Everyone deserves good nutrition. But malnutrition affects at least one third of the world’s population.
Our global food system needs an update. Let’s unpack the true facts behind it and work together to make it better.
Here’s how we can start.
People know that good nutrition is important, but they might not know what good nutrition translates to in everyday life.
We need to raise awareness about what is good and bad nutrition, and ensure that our communication around food is accurate and clear.



we share

Education and communication around food is one of the main factors that determine our nutrition intake.


Around the world, people appear to share the same difficulty in understanding what food is healthy.

Generally, knowledge about food - also known as food literacy - is shaped at home, school, the workplace, or in the community. Improving food communication, as opposed to relying solely on food education, addresses a wider scope of where consumers can gather information about their foods.

The decrease in food literacy is one of the drivers behind the lack of awareness about health and nutrition. Moreover, the ecosystem and its interactions play a crucial role in shaping our food preferences. (Social) media, advertising, and global markets greatly influence consumers’ choices. Consumers have grown accustomed to a surreal image of perfect foods: shape, color, and no ‘brown spots’. However, such uniformity is rarely seen in nature. Better food communication is needed to shift the public perception towards eating “ugly” foods because these fruits and vegetables contain valuable nutrients that otherwise go to waste.

Conversely, healthy eating policies have adopted a rhetoric of empowerment, which puts a lot of emphasis on individual responsibility for health. This individual responsibility is often interpreted as a moral duty. This may lead to obsessive healthy eating that, in actuality, turns out to be unhealthy. Misconceptions about body positivity and healthy self-acceptance may drive people from obesity to obsession.

See the potential solutions


Community kitchens, even in multi-family housing structures (e.g., apartment buildings), may be an effective strategy to improve cooking skills, social interactions, and nutritional intake.

They have the potential in rural environments to have a significant impact on consumption behavior due to the lack of competing social activities.

People feel too busy to acquire new knowledge. Food awareness can be conveyed through stress relieving, creative activities to help people unwind from their busy life and gain competences on nutrition. Organizing edutainment programs in collaboration with the workplace can have a great impact on increasing awareness about proper food choices.

Potentially, Manga could be used to spread positive messaging around nutrition. It’s a visual narrative art form which has become universal. Manga has proven that the combination of both visuals and words allows the brain to understand and retain more information in a shorter period of time. (Murakami, S. & Bryce, M., 2009); Smeaton, K. et al, 2016).


the next


Women have an enormous influence on future consumption practices through their transfer of knowledge to future generations. They are also typically the ones that make food decisions for others. For this reason,


… it is most important that women improve their knowledge about food and nutrition.

However, gender inequality and reduced educational access for women often inhibit their personal development, and eventually that of the next generation.

Maternity is one of the most important drivers for the nutritional intake of children. However, the influence that parents have on the nutritional intake of their children appears to be effective life-long. Women are additionally disadvantaged when it comes to access to nutrition. Women decide carefully what is best for the family because they are perceived to possess the know-how about food. “They cook the food but when they come into their eating they receive the leftovers”

Women also have a higher probability of suffering hidden hunger and reduced consumption of foods with minerals, proteins, or iron, compared to men….when growing up, they often eat last and the least, waiting until after the breadwinner and children receive sufficient food. As stressed by the former UN Population Fund’s country representative for India “Undernourished girls become undernourished mothers who give birth to the next generation of undernourished children”.

Empowering women has been widely reviewed as an effective strategy to improve the prosperity and livelihoods in developing countries and it can be pivotal to achieving food security for all as well.

See the potential solutions


Strengthen parent-children relationships through in-school nutrition classes, involving educational institutions as a trusted place of growth and knowledge in order to build a supportive environment and provide opportunities to eat better.

Even if women are usually the primary decision-makers for household nutritional intake, encouraging the whole family in training about gardening, cooking, and nutritious values of food could be an effective strategy to improve the dietary intake of the entire family.

UTANGI is a pilot project born during the Food and Climate Shapers boot camp organized by the FFI and FAO. The project recognizes a business opportunity for female farmworkers in learning how to repurpose food waste into nutritious products.

This is made possible through the establishment of community kitchens in peri-urban farming areas that serve as educational and production centers.

In addition to being a safe space for women, the community kitchen acts as a platform to upscale female farmworkers through better farming nutrition, entrepreneurial, and life skills, by providing training, workshops, and both personal and professional support.

There’s many aspects to consider when thinking about affordability.
Nutrition is not just a matter of price. There’s other barriers, physically and psychologically, that also must be overcome so everyone can access good nutrition.


is not just

a matter

of price

Nowadays, poor-quality diets are the primary cause of disease and death in the world, due to both inadequate consumption of nutritious foods and excess consumption of harmful ones.


People need to overcome physical and psychological barriers to shift towards healthier diets

Food preferences have been influenced and shaped by industrial foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat. In more areas of the world, people derive socioeconomic status from eating western foods. It is a way to express what you can afford. Some also distance themselves from cheap ‘indigenous’ local foods, which are connected to a less developed, lower socio-economic status.

The food environment affects diets by influencing how revenue is spent on food based on affordability, convenience, and desirability of various foods and what kind of food is available (Herforth, A. & Ahmed, S., 2015). In some developing regions, small scale farmers produce a lot of fruit and vegetables for the market, but the inadequate diet intake and malnutrition remain high.

Thus, what they eat themselves are typically the items that they cannot sell, often far from a balanced diet. A closer look at urbanized environments and western countries highlights other notable aspects. Physical distance to nutritious food options represents a key obstacle for nutrition security in lower-economic urban areas. Distance and effort appear to be valued higher than nutritious quality. People seem less willing to go to supermarkets that offer nutritious quality over other shops that are closer.

See the potential solutions


Fruit byproducts such as peels, stems, shells, and seeds have high nutritional and functional values. Utilizing those byproducts is an opportunity to produce new nutritious food while reducing food waste. The new products should be prepared within existing production lines and efforts.

Fruit is the new Fast. Peeling a banana is like opening a snack, eating an apple is even faster than opening a snack. Make fresh fruit a popular snack through promotional campaigns and stressing the idea that fresh fruit is actually faster than the processed and ultra-processed food.

The food certification marks are symbols that convey assurance to the quality, standard, and accuracy of the goods.

Implementing food certifications (such as PDO and PGI) to officiate the value of indigenous fruits and vegetables can reshape the perception that people have about them from one of low acceptance to one of pride in consuming their indigenous foods.

There’s many aspects of our ecosystem that need to be reimagined, so that good nutrition is available for everyone.
From ensuring universal access to clean water, to maintaining healthy and biodiverse environments, to strengthening the links between rural and urban areas. Everyone deserves access to good nutrition.

Water at

the heart

of nutrition

Achieving equal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all is one of the major targets for 2030 under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) . Data shows that access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene services has an important and positive impact on nutrition.


…Climate vulnerability and inadequate knowledge and practices around water have detrimental effects on access to nutritious food and water.

Water contamination and poor sanitation facilitate the transmission of several infectious diseases, many of which can cause loss of body fluids, and subsequently the micronutrients within, leading to severe undernourishment, dehydration, and eventually death.

Having clean water and avoiding contamination is all about proper water management and training people, especially women. For the vast majority of households, women are the primary providers, managers, and users of water. Women are responsible for finding and collecting water for drinking, cooking, sanitation, and hygiene. Today, women around the world spend a collective 200 million hours collecting water.

See the potential solutions


Design tailored water management activities based on nutrition-sensitive agricultural approaches, selecting strategies that are appropriate to the local agricultural market systems (eg. supplement irrigation in rainfed production systems, actions to increase infiltration of rainwater into the soil, improve soil water storage) for producing more nutritious foods and achieving good nutritional outcomes, especially in vulnerable communities.

Organizing water training programs, addressed to children, to introduce the basic concepts of water; where it comes from, why it is crucial in their lives, and how to manage this magical natural element everybody expects to be available without limitation. Water education impacts children’s knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors towards water usage and lays the foundation to empower children to become better custodians of water.

Promote maintenance training of boreholes for the whole community to ensure the ongoing maintenance of these water sources. This would help to prevent communities from using unsafe sources that can expose people to high levels of infection, further compromising their nutritional status.



Bringing nature back into our lives is one of the main messages within the EU Green deal. Half of global GDP, €40 trillion, depends on nature. Biodiversity provides us with food and wellbeing, filters our air and water, helps keep the climate in balance, converts waste back into resources, pollinates and fertilises crops and much more.

Over the past few decades, monocultures have exhausted our soils, with consequences on all ecosystems. People are largely unaware of the biodiversity crisis, and even fewer of the relationship between biodiversity and our food choices. Rapid urbanization (87%) (UN,2018), low food literacy, and a gradual transition towards westernized diets reveal a progressive loss of traditional food cultures and crop diversity. Processed foods are relatively inexpensive, available, and easier to store than higher quality food like fruits and vegetables.

Local communities can act as the guardians of our ecosystems and restore the lost knowledge of indigenous communities.

They live in respect to food and nature and treasure all resources they provide to us. Nothing is wasted. Only what is going to be consumed is harvested.

The preservation of a nutritious variety of food is a fundamental determinant of health. As long as we keep considering food a commodity, hidden hunger, malnutrition, and famines will increase. Wild and indigenous foods also contribute to fighting hidden hunger both via direct consumption and by being sold to provide income to small farmers.

The diverse range of indigenous fruit trees is a source of untapped potential for food and nutrition security. We need to reintroduce these forgotten fruits and vegetables into our local kitchens and diets.

See the potential solutions


Improving the financial literacy of farmers at the grassroots level is needed to stimulate sustainable agriculture. Farmers currently focus on yield rather than the profitability per land. If farmers start considering all profits and losses, then their operations potentially become more economically viable and environmentally friendly.

Teaching an appreciation of indigenous food and its benefits, while also sharing the techniques for how to use fresh products to extend their consumption windows, such as by making smoothies, sorbets, and chips. Also providing tips on how to process these indigenous ingredients at home can increase curiosity and the acceptability of lesser-known fruits and vegetables as they are introduced to people’s diet.


the ground

As more and more people move to urbanized environments, rural communities are depopulating. Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. As younger generations leave their homes, critical functions in the ecosystem such as jobs and craftsmanship are lost, deteriorating the sovereignty of the rural community.

This trend has facilitated the replacement of fresh, traditional diets in rural areas with processed foods due to their longer shelf lives and low pathogen risk.

…Climate vulnerability and inadequate knowledge and practices around water have detrimental effects on access to nutritious food and water.

Undernourishment continues to be concentrated among populations based in rural areas, although a growing number of poor people living in urban areas are also affected. Improving the link between the urban populations and smallholder farmers is crucial to enable rural people to take advantage of new market and employment opportunities in food value chains.

It is essential to collaborate with smallholder farmers and the rural area to warrant sustainable urbanization and ensure healthy nutritious food in both rural and urban areas. Rural areas provide a wide variety of flora and fauna and natural resources that can contribute to employment, economic growth, and prosperity, preserving the environment and cultural heritage.

See the potential solutions


Dynamic pricing based on expiration dates, and personalization based on preferences would stimulate consumption of potentially wasted food, however, it is crucial to re-brand these products and educate people about ugly foods.

Providing a safe environment for farmers to talk about their surplus and learn about how to turn these ‘less desirable’ items into attractive products could help reduce food waste on the farms. It would also support continuous improvement practices to be more efficient and sustainable while increasing the reputation of the farms among their communities