The European Green Deal sets the ambitious goal of making Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050. It outlines a new strategy for sustainable and inclusive growth to boost the economy, improve people’s health and quality of life, take care of nature, and leave no one behind. Food is a crucial issue in this respect and the Farm to Fork strategy is one of the cornerstones of the Green Deal. It is a strategy adopted last year that recognises the inextricable link between healthy people, healthy societies and a healthy planet, and so it aims to promote sustainable food by setting ambitious targets: reducing pesticide use by 50%, fertiliser use by 20%, antimicrobial sales by 50%, and increasing the area devoted to organic farming by 25% by 2030.
Food sustainability is about minimising the consumption of water, soil and energy, and reducing the use of intensive farming and fishing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
At the heart of sustainable eating is the choice to eat local foods to reduce transport emissions, and seasonal foods to eat more nutritious and less complicated to obtain than foods derived from forced cultivation. Sustainable also means differentiated: a diet that is healthy for the human body and the environment makes the most of sustainability and minimises waste.
Livestock breeding and agriculture are at the bottom of the food chain and must evolve organically and respect the natural life rhythms of animals and plants. In agriculture, we need to reduce the use of pesticides, which eliminate insect species useful for certain crops and reduce the nutritional value of food. With regard to livestock farming, on the other hand, it is forbidden to obtain animal species by genetic manipulation and open-air farms with sufficient space for the animals to live must be guaranteed.
In conclusion, to take care of our health, our society and our planet, we have to start by choosing what we eat!