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Six facts about our food system for World Food Day

 
  • European heath statistics

  • One third of food we produce is lost or wasted. People could have been fed for a year by the amount of food used as fuel in G8 countries.

    One third of food we produce is lost or wasted. People could have been fed for a year by the amount of food used as fuel in G8 countries.

  • Following a healthy diet would reduce the EU's water footprint by 23%

    Following a healthy diet would reduce the EU's water footprint by 23%

  • In Europe food accounts for 29% of greenhouse gas emissions

    In Europe food accounts for 29% of greenhouse gas emissions

To help celebrate World Food Day here at LiveWell we’ve put together a list of our top 6 facts about our food system.

1. Healthy people depend on healthy food systems.

This is the theme of this year’s World Food Day – and one that is welcomed by WWF and LiveWell for LIFE. Because – in a world where almost 870 million people worldwide are chronically malnourished and 1.4 billion people are overweight – it is clear that we have neither a healthy global population nor a healthy food system.

2. Food systems are made up of the environment, people, institutions and more.

A food system, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is made up of the environment, people, institutions and processes by which agricultural products are produced, processed and brought to consumers.

We produce enough food to feed 7 billion people but somehow, somewhere things have gone wrong. The right amount of food is not reaching the right people. In fact – globally we throw away a third of the food we produce, Europeans eat more than three times as much meat as people in developing countries – a staggering 70% more than recommended by nutritional guidelines  –  and over 441 million people could’ve been fed for a year by the amount of food used for fuel in the G8 countries.

3. The current food system is directly harming the environment.

The European food system accounts for almost a third of the EU’s consumption related greenhouse gas emissions, and is responsible for biodiversity loss and deforestation. Our appetite for chicken and pork has increased exponentially. And producing 1kg of chicken or pork emits ten-times more carbon dioxide than producing 1kg of potatoes.

4. There are alternatives.

According to the FAO, a sustainable food system will by definition produce nutritious diets for all people today while also protecting the capacity of future generations to feed themselves. Sustainable food systems use resources efficiently at every stage along the way from farm to fork.

5. A sustainable diet is a crucial aspect of a sustainable future.

A sustainable diet is a viable solution to the negative impact current eating habits have on health, food security and the environment. Our research shows that a few simple changes to our Western diet can have a big impact. In fact a sustainable diet can help achieve a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the EU food supply chain, it can reduce the EU’s water footprint by 23%, and – importantly – it can have a significant impact on global food security.

6. LiveWell is paving the way towards a healthier food system.

Righting the wrongs of the current food system is a complex process, which needs a multi-sectorial approach and political leadership. WWF supports this approach through LiveWell for LIFE: a cross-sector project – funded by the EC and supported by a network of stakeholders. LiveWell works to develop appropriate EU public policy options and pathways for the practical implementation of sustainable diets. The policy options and pathways will be the core of LiveWell for LIFE’s final recommendations in 2014 and will be an important step towards a healthier European food system.

For more information please visit livewellforlife.eu

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