Healthy and sustainable as the new normal

With the support from my UMRP grant, I was fortunate to attend the EAT Food Forum conducted in Stockholm, Sweden from 11-12 June 2018. It was an invitation only event, attended by 600 delegates from more than 50 countries.

The forum was hosted by the EAT foundation and the Government of Sweden. EAT is a non-profit organization founded by the Stordalen Foundation, Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Wellcome Trust to catalyze a food system transformation. The key aims of the forum were to strengthen existing partnerships and forge new collaborations across a broad range of sectors and groups to compel science-led action, focusing on five main areas:

  • Shifting toward healthy diets
  • Sustainably managing lands and oceans
  • Eliminating food loss and waste
  • Technology that’s transforming our food system
  • Recipes for better yields and better nutrition

The forum delved into the challenges to food system transformation and offered a platform for disruptive discussions among invited experts from science, politics, business and civil society. Solutions available for achieving healthy and sustainable diets for a growing global population were explored. Questions on how to feed the world with zero land expansion and ocean depletion or the benefits of processed foods and clean meat were confronted.

One of the initiatives that attracted my attention was the Chefs’ Manifesto Action Plan.

The chefs pledge to protect the food system and environment with the following:

  • Ingredients grown with respect for the earth and its oceans
  • Protection of biodiversity and improved animal welfare
  • Investment in livelihoods
  • Value natural resources and reduce waste
  • Celebration of local and seasonal foods
  • A focus on plant-based ingredients
  • Education on food safety and healthy diets
  • Nutritious food that is accessible and affordable for all

Meals provided during the forum were healthy and environmentally friendly. This forum has provided me with more ideas in the promotion of sustainable diet in the local setting.

Prepared by Assoc Prof Moy Foong Ming

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