This week, the fifth annual City Food Symposium focused on Sustainable Diets. The case for changing consumption is strong, widely agreed by scientists, sections of industry, civil society and some governments. Alas not the UK, whose food policy lacks coherence.

We in the rich world need help to eat less but differently and better, and the poor world needs to eat more but better. A New Economics Foundation report this week underlined how ­serious this is for UK jobs, Health and the planet.

It’s not alone in recognising the urgency. Last week, the OECD reported the top 10% of income earners receive 9.5 times the lowest 10%, the highest ratio for 30 years. Income inequalities shape health and food choice.

“We in the rich world need help to eat less but better and differently”

Then we had the APPG Food Poverty report. Here’s the sixth-richest economy now normalising food banks, haphazard charity the 1940s welfare state replaced because it is so inefficient! Food banks enshrine ­fellow humans as waste disposal channels. Why not prevent waste in the first place? Two months ago the EC released the circular economy communiqué aimed at doing just that; last week it began backsliding. This isn’t just bad policy. It has dire environmental effects.

Take plastics, widely used in food systems. A major study in the journal PLOS One calculates five trillion pieces of plastic are afloat in the sea, ingested by birds and fish. At least food rots.

Another mess is the antibiotic resistance disaster. Antibiotics underpin intensive animal husbandry & cheap meat. They’ve been a 20th-century medical miracle. Policymakers have been warned for decades about their overuse. To his credit, David Cameron asked former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill to advise. His review repeats what health advocates have said, updating the figures. Three hundred million preventable deaths by 2050, and a $100.2 trillion cost! Will these figures stop routine animal use? Will doctors reduce prescriptions?

Meanwhile, US fracking has prompted collapsing oil prices, on which our energy-guzzling food depends. Result: more price volatility. You couldn’t make it up. Happy Christmas and new year!

Tim Lang is professor of food policy at City University