4 March 2003
New ‘Atlas of Food’ maps out worrying trends
The world's food policies are not meeting health and environmental needs and urgently need to change. So say the authors of a new 'Atlas of Food', published to coincide with a new World Health Organisation report. The WHO's report shows a mounting burden of diet-related disease.
"The Atlas of Food gives a snapshot of some of the powerful forces that politicians must grapple with if they are to deliver a food supply system that doesn't contribute to ill-health and environmental damage even while feeding people," says Dr Erik Millstone, Reader in Science Policy at the University of Sussex and co-editor of the book.
The Atlas of Food gives a snapshot of 40 key global trends characterising the world of food today. These include:
- Hunger and over-consumption existing side by side
- Huge advertising expenditure on less healthy foods & soft drinks
- Food for rich countries travelling long distances ('food miles')
- Trade flows concentrated in rich countries whose need is least
- Fish catch threatening the seas
- Pesticide sales rocketing despite consumer and ecological concerns
- Meat eating rising and using vast amounts of grain.
"Political attention is on the Iraq conflict, but don't let us forget that there is a food war going on too. The challenge is clear. We have to ensure good quality food production that meets both human and ecological health. The watchword is quality not just quantity. The WHO report has laid down a challenge with governments, the food industry and we consumers must all rise to," said Professor Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City University and co-editor of The Atlas of Food.
Notes for editors
Press Office contacts: Jacqui Bealing or Peter Simmons, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, J.A.Bealing@sussex.ac.uk or P.J.Simmons@sussex.ac.uk
The Atlas of Food £11.99 published by Earthscan. Tel. 01903 828800. www.earthscan.co.uk
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