UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


How sustainable is your food?

23 November 2021

Associate Professor in Sustainable Food Systems, Dr Carole Dalin is developing integrated environmental indicators to track progress towards sustainable agriculture.

polytunnel full of tomato plants

ISR Associate Professor Dr Carole Dalin talks to Futurum about the future of our food system. 

Without farms and farmers, we would have no food to eat - it is an essential part of our lives. However, the way we grow crops and raise animals has a huge impact on the environment, as does the process of transporting food from the farm to your plate. Not only that, but global population growth means that the world will have to produce even more food in the future. 

Dr Dalin said:

If current diets remain, it is projected that food production will need to almost double by 2050, if current agricultural practices also remain, this could lead to catastrophic consequences for water resources, climate change and biodiversity.” 

It is therefore essential that a more sustainable way to farm is prioritised to ensure that everyone has enough food to eat, access to water, protection from biodiversity loss whilst tackling the climate crisis. Dr Dalin and her team are therefore developing indicators that measure how environmentally friendly agricultural activities and products are. This will allow us to track our progress and help us make more sustainable consumption choices.

This research can help government policy-makers, farmers and consumers make better decisions about food consumption and purchase. Individuals also play a role in creating a more sustainable food production process - our actions can help to dictate trends contributing towards a more sustainable future. 

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