I write about the future of food and the connections between our food systems, the environment and public health.

hands holding a seedling

Beyond the plate: how a food systems approach nourishes people and the planet

Food is far more than something to simply satisfy hunger. It is woven into the fabric of human life and planetary health. Food choices shape identity and allow us to connect with family, friends, and culture through shared meals and...   Read more


Microbial Magic? The potential of fermentation in modern food systems

Fermentation may be just as important as fire when it comes to making food and, by extension, for human development. This ancient way of preserving food made fruits and vegetables last longer and easier to digest, providing early humans with...   Read more

fermentation at work - fermented sourdough

What role can algae play in our food systems?

An algae-based diet was important for early human evolution and the nutrients they contain are critical for our flourishing. Yet algae play a marginal role in modern Western diets. There is major potential for these incredible organisms to contribute towards...   Read more

Strategic Policy and Research Advisory

on food, the environment and human health

I’m Elta Smith, an independent researcher and writer who generates ideas and produces insights for people who care deeply about food, the environment and human health.

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My projects have addressed pressing issues related to antimicrobial resistance, climate change, open science, emerging technologies, biodiversity, and consumer behaviours. I believe that making better decisions means embracing complexity and the interrelationships between what we know and how we act.


Get in touch to find out more about my projects or to work with me.