From Global Goals to Good Food - working towards #zerohunger, one meal at a time.
The Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed by world leaders in September 2015, are designed to create a vision and framework for the future development of our world based on the three pillars of sustainability (economic, environmental and social).
Purposefully universal, broad and interdependent, they leave private and public sector organisations free to interpret the targets in their own context and identify new opportunities for joint action. But to enable the kind of transformative change necessary to achieve the goals, everyone will need to recognise how their small, everyday actions can really count.
Unsurprisingly, food and food systems feature heavily in the goals. From farm to fork, what we put on our plates has a huge impact on our planet, society and on our own wellbeing. The Sustainable Development Goals help to shed light on the synergies between food as both a promoter of good health and as a limited and valuable resource. However, when it comes to taking action, individuals need to know how to use this knowledge to make choices about food that work for them, in the context of their own lives.
Getting to grips with Good Food
Last year, we spoke to consumers about the challenges they face when preparing food every day. We heard that most people were bored with their standard meals, particularly during the week. They wanted tasty, fresh food that was good for their health with a low environmental impact. They didn’t, however, have the time or energy to look for new meals that reflected their preferences and were confused by conflicting information about different product choices.
We created the MyFoodways app to address this. We wanted to make it as easy as possible for everyone to enjoy Good Food, every day. But to do this, we needed to understand what Good Food looked like. Using the SDGs as a starting point, we worked with food and sustainability experts to review the existing evidence about balanced and sustainable food and translated this into four simple pointers to help everyone make decisions about the food they buy, cook and enjoy.
1. Enjoy more plants
2. Eat animal products moderately and consciously
3. Eat less processed food
4. Enjoy plenty of variety
We then worked with leading recipe developers to create tasty recipes that reflect these principles.
But of course, everyone has different priorities when it comes to what they eat. That’s why MyFoodways tailors it’s recipes to reflect user preferences – from food-related values to favourites and dislikes – to help everyone find Good Food solutions that work for them. Our recipes are flexible and adapt to the products left in the fridge, making it easy to waste less and enjoy more. In this way, we like to think that we’re helping our users make a contribution to the SDGs, just by preparing simple, tasty meals.
Making a contribution
This year, World Food Day is all about working together to achieve #zerohunger. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN-FAO) adopting a sustainable diet and wasting less are simple actions that everyone can take to contribute. By reducing food waste, we decrease the worldwide demand for food and do our bit to ensure that food prices remain affordable for the world’s poorest people. This sounds like a big leap but it’s something that happens every time we go shopping.
Currently around 20% of the food we buy ends up in the bin. But a few simple actions - like getting to grips with storage and using up your leftovers - can have a big impact. MyFoodways helps users reduce food waste by offering them flexible recipes that adapt to the products they have at home. All recipes also come with built in storage tips and tailored leftover suggestions to make it easy to use up any extra portions or products. (Check out #foodwasteisover on social media to find out more)
Sustainable Development Goal 3 is all about ensuring health and wellbeing for all. As we know, noncommunicable diseases are the biggest cause of premature death in the world but switching to healthier diets at any age can help turn things around.
Our Good Food Principles make it easy for our users to enjoy balanced meals. All MyFoodways recipes are portioned to reflect international dietary guidelines, with at least 1-2 portions of fruit and veg, plant-based protein and wholegrain options wherever possible. We also make it easy for users to cook simple recipes from scratch - so they’re in control of what they eat.
The app’s personalised suggestions also help users to find new dishes that incorporate a broad range of produce and nutrients into their weekly meal rotations.
SDG #12 and SDG #13
Food production contributes to around a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. But small changes in the way we choose and cook products and manage the food we buy can make a huge difference to our environmental “foodprint”.
Animal products generally have a higher environmental impact and MyFoodways includes plenty of plant-based alternatives where possible or smaller portions of more environmentally-friendly choices.
Eating more seasonally and avoiding products that are flown in or grown in heated greenhouses can also reduce a person’s environmental footprint 8 to 10 times over! So if a user feels that eating seasonally is important to them, they will automatically see more seasonal recipes in their suggestions and search results.
As we know, things aren’t looking good for our oceans. Over half of worldwide fish stocks are fully exploited and almost 20 % are overexploited. That’s why we only include sustainable fish dishes in the MyFoodways app and include more information about all our ingredients to help users make great purchasing decisions.
Doing our bit through delicious dinners
MyFoodways is all about making it easier for users to find meals that reflect their own personal “foodway” – making them healthier, reducing their environmental impact and enabling them to make a meaningful contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals. And all by just enjoying tasty dinners on a Tuesday night!
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