Food is the fundament of life. It is also one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, and production of it contributes to deforestation, biodiversity loss, pollution, and depletion of marine ecosystems. Today, food is driving a triple burden of malnutrition and an epidemic of non-communicable diseases.
But food can be the key to solving the very same problems it has caused. The single greatest strategy toward solving them is a shift toward healthy and sustainable diets. For Europe, this means a significant increase in the production and consumption of plant-based foods and a corresponding reduction in animal source foods.
Cities are influential in food systems transformation: a growing percentage of the global population is urban, and cities are concentrations of resources, innovation and consumption habits – with impacts that extend well beyond their borders.
EAT partners with C40 on a Food Systems Network that helps cities incorporate health and environmental considerations into food strategies and activities. Among the 40 members, there is clear Nordic leadership: one example is Copenhagen, which transformed its food procurement to become 90 percent organic without increasing the budget. To do this, the city reduced the amount of meat and processed foods and served more plant-based, seasonal, and homemade foods instead – resulting in healthier and more sustainable meals. EAT is currently working with Copenhagen and other cities to set clear food system targets based on the best available science around healthy diets from sustainable food production systems.
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