The University of Leeds Food Theme addresses the urgency to create solutions to the linked global challenges of food security, environmental sustainability, economic development and the effect of diet on health.

Urgent solutions are required on the time scale of 5-15 years. Earth’s population is projected to approach 10 billion by 2050 with a quadrupling in the global economy. Resource requirements by 2050 are projected to:

  1. Double the demand for food and fuel
  2. Increase clean water demand by more than 50%
  3. Require a transformation in climate change mitigation and adaptation
  4. Require a halt in biodiversity and habitat decline
  5. Outstrip Earth’s environmental capacity for productive land

These pressing resource challenges exist at a time when 1 in 3 people are undernourished and 1 in 3 people are overweight with dietary excess of salt, sugar and fat, leading to significant health and psychosocial burdens.

The Food Theme focuses on 4 strengths: Food & Environment, Livestock Science, Food Innovation & Technology and Diet & Health.


Food & Environment more

Global Food and Environment Institute

  • AFRICAP African Farm Network
  • Geochemistry Centre with Nanjing University
  • Environment Climate Modelling
  • Centre for Plant Sciences
  • Field Research Unit

Livestock Science more

Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Livestock

  • £10m Pig Research Unit
  • Developed diets for 40% pigs in UK
  • Livestock disease prevention
  • Antibiotic resistance

Innovation & Technology more

Efficient Food Production (Post-harvest)

  • Food Colloids and soft matter
  • Food Safety and Innovation
  • Consortium Oral Processing
  • Waste valorisation
  • Robotics
  • Design and consumer choice
  • Transport and logistics

Diet & Health more

Obesity, Diet and Health

  • Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU)
  • Human Appetite and Research Unit (HARU)
  • The Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA)
  • WHO collaborating centres
  • Dietary Assessment Ltd
  • Clinical Sciences

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