Assessing sustainable diets within the sustainability of food systems

Beiträge aus einem internationalen Workshop zu nachhaltiger Ernährung, insbesondere mediterrane und Bio-Kostformen

Autorin: Prof. Dr. Carola Strassner (Beiträge Seite 43, 199)

Herausgeber: Meybeck A, Redfern S, Paoletti F, Strassner C. FAO, 2015

[ABSTRACT] Representatives from the International Food Quality and Health Network (FQH) explored the organic food system as a case study and its potential support for sustainable diets. FQH experts contributed to the scientific debate at the workshop on how to address the question of sustainable diets within organic production/consumption concepts and achievements, and what contribution the organic part can provide to the ongoing discussions. This paper summarizes the contributions arising from the organic food system perspective. While organic agriculture can be taken as an example for sustainable food production, critical reflections were made on how organic consumption patterns may also be taken as an example for sustainable food consumption. The closing discussion at this workshop included deliberation about which organic-related measures might be useful in the sustainability assessment of diets. Two potential indicators considered more closely were for organic production (land use under organic cultivation in percentage) and for organic consumption (organic consumption per capita). Drawing on the definition of sustainable diets, the change of consumption patterns seems to be a crucial issue in the transformation to sustainable food systems. The consumption patterns of regular organic consumers seem to be close to the sustainable diet concept of FAO. Since diets play a central role in shaping food systems and food systems shape diets, the question of organic as a sustainable and healthy diet emerges as an essential topic to be addressed. Hence the organic support for a sustainable diet comes from the components: it has a definition, it has the principles, it has the standards, it has the metrics. Today it also has the data from more than 160 countries, and regulations are in force in more than 80 countries or regions. The organic food system shares with the Mediterranean diet putting the land (agri-cultura) back into the diet; it is the land from which the diet in toto is shaped. Therefore the organic food system provides the essential requirements of a sustainable diet.

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