New Flemish Food Strategy: The healthy option should be the easiest option


How can we ensure that the Flemish people get sustainable, high-quality, affordable food from here, with respect and adequate pay for the farmers, and in balance with our environment? This is the starting point for the New Flanders Food Strategy. The script has been ready since the end of November 2022, and the strategy is currently being published.

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Why food strategy?

The environmental and climate impact of our food is very high, our food system must be more balanced, agricultural income is under pressure, the connection between consumer and producer has been largely broken … The various authorities, at the urban, Flemish, European and global level, therefore ask for a rethinking of the food system with a view to achieving Food security, local production, respect for the carrying capacity of the planet, and social justice.

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What does the new food strategy include?

Four main pillars:
  1. Healthy and sustainable food for everyone
  2. Diet within environmental limits
  3. All for a flexible food economy
  4. Food connects the farmer to the citizen

To implement the food strategy, a six-step action plan was developed: engagement, vision development, exploration, integration, delivery, and fixation.

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What does the consumer feel directly?

The Flemish Institute for Healthy Living was one of the founders of the long-term project and focused on the general public. Loes Neven, Director of Innovation at the Flemish Institute for Healthy Living, reviews the three heads.
  1. “we’ve got Food literacy embed in the text. People need to know where their food comes from, but it goes beyond that. They also need to be able to read package labels, prepare healthy meals, and find recipes…”
  2. “In addition, the food environment Of paramount importance: As much as possible, we want to create an environment that makes healthy choices easy. If you’re teaching about the food triangle in class, but students get soft drinks and potato chips in the cafeteria, the environment doesn’t match up with what you’re trying to teach the kids. This also applies to public places: just think of fast food chains near schools.
  3. As a third point, it’s still there Fighting food inequality, through which we draw attention to people with social impairment. Healthy eating is not easy for everyone. And it’s not just about finances, it’s also about having a fitted kitchen, kitchen equipment and making time for healthy cooking, because people living in poverty often have other things on their minds.”

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From theory to practice

So the strategy is on the table, but now the plan must be put into action. This is done on the basis of “11 food deals”. Here too, healthy living focuses on those points that have a direct impact on our daily life. Loes Neven explains.

  • “For example, we want sustainable and healthy food in different places Bring him inside. In concrete terms, this means that we will sit down with meal suppliers in schools and nurseries and in the kitchens of the Flemish government … to see how we can implement the current guidelines on healthy and sustainable meals, based on the food triangle, even faster. Because in many places it is not yet customary to serve a vegan lunch several days a week or to offer a full vegan serving.”
  • There will also be a food deal around food environment, where we’ll look at how public spaces can be designed to make the healthy choice the easier one. This can be done, for example, by offering less fast food around schools or by providing more safe water in public places.”

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Last updated: March 2023

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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