Safe and sustainable diets

Article written by Ariana Macieira, founder of SimBIOse..

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), food security and nutrition consists in ensuring that “all people always have physical, social and economic access to food in quantity and quality (variety, diversity, nutritional composition and safety) in order to guarantee their nutritional needs and food preferences.

In order for populations to have access to food security and nutrition, it is also necessary that food production and handling follow a set of rules, designed so that food is consumed, safely by the consumer. When food is consumed, does not cause any harm to the health of the consumer. A safe food cannot contain hazards that damage the health of the consumer, whether physical, chemical, microbiological or nutritional.

According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 600 million people get sick and 420 thousand die annually, globally, as a result of eating contaminated food.

The reduction of food hazards, in addition to making food safer for consumption, also contributes to a reduction in food waste. When handled well, food waste is avoided. Poor management of food waste is one of the main causes of climate change on the planet. In our country, food waste occurs mainly at the retail and final consumer level. If only ¼ of the food wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million people worldwide.

Food sustainability in a household is guaranteed not only by food safety and the minimization of waste, but also by the exercise of nutritious, healthy, accessible and environmentally friendly diets, by individuals in the same home.

In countries like Portugal, excessive intake of high-calorie foods combined, at times, with low physical activity, are factors that lead to diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Malnutrition is not only related to excess calorie intake, but also to the lack of essential micronutrients intake, such as vitamins and minerals.

The consumption of local and seasonal foods and agricultural production in organic mode promote the consumption of healthier and ecological foods. Local consumption requires less use of resources and food is nutritionally richer. The organic production method is a production method that has the principles of conserving resources such as air, soil and water and biodiversity and limits the use of pesticides, making products safer for consumption.

In conclusion, our quality of life depends on our behaviors, but the Other’s too! Inform yourself and exercise your criticism for everything, including your diet! To have a safer and sustainable food is to promote the quality of life to all living beings on the Planet! ☺

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