From September 18 to November 10, Brussels will welcome the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition’s newest exhibition, “Weighing Less on Our Future: Our Food Choices Count!”. The initiative, hosted at Philanthropy House, is a true voyage through food sustainability. The show starts from one premise: we have just 13 years to reach the 17 Sustainable Development Goals laid out in the UN’s 2030 Agenda. Our dietary choices will play a fundamental role in helping us be successful.
Using this as a launchpad, visitors are taken on a journey through videos, photographs and texts which explain how even a small gesture, such as knowingly choosing what we put on our plate, can be good for our health and that of the planet. As one of the main events leading up to the 8th International Forum on Food and Nutrition (taking place in Milan on 4-5 December), the exhibition will also be a stage for workshops and meetings with experts and policy makers who are being called upon to find solutions that limit the impact a few industries have on the Earth, one of them being agriculture (which uses nearly 40% of the planet’s surface between growing crops and raising animals). Not only that, but it’s essential to figure out how to incentivise young people – who are synonymous with innovation – to join this industry, given that in Europe only 6% of farmers are under 35 (compared to the 30% who are over 65).
Luca Virginio, Vice President of the Barilla Foundation, explained: “The food system which we’ve adopted in recent years needs an overhaul for a number of reasons. First of all, because the world’s population will reach 8.1 billion by 2025 and we must find a way to feed everyone. Today, 795 million people go without regular access to food or suffer from hunger, while 2.1 billion people are overweight or obese. What can we do to narrow this gap? Also, over 40% of global grain production is used to feed animals and to produce biofuels: is this the right thing to do? Meanwhile, 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted, equal to one third of global food production and four times the amount needed to feed the 795 million malnourished people around the world. What concrete actions can we take to stop this from happening? This exhibition is meant to be a place in which the culture of ‘eating well, with awareness’ is promoted, where discussions can take place so that we can overcome the challenges that concern all of us, together.”
The exhibition is one of the events leading up to the Forum, joining other initiatives organised by the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition over the coming weeks, such as the webinar on 21 September from 4 to 5 pm CET (register at www.barillacfn.com/webinar). Entitled Global Citizens for the Future of Food, the webinar will highlight the importance of educating global citizens, especially the younger ones, about the need to reach the United Nations’ sustainability goals, with particular attention to food.