Is our planet prepared to satisfy client’s demand for a nutritious diet?

Good nutrition is critical to a healthy life. So by fixing what we eat, we’re doing ourselves a great favor. The pandemic has only accelerated this trend as there has been a seismic shift in food conversations, but with an added dimension of sustainability. It means that the food we eat and the type of diet we eat has a direct impact on our health, but also has a material impact on our planet. All of these trends point to a future in which the demand for sustainable, healthy food will mature.

Food production has its own limits. It is one of the main emitters of greenhouse gases. The world’s food systems are responsible for 33 percent of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. To satisfy hunger, the production of resource-intensive food is increasing. Modern crop production requires an expansion of the agricultural area and the use of fertilizers and pesticides to optimize yields, which leads to a loss of biodiversity. All of this adds to the slow burning problem of climate change that cannot be ignored at any cost.

Another challenge we face is food waste. Around 14 percent of food worldwide is wasted due to a combination of improper harvest, storage and transportation, while 17 percent is wasted at the consumer. Much of the food that goes to waste ends up in landfills where it breaks down into methane.

It is a sign of a broken system that millions of people go hungry while food is wasted, and this mystery is even more pronounced in developing countries where food storage infrastructure is lacking.

There will be 10 billion people on the planet by 2050, and we will face the daunting challenge of feeding a growing population with healthy and nutritious diets. The entire burden falls directly on this planet, which is already battling climate change and Covid.

Dissolve the old food system

It has been pointed out more than once that today’s food production needs to be overhauled. The call for change comes from all actors who have an interest in the food system. Implementing environmentally friendly farming techniques and practices will help restore biodiversity and improve soil and water health, often caused by the environmental footprint of food. Agricultural reform only fixes the tip of the problem. Real change can only come about if food companies commit to sustainably produced food. You can require your suppliers to follow sustainable farming practices. The underlying goal is to minimize the carbon footprint from producer to consumer, so it should be embedded in the entire food chain and help to mitigate the negative impact of the operation.

Big changes start with a small step. The implementation of sustainability practices in workplaces and production facilities makes a significant contribution to reinforcing this commitment.

Ultimately, the consumer has the power

The ultimate power rests with the consumer and he gives it away daily through his choices. The choices a consumer makes determine how the food system works. The consumer can demand nutritious products that are sustainably produced by asking for such products with adequate information. This will stimulate food companies to change their food production methods while promoting products that are healthy, locally made and meet the norms of sustainability.

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The views expressed above are the author’s own.


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