A recent conference of the United Nations Institute for Social Development has highlighted that the green trend does not only refer to the global economy and the impact human development has upon the environment. It is also a hot topic that has to be applied to the entire food system.
Since bad eating habits have noticeable results, such as obesity and other diet-related illnesses, correlated with a high mortality rate, experts reveal that nutritious local food can represent an appropriate answer to this issue, both in developed and developing nations all across the Globe, according to OurWorld 2.0.
The strong relationships between our daily performances and the food we eat is no joke. Experts affirm that we definitely are what we eat. A study conducted earlier this year showed that improved, healthier school meals could efficiently fight absenteeism and make the pupils obtain better test results.
Furthermore, the International Food Policy Research Institute highlights the importance of the daily school meal, affirming that in the case of developing countries, the food provided in schools is perhaps the only support pupils get during the day. Food and proper education are part of the same equation.
In this context, the Home-grown School Feeding Programme, powered by the UN World Food, can guarantee progress in this domain, as a stable factor meant to link a sustainable agriculture with the public food suppliers.
Local suppliers are able to solve this complex puzzle. Japan, for instance, has already manifested its care towards the wellbeing of its young population, relying on the contribution of local farms and fisheries.
WFP's main goal is to reveal the importance of “home-grown” food, reflecting the benefits in two apparently different fields: agricultural development and education. The result is meant to reduce the ecological footprint of the food our children eat in schools, and experts' studies show that “local” is always a smarter, greener choice, in terms of food supplies.
Brazil is currently following the same path, with the declared objective of improving the quality of the daily meals offered in schools. In 2009, a new efficient legal framework established that 30% of the overall budget displayed by each municipality should be invested in local sources of healthy, nutritious food.
This measure made approximately 5,500 municipalities co-work with their own School Feeding Committees, which make sure that pupils stay away from junk-food and start eating fruits and veggies.
Several partnerships created brilliant strategies that improved the way students eat.
For example, in 2008, 164,000 kids from 500 schools received vegetables, fruit and fresh milk coming from small, family-based local farms. Such projects boost the local agriculture while fighting the alarming rate of rural poverty, drawing out a safety exit for a present wasteful society.