Food is our health

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On the occasion of World Health Day (April 7), Slow Food presented its new position Our food is our health. Only biodiversity feeds the planet.

“Health is at the heart of Slow Food’s commitment. The objective of the association is in fact to make good food, clean and fair accessible to all. A diet is healthy not only when it is nutritionally adequate, but also when it promotes human health and respects that of the planet. Healthy eating is based on a rich diversity of plant-based, whole-grain and minimally processed foods, grown locally with sustainable methods, and most importantly, healthy eating can be – and is – enjoyable.”

Slow Food works to improve biodiversity, climate and health through food. “The defense of biodiversity, a battle that has always characterized our association, represents a possible solution to the climate crisis and malnutrition in all its forms: overweight and obesity, malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency – underlines Nappini -.

Slow Food’s position paper on food and health examines the current state of our food systems world and how Slow Food works to promote healthy eating. The document also presents the research carried out by Slow Food to analyze the nutritional content of certain Slow Food Presidia and describes how major Slow Food initiatives, such as gardens and Earth Markets, support local communities and ensure healthy diets. and sustainable by protecting biodiversity.

Today, the food system is dominated by large corporations that produce, process and distribute and they sell food, guiding the food choices people make and defining food availability and price from above. The quality of food provided is therefore nutrient poor: high in fats, salt and sugars and low in important nutrients such as minerals and vitamins. Additionally, the excessive abundance of these foods raises food security concerns, as many individuals and communities currently lack access to adequate and culturally appropriate diets.

Currently, according to the FAO, there are 1.9 billion overweight adults in the world, of which more than 650 million are obese. while at the same time there are nearly 800 million hungry undernourished people and billions with micronutrient deficiencies. Obesity, once found mainly in high-income countries, has now spread to middle- and low-income countries, often accompanied by malnutrition. Even in countries where greater availability of calories has alleviated food security problems, malnutrition persists in the form of micronutrient deficiencies.

The flip side of this industrialized abundance is enormous potential biodiversity available to local communities, of which only a tiny percentage is actually consumed. In fact, of more than 300,000 known species of edible plants, the world’s food supply depends on only 150. In addition, four crops – rice, corn, potatoes and wheat – supply more than half calories consumed worldwide.

There is another element that has negative effects on our health: the climate crisis. The latter has an impact on all environmental systems and is also harmful to human health. Global food security is threatened by rising temperatures and changes in rainfall, as well as extreme events such as heat waves, floods and droughts, which have a significant effect on agricultural production.

This is why, on the occasion of World Health Day, Slow Food strongly reaffirmed its commitment work for better health, promoting healthy eating habits in which food is considered vitally important both for the health of the environment and for those who produce and consume it.

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