A New Food Future
— EAT Forum

We waste food enough to feed one billion people, yet growing your own carrots can get you in jail. The very first EAT Food Forum in Stockholm this spring gave us some spicy mouthfuls.

The American food fighter Finley was one of the speakers at the newly born EAT conference in May this year. “The fast food drive-throughs, they’re actually committing more homicides then the drive-bys. And they get to do it legal” he stated in his talk.

Accusing the american food-system of being designed to make us ill, through the non existing access to organic and healthy food and the abundance of non-food, Finley is preaching a scaring point: It’s time to redesign the way we eat, to save the planet and ourselves.

EAT Food Forum puts food, health and urban farmers rights in the spotlight.

New forum for new foods

EAT is a new chapter in the book about the modern man. The forum creates an arena where people from different science disciplines, political views and business areas can share ideas and go into dialogue with participants from all over the world. The goal is to reach the common understanding in finding a sustainable and healthy way of feeding the worlds growing population. Increase in lifestyle diseases, and the global effect of the modern food system, are causing a serious headache.


Wasting our future

One of the starting points for the forum is the UN report, Wake up before its too late, – According the report todays food production are designed to feed 12 – 14 billion people. Still, the report shows that one billion people are suffering from starvation today. An additional billion do not get sufficient nutrition.

Cathrine Dehli, responsible for the sustainability program at Nordic Choice Hotels, the main sponsor for EAT forum, states in her speech at the conference that one third of all food is wasted. This “waste”  could actually feed the one billion starving people on our planet. 10 % of all european greenhouse gas submissions can be traced back to this wasted food.

Clever alternatives for a global change

So how does the largest nordic hotel-chain, and one of the supporters of the EAT conference, go about to deal with the problems themselves? By reducing the size of the restaurants plates, studies show that the food waste at 70 of the Nordic Choice Hotels went down 20 %. Saving both costs, waste and the environment.

The EAT forum is put together with this purpose in mind, to solve these kind of issues. According to the Chairman of the Advisory board for EAT, and professor in Environmental Science, Johan Rockström, we only have between five and ten years to change our course.


Food for a revolution

The problems we are facing today, such as resistance to antibiotics, social instability, obesity, infectious diseases and global warming, are not just affecting people individually. According to Rockstöm the problems are a direct result of the modern food system, which is interlinked with the world economics and can potentially lead to enormous consequences. Some of the challenges are political instability, increasing food prices, and more food refugees.

Rockström points the monoculture practice out to be a vulnerable way of organizing the food-production, and probably one of the factors trigging the arab spring.

Local recycling agriculture for the future

One of the solutions offered by Rockström is to switch our food-system over to small scale and local production, which are believed to decrease the effects of food inflations, increase the genetic diversity and lower the need for pesticides. This will help us all in making the social environment more stable and sustainable.

Photos by EAT forum

Text by Amanda Bahl.  

All the talks from EAT 2014 can be found at http://www.eatforum.org/talks/