We believe that healthy food could save millions from chronic ill health and degenerative disease. A growing coalition of scientists, doctors, researchers, farmers – as well as traditional food specialists – are increasingly championing food as a health strategy.
As well as traditional good advice such as ‘eat your vegetables’ there is growing evidence about the importance of gut bacteria – and contested areas, particularly around fat, sugar and the role of isolated vitamins.
What we are doing
With our popular conference Food. The forgotten Medicine, the College has embarked on a major new piece of work. A second conference is planned for September 2017, and you can register your interest here. See posters and abstracts from the conference. You can also read what delegates said about our 2016 event here.
Ambassador to the food industry
We are also delighted that Simon Tuckey, a food industry insider, has joined us as our Ambassador to the food industry.
Our consensus statement on food
There is still disagreement about what an optimum diet should contain – and our conference itself reflected some of that uncertainty. However, there are also areas where there is wide agreement about food and healthcare – we have drawn up a consensus statement to reflect that common ground.
Recipes from our first Food conference
Watch our short films about the future of food
Food as medicine: Diet, myths and microbes – Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London gives a fascinating and very personal insight into food and the gut. Tim describes how his own failing health led him to investigate diet – and how as a scientist, he is able to track the effect of a variety of diets on the gut microbiome. In a fast moving field, he descibes how weight may be associated with gut bacteria, and why food is in most cases better than supplements.
What should we be eating? Dr Andrew Weil asks what the evidence is for fats, carbohydrates and oils, and outlines the ingredients of an anti-inflammatory diet.
Patients with heart conditions. Dr Ali Khavandi is a heart surgeon who is also very interested in food as a way to manage and prevent heart disease. He argues that to encourage people to eat more healthily, the NHS must lead by example – and he talks about the change beginning to happen at his own hospital in Bath.
How we grow our food. Patrick Holden, a farmer in West Wales and Chair of the Sustainable Food Trust talks about the connection between healthy soil and healthy food. He says that the way we have grown plants and intensively farmed animals has produced deficient soil and an antibiotics crisis. He believes that any consideration of how we improve the food we eat has to begin with the soil.
Hippocrates and ancient wisdom Dr Eleni Tsiompanou describes what we can learn from the health practices of ancient Greece – making her starting point the 4th century BC temple where the doctor-god Aesclepius was worshipped and various herbs and healing interventions were practiced, including access to nature and even dancing.