The current food system is a major driver of climate change, pollution, and the increasing burden of chronic disease. Malnutrition (including obesity) and the climate crisis could be mitigated through a shift towards a diet that is predominantly based on wholefoods and plants and is lower in processed and red meats. Minimising food waste and incentivising regenerative agricultural practices will also contribute to healthy, sustainable food systems.
Transforming food systems is an opportunity to ensure equity; populations who are most susceptible to food insecurity and the negative effects of climate change contribute the least to environmental degradation. Therefore, addressing food as one of the most significant drivers of climate change will contribute to equitable outcomes for marginalised people.
As an immediate priority, we urge the government to ensure that its own institutions are procuring healthy and sustainable foods in order to accelerate progress towards a carbon-neutral public sector and build longer term resilience in our food systems. Achieving sustainable food systems should also hold high priority in local, national, and international negotiations, with New Zealand centralising te Tiriti o Waitangi.
- Put health at the heart of Aotearoa's climate response – March 2019
- Health Food and Drink Guidance survey – November 2019
Other submissions can be found here.
- Drew, J., Cleghorn, C., Macmillan, A., & Mizdrak, A. (2020). Healthy and Climate-Friendly Eating Patterns in the New Zealand Context. Environmental Health Perspectives, 128(1), 017007. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp5996
- Jones, R. (2019). Climate change and Indigenous Health Promotion. Global Health Promotion, 26(3_suppl), 73-81. https://doi.org/10.1177/1757975919829713
- Sinclair, R. (2019). Healthy People, Healthy Planet. Can what we eat help save the world? College of Nurses Aotearoa NZ. https://www.nurse.org.nz/healthy-people-healthy-planet.html
- Coffey, D. Designing a healthy response to climate change. New Zealand Medical Association. Issue 99.
- Castles, B. (2019). Can changing your eating habits save the planet? Consumer. Retrieved 14th December.
See other publications here.
Briefing Papers and Position Statements:
- Building resilience in Aotearoa’s food systems: Government-funded institutions need to purchase healthy, sustainable kai - May 2021
- Briefing to Incoming Ministers – December 2020
- Climate Change and Human Health Discussion Paper – October 2014
Further briefings and position statements here.
Other useful references:
Willett, W. et al. (2019). Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. The Lancet, 393(10170), 447-492. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(18)31788-4