Christian Rémésy

What Shall We Eat Tomorrow? Publication date : January 20, 2005

Nutrition today is the outcome of a variety of processes: intensive nutritional transformations, the breakdown of dietary components, the production of foodstuffs largely made up of ingredients that have been purified and stripped of nutritional value, and the development of standardised products. The consequences, among others, include the current increase in diabetes, obesity and metabolic disorders.
The author argues that the situation has reached this point because food production has obeyed market laws, without having to follow any clear nutritional recommendations.
He believes it is urgent to take action. Although we possess the necessary nutritional knowledge, this does not suffice. There are too many consumers who are incapable of rejecting products that have no nutritional value and that are harmful in the long term. We must therefore be much more stringent in our requirements regarding health and diet. As an expert in nutritional matters, the author calls for the development of collective awareness and political control of our dietary environment, from agriculture to large-scale distribution. This will result in the introduction of rules of nutrition in the entire production chain so that the food supplied to the consumer is in accordance with health requirements. Providing consumers with the means of eating a healthy diet should be a realisable goal.
The author surveys the links between nutrition and health, reviewing some common misconceptions (such as those concerning dairy products) and some leading ideas (about fruit and vegetables and about grains and pulses).
The food chain must evolve if we are to have access to better nutrition.

Christian Rémésy is a research fellow at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA). He is the author of Alimentation et santé (Flammarion, "Domimos", 1994) and Les Bonnes Calories (Flammarion, "Dominos", 1996).