The new enablers of food sustainability
Can we improve the quality of life for everyone in the world without putting pressure on our natural resources? With the involvement of everyone, especially the new generations, meeting the objectives and goals of sustainable development becomes a reality. We invite you to learn about three inspiring initiatives that are right now paving the way for a more sustainable and fairer planet. Read to the end!
Sustainability and education: a winning combination
How can we train citizens to move from an individualistic vision to one that contributes to society? The role of education is fundamental for the formation of committed citizens, who know their environment and make decisions for the benefit of a sustainable community. This is one of the pillars of Justicia Alimentaria, an NGO formed by people who believe in the need to change the current agri-food system.
Through the dissemination of knowledge, teaching materials, skills and values to protect the planet, the NGO promotes healthy and sustainable eating in the classroom (and beyond). They do so by involving teachers, students, mothers and fathers to generate debate and invite reflection.
Among its most recent initiatives is the “Escuelas que Alimentan” (Schools that Feed) platform, promoted jointly with other organisations linked to the areas of food, rural development, social economy and education. Through it, they promote changes that will make it possible to move towards more educational, healthy, sustainable school canteens that are linked to the territory. In this way, it is possible to build “a population that is informed, aware and responsible about its consumption habits”.
Revaluing ancestral food systems
In the United States, indigenous youth are concerned with ensuring that the land can continue to produce food in the future. “Young people today want to make sure our communities are fed, but we really aspire to sustainability at all levels,” says Mariah Gladstone, a young woman of Blackfoot and Cherokee ancestry who grew up on an Indian reservation located in north-western Montana.
Today, Mariah uses social media to showcase the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples through video recipes that reinforce the communities’ link to their culture and identity while promoting healthy and sustainable food. Through Indigikitchen (the name is a combination of indigenous, digital and kitchen) Mariah creates short cooking tutorials with ingredients used by her ancestors.
Ancestral food systems are a great source of inspiration for formulating food policies. Specifically, they provide a collection of expertise that makes it possible to deepen measures that take into account ecosystems, biodiversity and local cultures. This is a topic that is regularly discussed at Global-Hub on Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems .
Applying Data Science to fight food waste
While studying hospitality at university, Swiss students Anastasia Hofmann and Naomi MacKenzie became concerned about the tons of food waste generated by the catering environment. They did not hesitate to act. Together they harnessed the power of data to save valuable resources and put value back into food.
Thus was born KITRO, a start-up that allows restaurants and hotels to collect data on food wasted in kitchen and service areas. To make this possible, they use a special scale with a built-in camera capable of tracking the type of food that was wasted. Artificial intelligence software classifies, quantifies and calculates its economic cost.
This innovative system allows companies to identify problem areas of waste and work as a team to implement tailored actions to reduce food waste, reduce environmental impact and optimise resources.
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