There has been a lot of talk lately about sustainable food, but do we really know what it is? And above all, are we aware of what we buy when we go shopping?
According to experts, we can say that the characteristics of sustainable food are: "produced with a low environmental impact, with very little consumption of soil and water; produced with low carbon and nitrogen emissions; respectful of ecosystems and biodiversity; attentive to local needs and the enhancement of the territory; healthy from a nutritional point of view; economically accessible to all".
But in the end, beyond all the fine words, we know very little about what it means to eat sustainably. We have a vague idea, but no more than that.
Sustainable nutrition is not just about eating less meat and more whole grains and vegetables, although that can certainly help. Since producing food consumes land and water and is a potential source of pollution, reducing food waste is a major global challenge that can (and must) help address the growing demand for food and produce sustainable food. At the same time, food must be nutritious and sufficient for all.
Sustainable food is based on three basic criteria: consume less food, eliminate or at least reduce food waste, and consume less animal and more plant-based nutrients.
We know that there are rich countries that consume too much food and poor countries that do not have much food available, with the result that many people are undernourished or poorly fed. Making the world a little more equal in this respect could be a first step towards sustainability.
As far as food waste is concerned, we know that 88 million tonnes of food are thrown away every day, and it is these numbers that we need to focus on in order to achieve sustainability. If we start reducing food waste and being more careful when we shop, buying what we really need based on our needs, then we can really do some good for our planet.
In all of this, it is well known that intensive livestock production pollutes a lot, so increasing vegetable consumption is certainly a way to give our planet a second chance, a chance to flourish again after years of pollution and neglect.
In fact, it has been proven that the production of food of animal origin requires more resources than those needed for products of vegetable origin and has a greater environmental impact (exploitation of agricultural and water resources and CO2 emissions per tonne of protein consumed), so why not aim more towards a vegetable diet? And we don't all have to become vegetarians or vegans, we just need to limit our meat consumption as much as possible or - at least - make pragmatic use of it.
It would be a good idea to consume products that are 0 km, seasonal, perhaps organic, which allow us to vary our diet while respecting the planet. Put the culture of sustainability at the centre, and set up special programmes for schools, because children are the future and it is they who must be the first to make the world more sustainable.
Valuing all the hard work behind every dish is the key to a new, clean world, where we rediscover the value of all those little things that seemed to have been lost forever.
In conclusion, sustainability can save the planet from the climate crisis, we just need to have the courage to really apply it, without wasting time or compromising.
Sono una ragazza di trenta anni con Laurea triennale in Studi Internazionali e Laurea magistrale in Scienze del governo e dell'amministrazione.
Ho fatto anche vari corsi post Laurea perchè non si finisce mai di imparare e io personalmente credo che rimanere sempre informati sia un dovere e un diritto per capire meglio come funziona il mondo che ci circonda.
Adoro l'arte e la cultura e mi piace molto girare per mostre e musei. Mi piace anche viaggiare, il mondo è grande e tutto da scoprire con altre culture e altre tradizioni interessanti ed affascinanti.