Educate everyone about food and its impact on our planet and our healthActions 4 Change
We want to know how to cook good food. We need to understand how our food system is interrelated and want topics such as climate change and nutrition included in the school curriculum. We want more projects created in our schools and communities that educate people on how to prepare nutritious, money-saving meals that are also good for the planet.
Why does this Action 4 Change matter?
Our food system is contributing to climate change, and in turn, climate change poses a threat to our food system. If we are to protect our food system and our planet at the same time, we need to consider both our health AND the earth’s health when we decide what to cook and eat.
One way we can protect our food systems is through educating everyone about how to live and eat in a way that is healthy and sustainable. All different types of knowledge is needed to address climate and health challenges. Knowledge transfer can be introduced through new curricula in primary, secondary and tertiary education and could have positive impacts on our future human and planetary health.
There are several ways education can support a shift in helping us to make healthy and sustainable food choices.
- New curriculums would mean more job opportunities in the area of sustainability eg certification programs about waste management or recycling.
- Knowledge sharing would facilitate more trust in the recommendation to shift to more sustainable diets e.g. vegetarian or plant-based diets.
- Education campaigns could help influence policy and legislation whilst providing citizens with the skills to advocate for sustainable food systems.
We need to continue to promote knowledge sharing, storytelling and education initiatives so we can have a future generation that is aware of what a sustainable food system is.
Youth in Action:
Growing up Priya battled childhood obesity and the challenges associated with living in an environment that does not promote a healthy lifestyle. Today it has become her mission to change the status quo for children’s health in India and ensure that every child in India grows up healthy. In 2016 she set up HealthSetGo, India’s largest student health organization impacting over 250,000 students. HealthSetGo works with educators to provide curriculum materials and training about healthy eating habits.
As a youth leader, Priya also a facilitated the launch of the Act4Food Act4Change movement in India. Priya saw this as an extremely important action because India is dealing with the double burden of malnutrition; on one hand there are 14.4 million obese children whilst at the same time one third of the world’s malnourished children are Indian.
As part of the Act4Food Act4Change launch her team developed a platform to allow schools across the country to access educational resources and nominate youth advocates who would run projects in their schools. The youth advocates program started, with the aim to promote the campaign in schools and empower students to be leaders. These advocates were given further support to develop presentations and speak to their classmates about whichever area in the food system (e.g. nutrition, climate, plastics etc.) they were most passionate about.
The program worked with 200 schools and signed up 78 student advocates. Over the whole campaign they spoke to 12,000 children about food systems. After these sessions action didn’t stop! One school conducted an outreach campaign in a disadvantaged neighborhood near their school. Youth advocates had noticed that the children in this neighborhood did not have any education about safe and nutritious food and they decided to give lessons about nutritious diets to support this area of their community.
Priya hopes that through this education campaign more and more students will continue to be passionate about how food impacts our planet and our health.