The current FS is contributing to 30% of the European share of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions1, with 24% alone coming from animal-based-food2 and 6% from food loss and waste3. The need for arable soil to grow crops for feeding livestock results in a high pressure on land use, biodiversity, and water resources4. Furthermore, unhealthy diets associated with a high intake of red meat, sugar, and saturated fat, are linked with several non-communicable diseases that are contributing to more than 70% of all deaths in Europe5. More sustainable and plant-based food production and consumption is the most effective way to reduce GHG emissions and other impacts from the FS6 and will also benefit human health7.
However, despite increased acknowledgement of the need for a sustainable food system (SFS) transformation, dietary change is limited8, and many farmers and other FS actors are hesitant to support a transition towards a more sustainable and plant based FS9. Furthermore, the need for food aid solutions continues to rise due to the most recent crisis with rising poverty, migration and refugees.
If we are to be able to feed the growing global population, we need to change the way we produce and consume our food.
There are already severe famines in several places, so with both climate change and a growing world population, we need to reinvent our fs and think circularly, more plant-based, creatively and in broad collaborations. The food crisis of the future requires that we act with timely care – and that we mobilise future generations to think creatively, solution-oriented and innovatively.
The timing is thus critical and there is a need for urgent actions, the role of education is critical in order to raise awareness and empower citizens towards environmental actions. However, teachers and students’ competences are missing and the fs topic is poorly integrated into current curricula. In this framework FoodSHIFT Pathways aims to provide educational communities with tools and insights targeting at overcoming the food crisis by supporting teachers and schools in their efforts to educate future generations to think creatively, solution-oriented and innovatively. The core outcome will be a series of innovative practices enriched with interactive digital resources – the FoodSHIFT Pathways –which will focus on presenting future-thinking approaches to SFS in a pragmatic, hands-on and empowering way. Using interactive videos and digital storytelling techniques these practices will be treated as case studies for the participating schools to explore and develop innovative projects and activities that are expected to support their behavioural change towards the FS while at the same time, they will raise awareness on the issue in the local communities of the participating schools. The inclusion of relevant experts in the generation of these resources will also enhance the quality of outputs and ground the project in current developments in science