Food Sustainability Program in Portugal
  • Since May 2017, the Portuguese Nutrition Association has been conducting a Food Sustainability Program that aims to reflect on the main pillars of food sustainability (e.g. sustainable and healthy diets, food by-products, food waste), to raise awareness and motivate change in the consumption pattern of the community. 

    In fact, the world population spends the equivalent of 1.6 planets and if this rate of consumption continues to be verified, by 2030 the equivalent of 2 Earth planets will have been spent. And if, on the other hand, we consume and waste a lot, we tend to forget that there are 900 million people who are hungry all over the world.

    In this way, Associação Portuguesa de Nutrição has developed a set of initiatives inherent to this Program, such as:
    • Book marker and exposure materials with five key messages supported by the five food sustainability axes of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO);
    • E-book named "Feeding the future: a reflection on food sustainability", which succinctly compiles the information referring to the theme and has the institutional support of the General-Directorate for Health and the National Program for the Promotion of Healthy Food. The E-book is available in digital format, free of charge, from the PNA website.
    • XVI Congress on Nutrition and Food, where the theme, program, materials and activities of the congress were based on the concepts of food sustainability. The official launch of the Food Sustainability Program took place, in this event.
    • Educational games that were launched on the World Children's Day, so that children are awakened from this early stage;
    • A set of conferences in several regions of the country, with a message on food sustainability defined in each of the cities / conferences based on FAO's axes;
    • Training actions in secondary schools and institutions of higher education that teach the Nutrition sciences degree, reproducing in these institutions a documentary on food sustainability (SustainablEating). This measure will have interministerial institutional support;
    • Plan of activities to be carried out by the members of the PNA, in their places of work, in the context of the World Food Day. Members also have access to free communication materials.
    • Guide to healthy and sustainable meals so that people can be more informed about how to achieve day-to-day food that is both healthy and sustainable. This guide is not yet available because it will be released soon.
     
    These set of initiatives were designed to generate discussion and elucidate action amongst both health professionals and the population on the theme. It is being essential to transmit these concepts to the younger public, educating them on the need to make better food choices. This is because small choices in our daily lives may be enough to make a difference, such as preferring local, fresh and seasonal foods; to consume less number of meals based on animal protein, while increasing consumption of foods of vegetable origin. 

    Due to the relevance of food sustainability, the reflections, discussions and joint decisions between Nutritionists and the other professionals in the Food and Nutrition area is fundamental so that, in this way, it is possible to build a common vision for food sustainability and agriculture.