5 December 2023

Healthy and sustainable diets: The role of animal-derived foods

Organised by:

SCI's Agrisciences Group, SCI’s Food Group, SCI's Energy Group, BSAS (British Society of Animal Science) and CIEL (Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock)

SCI, London, UK

Registration Closed

This event is no longer available for registration.


Animal-derived foods (milk and dairy, meat, fish and eggs) offer primary sources of essential nutrients some of which are not readily available in plant-based foods. These foods play an important role across every stage of life, including childhood, adolescence, pregnancy and lactation, and older age. However, consumer concerns around their carbon footprint to produce animal-derived foods, animal welfare in intensive livestock production systems, and dietary patterns (such as vegetarianism and veganism) are primary drivers for the reduction of consumption in animal products; and increasingly their replacement with plant-based alternatives, particularly in developed countries. Affordability and availability challenges also favour a low intake of animal-derived foods in many developing countries.

This event will address issues around the role of, and the balance between, animal-derived foods and plant-based alternatives in human diets and provide evidence on how we can develop and promote healthy, sustainable, and accessible diets for different consumer demographics and dietary patterns.


The event is intended to broker links between science, agriculture, food, nutrition and health industries, with a target audience of academics, students and early-career researchers across all these fields; stakeholders across the food chain including farmers, agricultural consultants and managers, food manufacturers and product developers, nutrition and health consultants and professionals, marketing and retailers; policy-makers; and consumers, as well as the public who are seeking evidence-based information around health and sustainable diets.

Exhibition and sponsorship

For further information and prices, please email conferences@soci.org.

Call for Posters

Contributions are invited from early-stage researchers and PhD students working on the nutritional composition and the role of animal-derived foods (milk, dairy, meat, eggs, fish) and plant-based alternatives in human nutrition and health, as well as the environmental footprint and socio-economic implications of consuming animal-derived foods and plant-based alternatives. In addition, studies that investigate pathways to develop and promote healthy, sustainable and accessible diets for different consumer demographics and dietary patterns are highly encouraged and within the remit of this conference.

The objective for the competition is to identify posters which best explain the outcomes of the research, and also in the context of the potential application of the results by the industry and consumers. There will be voucher prizes of £100 for 1st place and £50 for 2nd place. An abstract of maximum 250 words (250 words does not include author names, affiliations, references or figure captions) indicating title, authors, institution included with the Poster, should be sent to conferences@soci.org by Monday 30 October 2023 with the subject line “Healthy and Sustainable diets event - poster submission” You can download an abstract template here.

The 1st place winner will be additionally awarded with the opportunity to publish their poster in JSFA as well as JSFA Reports.

Tuesday 5 December 2023

Registration and refreshments
Welcome and introduction; What is a healthy and sustainable diet?
Alice Stanton, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland & Devenish Nutrition
Session 1: Human nutrition and health
Dietary transition from animal to plant-derived foods: are there risks to health?
Prof Ian Givens, University of Reading
The contribution of red meat to nutrition and health in adults
Kate Arthur, AHDB
The role of fish in a balanced and healthy diet
Dr Matthew Sprague, University of Stirling
Panel discussion
Refreshment break
Session 2: Environmental and socio-economic sustainability
The role of animal-sourced foods on child nutrition in developing countries
Prof Adegbola Adesogan, University of Florida
Merging the environmental and nutritional sciences: viewing agri-food environmental footprints through novel lenses
Prof Michael Lee, Harper Adams University
Sustainability in livestock production systems: what are the options?
Prof Jude Capper, Harper Adams University
Panel discussion
Lunch and posters
Session 3: Implementation, challenges and solutions
Is cultured meat a threat or opportunity for UK farmers?
Prof David Rose, Royal Agricultural University
How can we achieve a healthy and sustainable diet?
Ursula Arens, Nutrition writer and consultant
Panel discussion
Networking reception
Accessibility Grants

SCI accessibility grants are available to support SCI members with disabilities, long term health conditions, those who require a carer, and members who are nursing parents to attend SCI events. Download an application form to apply for a grant.

Venue and Contact


14/15 Belgrave Square

Conference Team

Tel: +44 (0)20 7598 1561

Email: conferences@soci.org

Early bird - ends Tuesday 21 November 2023
*BSAS/SCI Member- £90
Non-member - £145
*BSAS/SCI Student Member - £40
After early bird
*BSAS/SCI Member - £140
Non-member - £195
*BSAS/SCI Student Member - £70

*BSAS members should enter the Event discount code EJBPEST661 and select "Guest member" under the section member type. Delegates will be contacted for their membership number after successful registration. 

*BSAS student members should enter the Event discount code EJBPEST661S and select "Guest member" under the section member type. Delegates will be contacted for their membership number after successful registration. 

All registrations will automatically receive a confirmation within 24 hours of registering for the event. Should you not receive a written confirmation within 24 hours of registering for the event, please email conferences@soci.org.

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Organising Committee
Ian Givens, University of Reading 
Mary Henderson, University of Roehampton
Maggie Mitchell, BSAS
Peter Reineck, SCI
Sokratis Stergiadis, University of Reading
Annie Williams, CIEL