way.
Food systems are also under significant pressure from factors like urbanisation, demographic shifts, changing diets and land use transitions. As a result, malnutrition and non-communicable diseases are on the rise, and are doing damage to economies and the environment.
If we are to plan sustainable, equitable and healthy food systems for the future, we’ll need integrated methods from a range of disciplines, innovative analytical approaches and a policy response supported by cross-sectoral responsibility.