Press release

DSM welcomes publication of the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems

Heerlen, NL 17 Jan 2019 14:00 CET

Our food choices not only affect our health - they also affect the health of our planet. Published on 16 January 2019, Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems underlines this key message and provides the first-ever scientific targets for what constitutes both a healthy diet and a sustainable food system.

Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems

"The EAT-Lancet Commission addresses the need for a new universal healthy reference diet based on indepth nutritional analyses and presents a comprehensive scientific framework that defines sustainable planetary boundaries for such food systems.

"Scientific targets for a healthy reference diet are based on extensive literature on foods, dietary patterns and health outcomes. This healthy reference diet largely consists of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and unsaturated oils, includes a low to moderate amount of seafood and poultry, and includes no or a low quantity of red meat, processed meat, added sugar, refined grains, and starchy vegetables. Within boundaries of food production, the reference diet can be adapted to make meals that are consistent with food cultures and cuisines of all regions of the world."

As a company rooted in science DSM wholeheartedly welcomes the Commission's unprecedented report. Not only is it an important milestone in the emergence of scientific insights that help to understand the world’s food systems, but it also sets out a practical way forward. Adhering to the findings of the Commission will help us meet both the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the targets set by the Paris Climate Agreement.

Above all, the commission highlights that we need to collectively and decisively rethink the composition of our diets and the way our food is produced. Why? Because while current food production is responsible for a third of all GHG emissions and the largest cause of biodiversity loss and freshwater depletion, over 821 million people are chronically undernourished. On the other hand, a further 2.3 billion of us are overweight or obese.

Feike Sijbesma, CEO DSM: “As the EAT-Lancet commission heavily emphasises, we urgently need to drive the sustainability of food systems by ensuring healthy diets for all within our planetary boundaries. At DSM, together with our partners, we are firmly committed to further developing successful, high-impact, science-based solutions that accelerate this transformation.

DSM’s purpose-led solutions

As part of our purpose-led, performance-driven organizational strategy, DSM is committed to promoting equitable access to healthy food and nutrition, to using and enabling low-carbon technologies and to protecting the earth’s resources. To these ends, we aim to nudge consumers towards the Commission's healthy and sustainable diet while remaining respectful of the cultural context of doing so and the concerns of all other stakeholders.

DSM is particularly focused on sustainable food solutions in three main areas; diversified proteins, food loss and waste and affordable nutrition. By leveraging our science-based competences and strong organizational experience, we are able to develop leading solutions that make a positive impact across the world. What’s more, together with our partners – across academia, customers, social enterprises and other parties in partnerships in coalitions – we are helping to optimize, scale and implement these solutions.

We have already put our food sustainability ambitions into practice with a range of high-impact solutions. To make food healthier for example, our micronutrients fortify staple foods and rice to deliver higher levels of vitamins and minerals, our new advanced sweetener cuts sugar intake, and our taste modulator ModuMax® can be added to foods with low sugar, salt and saturated fat, or additional fibers or plant proteins for a delicious taste, flavor and mouthfeel.

Working in partnership with Evonik, DSM has developed Veramaris®, an algae-based omega-3 oil to replace the 20% of all wild-caught fish processed into nutritional oil and fed to other, farmed fish. Each ton of Veramaris equates to 60 tons of fish left in the oceans.

Similarly, togther with partners Novozymes we have launched Balancius™, the world's first feed enzyme that works by improving gut health for chickens. It allows broilers to better take up nutrients from feed, thus helping them to grow better and farmers to use less feed.

For the dairy industry Pack-Age® is a moisture-permeable, breathable membrane used to ripen cheese, eliminating the need for it to form an inedible crust. If all the world’s naturally ripened Gouda & Parmesan cheeses were ripened with Pack-Age we’d save 3.6 billion liters of milk, 200,000 tons less cheese would be wasted and there would be €200 million more profit to share throughout the value chain.