Gunhild Stordalen: ‘The food system is killing us, but we can fix it’
There are fewer challenges bigger than trying to transform the global food system to make people and the planet healthier, but for Dr Gunhild Stordalen it’s a challenge worth taking on.
In this episode of the Table Talk podcast, Stefan Gates meets the founder of non-profit organisation EAT to discuss what motivates her, and how she stays driven to achieve her goals in the face of stiff opposition and vested interests.
Gunhild started her career with a PhD in pathology/orthopaedic surgery – so what took her from being a doctor to taking such a keen interest in making the global food system sustainable?
She says that whilst she was on the board of one of Scandinavia’s biggest hotel companies, she tried to change the menu to be good for people and good for the planet.
But her research turned up very little in the way of research and, crucially, no forum where all key stakeholders could meet.
That led to her forming EAT, the non-profit platform for food system transformation.
It held its first forum in 2014, with Bill Clinton taking to the stage, and has continued to grow since.
But there have been, and continue to be, great challenges. Not least the war in Ukraine, which Dr Stordalen says has shifted national food policies to self-sufficiency over sustainability – to the detriment of climate change targets.
Listen to the full episode to find out the actions Dr Stordalen would like to see governments taking, her ambitions for COP27, and learn more about EAT’s Planetary Health Diet.
Dr Gunhild Stordalen, Founder and Executive Chair, EAT
Dr Gunhild A Stordalen, a physician who holds a PhD in pathology/orthopaedic surgery, and is the Founder and Executive Chair of EAT, a global, non-profit platform for food system transformation.
She sits on several boards and advises on councils including the United Nations Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Lead Group, the World Economic Forum (WEF) Stewardship Board on Food Systems, and the UNICEF Advisory Group.
In addition, Gunhild is an ambassador for Friends of Ocean Action, a member of the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (HLP) for the Blue Economy, and part of the International Leadership Committee for a Net Zero NHS.
In 2019 she was the recipient of the UN Foundations’ Global Leadership Award, and was the Chair of the 2021 UN Food System Summit’s Action Track 2: Shifting to Healthy and Sustainable Consumption Patterns.