Systemic Solutions for Healthy Food Systems

Food systems play a fundamental role in creating health and well-being in all ecosystems, human and non-human communities. For the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, it is a priority to make the positive and negative impacts of food systems on health and well-being more visible.

The publication of Unravelling the Food-Health Nexus: Addressing practices, political economy, and power relations to build healthier food systems, commissioned from IPES-Food, focused on understanding the negative health impacts of food systems.(Executive summaries are available in French and Spanish.) Following this report, the Global Alliance set out to better understand the positive health benefits and impacts of sustainable food systems. What would it look like if our food systems promoted good health?

Over the past few months, consultants from Tasting the Future have interviewed more than 30 food systems experts representing different geographies, scales, sectors and perspectives. These individuals are actively engaged in promoting healthy food systems, and we asked them to identify systemic solutions that result in positive health benefits.

Globally, there are thousands of initiatives aimed at improving the health outcomes of food systems. Our engagement process has begun to identify some critical levers of change relevant to a range of different actors – governments, communities, civil society, business and funders – to create positive health outcomes. A summary of the interview findings will distill these levers. Case studies will inform desktop research and propose policies and pathways to health-focused food systems.

The Global Alliance is at a nascent stage in this research and engagement process. An advisory committee will review, discuss, and frame the results. Strategic convenings determined by the research and engagement results will stimulate local and global action to promote and amplify the positive benefits of food systems, as well as identify shared priorities.

For more information, please contact Patty Fong at