The food we eat has a massive impact on our health, but also the health of our planet. In Europe alone, it’s estimated that half the population is obese or overweight and food accounts for almost a third of all consumption derived greenhouse gas emissions.
In light of this, is the adoption of a sustainable diet – a diet that looks at all the environmental, social and economic impacts of the food we eat – a viable solution?
In 2014, Debating Europe and LiveWell for LIFE investigated whether sustainable consumption can mitigate the negative impact current eating habits have on health, food security and the environment.
Through a series of online debates, we looked at the effects of the convergence of public health and sustainability (from 29 April), the price of sustainable food (from 7 May) and the place sustainable consumption has on the EC policy agenda (from 14 May).
The Debating Europe platform allowed us to take your questions, comments and ideas directly to policy makers and experts for them to respond.
Debating Europe interviewed a number of experts in health, environment and business to kick-start these debates. Interviewees included:
- Dr Roberto Bertollini, Chief Scientist and WHO Representative to the European Union
- Sue Dibb, Co-ordinator at Eating Better
- Professor Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City University London’s Centre for Food Policy
- Matteo Bartolini, President of CEJA (European Council of Young Farmers)
- Karl Falkenberg, Director-General for Environment, European Commission
What is Debating Europe?
Debating Europe is an online debate platform launched in 2011 by Friends of Europe (a European think-tank that aims to stimulate thinking on the future of the EU and WWF’s partner in LiveWell for LIFE), and Europe’s World (an independent Europe-wide policy journal), in partnership with the European Parliament, Microsoft, Gallup (a research and consultancy firm), Skype and the Open Society Foundation.
Since its launch, the project has grown quickly – with an active social media community on Twitter and Facebook of over 150,000 followers. Debating Europe has taken thousands of comments and questions from their users and put them to key policymakers, including Prime Ministers, Commissioners, Ministers, MEPs and MPs.