The existing food system is one of the main causes of environmental degradation and climate change: agriculture emits 10.3% of GHGs in the EU (EEA, 2019), contributes to deforestation, loss of biodiversity, antimicrobial resistance, presence of pollutants, soil degradation, etc.
Although global citizens are concerned about these problems, there is a gap between their concern and their actions, especially with regard to food (Special Eurobarometer 501: 94% of Spaniards and believe that climate change is a very / quite serious problem, but only 13% have adopted a more sustainable diet (at EU level: 81% and 19%, respectively).
Similarly, in Catalonia 90% of the population is concerned about climate change, but only 1% opt for organic products or consume responsibly (Study on Perception and Environmental Habits, 2019). This fact also shows that it is not clear to the citizens of Catalonia (7.6 million people, 70% of them residents of the metropolitan area of Barcelona) or Spain that food systems contribute to climate change and that modifying the diet is an effective form of action.
The report Feeding On Future (Generalitat de Catalunya, 2018) highlights some issues in the agri-food system in Catalonia that could be significantly improved: reducing the daily consumption of meat, regulating the consumption of sugar and sugary drinks (since the levels are well above recommended) and double or triple the consumption of fresh legumes, fruits and vegetables.
There are also many other problems, such as food waste. Annually, 35 kilograms of food per person are wasted and 58% at home. Other serious problems are: the low dedication of land to organic farming (only 7%), the difficulties of the population to afford a sufficient and balanced diet (6%) or the high level of overweight of the population of between 18 and 74 years old (49%).
As a result of these needs, the EAT: LIFE project was born, a program that aims to transform the patterns of food consumption of the citizens of Catalonia, but also of Spain and Europe, towards more sustainable, fair and healthy habits. To achieve this, the project offers tools and support to different actors in the formal, non-formal and informal world of education to mobilize and drive change towards a more sustainable world.