Published: 15 Dec 2017 | Last Updated: 10 Aug 2023 15:41:06


The Royal Veterinary College recently jointly hosted the Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL) programme’s annual public lecture, which took place in the Brunei Lecture Theatre at SOAS, University of London. The lecture was given on Friday 1st December 2017 and was delivered by Professor Lang, who is Professor of Food Policy at City, University of London and the discussion was chaired by Dr Angela Wright, Chief Scientific Advisor at Compassion in World Farming. The IFSTAL programme is the first inter-university consortium of higher education institutions. It delivers cross-university interdisciplinary training to post graduates in the study of food systems to address the challenges of global food security, climate change, and the interconnected health of humans, animals and the environment. Professor Lang discussed the concept of Sustainable Diets and challenged whether they are truly possible for all. He also focused his analysis on whether sustainable diets are an ecological public health inevitability. Stringing together a wide range of perspectives and data, from livestock, meat consumption, climate change and environmental degradation, to nutrition, health, livelihoods and cultural preferences, he presented an overview of the challenges as well as some of the current solutions that are emerging.  The IFSTAL event was hosted jointly by IFSTAL’s London institutions: the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and SOAS, University of London, and City, University of London. The lecture was also live streamed to IFSTAL partners: the University of Oxford, University of Reading and University of Warwick, who each hosted local events around the lecture. The lecture had over 120 people in attendance and there were plenty of questions at the end of Professor Lang’s piece. The atmosphere in the lecture hall was still buzzing and discussions continued during a drinks reception that followed. Barbara Häsler, Lead Academic at the Royal Veterinary College, said “Prof Lang reminded us in his typically eloquent manner of the fact that our food systems – while feeding us – are also making us unwell and are significant ecosystem destructors. He made it clear that change is urgently needed, but there simply are no simple solutions. Hence, it is vital to train people who can deal with complex problems and contribute to multifaceted solutions – what we will continue to strive for in IFSTAL.”   View the lecture in full here. 

Notes to Editors

For more information please contact:

Uche Graves or Zoe Chadwick             

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About the Royal Veterinary College

  • The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a constituent College of the University of London. The RVC offers undergraduate, postgraduate and CPD programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences, being ranked in the top 10 universities nationally for biosciences degrees.  It is currently the only veterinary school in the world to hold full accreditation from AVMA, EAEVE, RCVS and AVBC. 
  • A research-led institution, in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) the RVC maintained its position as the top HEFCE funded veterinary focused research institution.                
  • The RVC also provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals; the Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital in central London, the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (Europe's largest small animal referral centre), the Equine Referral Hospital, and the Farm Animal Clinical Centre located at the Hertfordshire campus. 

About IFSTAL: IFSTAL is a learning community and interactive resource designed to improve postgraduate* level knowledge and understanding of the food system.

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