Our society is currently facing some of our biggest challenges ever. These challenges permeate all levels of daily life. Climate change not only threatens global food security by means of droughts and extreme weather, but also affects the health and wellbeing of people in vulnerable positions first (and hardest), making it a social issue as well. This is perhaps the most important ‘systemic’ challenge of our age: we need to tackle both the problem and the solution from a holistic, multidisciplinary point of view.
In Lodz, seniors now have access to a newly set up vegetable garden where they can taste as well as grow their own vegetables. This embarks a great success in the journey of Living Lab Lodz. Elderly people have very specific dietary and nutritional needs and their eating habits impact the quality of their ageing processes. Consuming freshly grown vegetables and at the same time enjoying movement and contact with the nature shows promising effects on the seniors’ health.
The living lab in Alto Minho focuses on public school canteens, whose purpose is to promote the transition to healthier and more sustainable food consumption and production habits. Aiming to have a clearer picture of the approach undertaken in Alto Minho’s schools on food-related topics, CIM Alto Minho and IPVC carried out a baseline diagnosis targeting both Alto Minho municipalities and their school groups.
In Rotterdam, but also in other Dutch cities, food supply in public spaces has increased sharply in the past 15 years and the share of (unhealthy) fast food has grown strongly. Since 2004, the fast food share in Rotterdam has grown by 46%1. This increase is greatest in neighborhoods with a low socio-economic score. While tax and VAT regulations are part of a wider national campaign for healthy food, excluding new fast food and snack restaurants in certain areas is legally more complex and requires coordinated and targeted actions by individual municipalities.
Good Food Oxfordshire (GFO) is leading Oxfordshire’s role as a Living Lab within the FEAST project. We are working with our network of over 200 local food organisations – community groups, food and farming businesses, institutions and local councils - to address the challenges of access and affordability to healthy and sustainable food.