Sustainable Diets in Eastern Europe
This forum exchange was initiated as a response to Dana's blog-post Supporting more East-West knowledge exchange and partnership. In it, Dana makes a plea for a greater focus on issues around food system sustainability in Central and Eastern European countries, aimed at sparking further discussions on how best to create meaningful links between researchers and practitioners in Western and Eastern Europe.
What aspects do you find as key for defining sustainable diets in the respective Eastern European countries/regions? What practices should be preserved and what do you think needs to be changed?
These are the questions I've been wondering about for quite some time here in the Czech Republic. And some of the ideas that come to my mind are:
- "Sustainable Diets" = diets that do not cause imbalance in biogeochemical cycles - locally and globally (regarding carbon, nitrogen, phophorus, sulphur, heavy metals, etc.) meaning that the ways of production are as close to natural systems and cycles as possible, but at the same time providing adequate nutrition to the population over many generations
- Growing some part of own food desirable, but ecological practices should be favoured over artificial (over)fertilisation and high levels of pesticide/herbicide use
- Some level of foraging for wild foods is desirable in my opinion, but this needs to be in balance with the ability of the ecosystems to naturally recover from the foraging activities = "taking some, but not too much" and the limit of "too much" should to be given for each region/locality by biologists and local authorities (especially for species that could suffer from the foraging practices)
- Also not forgetting about the socio-economic aspects, e.g. the diet should be accessible to all regardless of their position in society and financial situation, the workers should be treated fairly, etc.
What are your thoughts on this? Any feedback or further ideas? (surely there are many things that I haven't covered)