Promoting healthy and sustainable food system

art-380-01One of the ways recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) in promoting healthy and sustainable food system includes strengthen local food production and processing, especially by smallholder and family farmers

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a manifesto highlighting six steps to take for a healthy recovery from Covid-19 to create a healthier, fairer and greener world while investing to maintain and resuscitating the economy hit by the effects of the pandemic.

One of the steps included in the manifestos includes promoting healthy, sustainable food systems.

To promote healthy, sustainable food system, WHO recommends developing or updating national food-based dietary guidelines through the full integration of environmental sustainability elements in each of the guideline’s recommendations, according to national contexts.

WHO also recommended to strengthen local food production and processing, especially by smallholder and family farmers, where appropriate.

Apart from that, WHO also recommended the promotion of diet which are based on a variety of unprocessed or minimally processed foods, include wholegrains, legumes, nuts and an abundance and variety of fruits and vegetables.

This may include moderate amounts of eggs, dairy, poultry and fish, and small amounts of red meat.

Apart from that, the diversification of crops including underutilized traditional crops, applying sustainable food production and natural resource management practice can also be promoted.

WHO also urged to consider the use of trade policy, including instruments such as tariffs and quotas, to improve sustainable food supply.

In addition, policies and actions to create healthy, safe and sustainable food environments can also be implemented.

The policies and actions may include strengthening of food control systems, restricting marketing of foods contributing to unhealthy unsustainable diets, nutrition labelling policies, fiscal policies, public food procurement policies, reformulation to gradually reduce saturated fat, sugars and salt/sodium and trans-fat from foods and beverages

Other things that can be done includes improving storage, preservation, transport, and distribution technologies and infrastructure to reduce seasonal food insecurity, food and nutrient loss and waste as well as preserving fish habits and promote sustainable fisheries.

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