Food for thought

30th July 2021


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IEMA

Hello and welcome to another edition of Transform magazine. I hope you are staying safe and well, wherever you are in the world.

I was honoured to be part of the advisory panel for England’s recent National Food Strategy, which was published in July.

The document recommends a series of actions that the food and farming sectors could take to make food healthier and more sustainable. It mentions the need to maintain a healthy gut – to support the microbes that help digest food, support our immune systems, and, as we are finding out through research, do a lot more besides in our bodies. We are aware that healthy soils produce healthy food, which is good for our gut microbiome – but what if our guts and our soils are in a synergistic relationship, each supporting the other? Sibylle Frey investigates on page 16.

The intensity and passion of those involved in the environmental and sustainability movement, it could be argued, is one reason there has been such government, press and societal interest in what we have to say as a sector. However, what happens when you come to the conclusion that what you passionately believed as a campaigner is no longer true? Mark Lynas was vehemently critical of genetic modification technology; now he is an advocate.

“The intensity and passion of those involved in the environmental and sustainability movement is one reason there has been such interest”

He speaks to Marek Bidwell on page 18. Forestry is in the news. Organisations around the world are starting to see planting trees as a way to offset carbon emissions, governments are encouraging farmers to consider planting trees to support better environmental outcomes,and there is a significant research base linking time spent in woodland with good mental health. There are many reasons to be interested and involved in forestry, and on page 30, Nicola Abbatt tells us about how she came to work in the sector, her thoughts on its environmental impact, and planting without plastic.

As always, we would be delighted to hear your thoughts and comments. I hope you enjoy the articles.


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