Dariush Mozaffarian: Academic Institutions Need to Act for the Food System

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On “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg,” Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean of the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, talks about maneuvering out of the global nutrition crisis while guaranteeing a better future for the food system. “If you put together the health implications, the business implications, the environmental implications, and the implications for disparities [of the food system], this is a global crisis,” says Mozaffarian.

 

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“The food industry at large must be part of the solution,” says Mozaffarian. At the Friedman School, educators and experts hope to have a hand in creating this future, generating trusted science, educating future food leaders, and impacting global nutrition science and policy. “We need to be a trusted voice for rigorous science, whether it be science about policy or science about nutrition, and we need to be taking a leading role in turning that science into action. Academic institutions need to get a little bit out of their comfort zones and go out to the front lines,” says Mozaffarian.

A cardiologist and epidemiologist, Mozaffarian connects the global nutrition crisis to poor nutrition policies and tactics. “The food industry really needs to take responsibility for what has happened in it in the last thirty years. The worst tactics need to end,” says Mozaffarian.

“The answer for the future is that we need convenient, healthy, accessible food—whether it’s made by others or made at home—that is healthy, nourishing, available to everybody, and good for the earth,” says Mozaffarian. And with educated leaders and better nutrition policies, Mozaffarian believes the food industry can help achieve this solution. “We don’t want to eliminate the food industry, we want to harness and leverage what they know for good.”

Photo courtesy of The Tufts Daily.

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