Anant Shah, local GP trainee extraordinaire talks about food waaste
Updated: Apr 25
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am a GP trainee in Greenwich. I am also doing a post graduate diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine, and I am also involved in the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine. I am working with the Borough's Public Health team for 3 months, before returning to General Practice.
What's your main focus with the Public Health team?
I am working on the Borough's carbon neutral food agenda, identifying ways in which we can reduce the environmental impact from food in Greenwich. I am using Food For The Planet's toolkit as a guide for how to achieve this. This includes aims such as encouraging the production and sale of more locally grown food, reducing pesticide use, and serving healthier food in public institutions.
Why is this important?
This will reduce the environmental impact of food by reducing food waste, transport costs and pesticide use. It enables local residents and businesses to grow and sell their own food, which helps the local economy. Increasing access to allotments also has benefits for mental health and loneliness.
Why does this resonate with you?
As a GP, most of my time is spent helping patients with chronic health conditions. Many of these health conditions are either caused or worsened by an unhealthy diet. This includes metabolic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, as well as certain types of cancer. Chronic health conditions are the biggest cost for the NHS budget. For my patients, being diagnosed with a chronic health conditions sadly often means a lifetime of medications, blood tests and GP/hospital appointments. Improving the nation's diet will help to treat and prevent these conditions, improving quality of life for my patients and saving money and other resources in the process. Common barriers to healthy eating cited by my patients include a lack of nutritional knowledge, cost of healthy food, and lack of cooking skills.
I hope that my work with the Public Health team is a stepping stone to making healthy and environmentally friendly available to everyone.
Do you have a story you'd love to share? If so, contact us @goodfoodingreenwich or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org