Sustainable Food Practices
Contemporary food systems in developed countries have proven to be largely unsustainable. Apart from providing food security and food safety to their national populations, they entail negative environmental and health externalities. They fail to address rural poverty throughout the world and foster power imbalances in food chains, and social injustice (De Schutter 2017). Research shows that Luxembourg’s food practices have in comparison to other post-industrial countries a particular unfavourable environmental balance and contribute to an ecologically and socially unsustainable global food system (Feyder 2014).
Towards a more social and environmental justice
An interdisciplinary research project called “Sustainable Food Practices” at the University of Luxembourg aims to strengthen sustainable perceptions and practices within the national ‘foodscape’– our food environment, which amongst other things impacts on food choice and behaviour (Mikkelsen, 2011). This research project is conducted with a particular sensitivity for social inequalities and everyday subjectivations. By analysing the socio-political, socio-cultural, socio-economic and socio-ecological characteristics of the entire foodscape (governance, production, retail and consumption), the researchers draw scientific conclusions for a sustainable transition of the food system. They hope to contribute to a more social and environmental justice and elaborate appropriate political recommendations.
Multiple outputs for many actors of the foolscape
One of the first outcome of this project will be the publication of an Infographic of the foodscape of Luxembourg highlighting the opportunities, challenges and barriers within a food system transition to help overcome lock-in situations and ultimately contribute to enhance political, economic, ecological and societal consolidations.
The researchers also examine the transparency, literacy and guarantees of food assurance schemes, to understand to what extent these provide consistent guidance for sustainable food purchasing choices.
They are also looking at barriers and opportunities for quality produced from the Greater Region to be used in out-of-home catering. Furthermore, they will develop and analyse an online shopping app in partnership with the Pall Center to establish if it’s a suitable tool to raise awareness about different sustainability criteria of food items and aid consumers in making more sustainable decisions.
Members of the research project are also funding members of Luxembourg’s first Food Policy Council, which is also the first national Food Policy Council in existence.