The WWF is run at a local level by the following offices...
- WWF Global
- Central African Republic
- Central America
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- European Policy Office
Our relationship with food is shaped by our childhood, culture and even personal aspirations. But as the ways we produce and consume food have changed over time, so we’ve lost our sense of connection to our food. The reality is that our food system is failing us and we need holistic solutions to solve these challenges. Let’s take a look at the problems.
Our lives are marked by a speed and urgency that has meant ever-increasing pressure to squeeze in time to enjoy wholesome, home cooked meals together. This has led to an over reliance on pre-packaged and processed foods.
The knock-on effect of this is already revealing itself. These are five facts about our collective food failings:
1. Eating the Earth
Our food system has done more damage to the natural environment than any other human enterprise. It accounts for just under a third of all greenhouse gas emissions, is escalating biodiversity loss, deforestation, soil degradation and water scarcity and causing declining water quality and damage to marine ecosystems.
2. A non-ideal meal combo: Poverty and hunger
Food access is a daily struggle for between seven and 13 million South Africans and malnutrition in its various forms is a major health challenge. This serious and growing health problem has obvious impacts on our children, our health system and the economy.
3. Hair-raising health implications
In South Africa, about 40% of deaths are caused by lifestyle and diet-related diseases such as diabetes and strokes. This in turn is impacted by food choices – we eat more meat and dairy and many people over-rely on packaged and processed convenience foods that are often high in sugar, salt and bad fats.
4. The high cost of healthy choices
In a country where more than half of South Africa’s population is unable to afford a sustainable healthy diet, local research has shown that a healthy food basket can cost 65% more than an unhealthy food basket and there are knock-on factors such as a need for refrigeration to keep such foods fresh.
5. The shocking level of food waste
A third of all edible food in South Africa is wasted each year, either rotting on farms or ending up in landfill, adding further pressure to an already over-extended waste-disposal system. Together, fruits, vegetables and cereals account for 70% of the wastage and loss – yet so many South Africans go hungry.
Is it too late to change the course we’re on? Not if we start now. But we will need to take long-term, holistic and collective action if we hope to reverse this global crisis. Join us at the table at #LPC2019 on 25 July 2019 when we explore these realities and consider solutions on how to nourish the nation.
Nourish the nation
Learn more about the Living Planet Conference.