The Summer Campus is coming!

July 31st until August 8th 2018

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ISEKI Food Conference 2018

The Food System Approach – New challenges for Education, Research & Industry, 3-5 July 2018 at the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany

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Eating City's call to action

exploring restaurant meals as public service

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Make Food Not War

Reviving culinary traditions in refugees camps to bridge people and generate local economy beyond war

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Credits: Credit: Souk El Tayeb

Public Food Services

as a leverage for Sustainable Food Systems

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Mayors’ Summit of the MUFPP

Eating City read its 5th Declaration at the Mayors’ Summit of the Milan Pact, València, Spain 19 – 21 October 2017

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Credits: World Travel Guide

Mayors’ Summit of the MUFPP

We are pleased to announce the 6th “Eating City Summer Campus”, inviting 28 participants aged 22-32 working & studying around food sustainability: Chefs, Gastronomists, Nutritionists, Food Procurement Officers – F&B Buyers, Farmers, Fishermen, Foodies, young professionals… at anyone work or studying around food issues – are invited to share this challenging adventure.

The Eating City Summer Campus experience brings together young people, researchers, senior professionals working in the public and private sectors, opinion and community leaders and builds participants’ capacity for learning and leading in the 21st century.

Click here for more information and to how to apply.

The James Beard Foundation (JBF) is one of the most well-known culinary organizations, whose mission is the celebrate, nurture and honor diverse culinary heritage in the United States through programs, industry awards, programs, conferences, and scholarships for aspiring culinary students and chefs as well as other industry professionals behind it.

Eating City attended the summit both as a professional partner of JBF and a participant bringing to the table this year’s Summer Campus attendees; convening together with two hundred other food system experts, innovators and change-makers coming from media, business, science, politics, gastronomy and community to discuss this year’s theme “Consuming Power.”

The theme of the summit aimed to shed light on how consumers’ power should be harnessed in transforming the food system trajectory. One of the speakers, Mike Lukianoff, Chief Data Scientist at Fishbowl, Inc., told the audience that we’ve accumulated more digital, social, sensory, and mobile data in 2017 than in the entire human history. The agreement in the room was that an average citizen indeed has determining power in changing the food production. Yet, the bigger challenge was to settle on the question – what are the tools or mechanisms available to shift that behaviour, and who controls them?

Although it lasted only for a day and a half, facilitators effectively curated thought-provoking presentations, debates between the speakers, and creative and dynamic group workshops to engage participants in understanding their role in capturing the power of consumers to advance the food movement.

It was a valuable learning experience for Eating City Youth to participate in an event where speakers with overwhelmingly different power and agenda in the US food system and beyond, debated shoulder to shoulder on the way to influence people to consider elements like sustainability and food insecurity alongside taste, price, and nutrition. Mehmood Khan, Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer PepsiCo stated that their approach to, ultimately, gradually moving the consumer to more healthy, sustainable choices is about providing a diversified product set, including soda products with reduced sugar content next to conventional products.

Chef, author, innovator and James Beard Leadership Award Honoree Dan Barber mentioned how significantly smaller craft brewery industry serves as an example of a sustainable promoter that has a major market and can scale for impact, as barley is an excellent soil-supporting cover crop and soil health is one of the top challenges for the future of food system.

It would take a much longer post to list all the speakers and debated points, but it is enough to mention that this year’s other Leadership Award honorees included co-directors of Food Chain Workers Alliance, Member of Congress Chellie Pingree, professor and author Joan Dye Gussow, and former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter.

When Eating City Summer Campus attendees participate in the process of writing a common “Villarceaux declaration”, they engage in the process where different backgrounds need to come together to create pointers for the food system change. Even though the process is exasperating as much as inspiring because of the differences among participants and layers and complexities which reveal themselves, it is an experiment and experience for learning where to look for the common ground among diverging agendas.

At the end of the day, what drives us to continue engaging in difficult debates is not the variety and range of different approach to food system issues, but because it still remains unclear how different approaches from different stakeholders’ support or cancel, meet or miss one another in the allegedly common goal of creating good foodfor everyone?

Photo of the EC participants from left to right:
Hannah Chatterjee – Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council
George Pitsakis – Philly Bread
Madeline Smith-Gibbs – Philadelphia Food Council
Brenda Mutuma – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Maurizio Mariani – Eating City CEO
Sylwia Padiasek – Karen Karp & Partners
Akello Karamoko – Keep Growing Detroit
Jamilka Borges – Chef at “Spoon” Restaurant, Pittsburgh
Ana Puhač – Assistant to the CEO at Eating City

EC is proud to contribute to one of their actions called “Mon restau responsable” (My Sustainable Restaurant)  which is a French catering scheme for School canteens, restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals, leisure centers …

“Mon restau Responsable” encourages Public Food Services to opt for responsible purchases (organic, quality, local, fair), reduce and manage waste, control costs, educate teams and guests about the process involved.

Indeed, EC presented the programme during the workshop entitled “The role of collective catering in the paradigm shift in food systems”  organised during the last CLIMATE CHANCE conference in Nantes, France in September 2016.

Through auto-evaluation, it aims to provide catering teams, the organizations that accompany them, the decision-makers who manage them, the producers who supply them with benchmarks and tools to accompany their evolution towards more sustainable practices.

Such a system is an unexpected and unprecedented opportunity in the world to allow the academic world to study the multiple factors that contribute to the possible synergies that can make collective catering a real leverage for sustainable food chains.

By choosing this collaborative tool, “Mon restau responsable” everyone is able to take part in this movement.

The dimension of Public Food Services:

It can be estimated that a city of 1 million inhabitants spends 45 milion euros for school meals and 20 million more for hospitals and care homes… However, we must be aware these are approximate data, for instance in terms of turnover, no NACE code is identifying this activity andcertainly it could be a good start to create one in order to properly assess this economic activity.  Expertise is needed to aggregate numbers of such multi-faceted activity as a whole and to correctly analyse data.

About Green Public Procurement 
Green Public Procurement is a voluntary tool that can used to introduce sustainability in Public Food Services. Regarding its application and the original expectations, it drives a slow process of change, mainly for the following reasons:
– Food is a complex matter and the persons in charge of tenders contents are insufficiently prepared and trained: they would need more time to work on a strategy and would greatly benefit from exchanges with their colleagues.
– To use efficiently the tool of GPP, ideally, public bodies would need to design strategy based on a vision an action plan with short, medium and long term objectives but this is barely the case.

Affordability of sustainable food
It is generally said that sustainable food is more expensive than other kind of food, certainly too expensive for public bodies to afford.
The truth is that in the past 20 years, through the industrialization of production processes public authorities have tended to reduce the money “in the plate” with the consequence of lowering ingredient quality and reducing staff qualifications in the kitchen,.
Fortunately, not everyone has followed this way and the demonstration has been made in several contexts that is possible, within normal budget, to increase service quality taking into account the synergy of sustainable development.This requires a complete rethinking and re-engineering of the service, mainly based on people skills.
Today we live in a world in which machines are becoming more and more intelligent and intuitive and can replace people: but this must not be the case of meals preparation.
If you ask yourself the following question : do you prefer a meal that is prepared by a skilled person, with fresh products or by a robot heating frozen food and mixing powders ?
And now why would you think that if it is not good for you, it should be good for your children at school or your parents who are maybe recovering in hospital?
We also need to remember that most of the gastronomic recipes which are so fashionable today, are at the origin from « poor kitchens » prepared from scratch with local and seasonal food. Therefore, it is possible to prepare good, healthy and nutrious meals based on traditional recipes at a good price, on the condition that skilled persons are in the kitchen.

The new paradigm
No one is talking about dismantling from today to tomorrow what has already been built up : this would be unreasonable. But the trend of innovation needs to change. The first of the class are not necessarily the usual ones. The less is the industrialization level and the easiest it will be to change the paradigm. We have here a renewed opportunity to engage a peer to peer dialogue between the different EU countries for the exchange of good practices.
Transition will necessarily have a cost. That is why the long term vision is so important. We need to shift from a model where food is only a cost to a model in which public food becomes an investment. The money spent to buy fresh food, to train staff (a few percent of the meal price) is indeed an investment to increase local employment, to foster regenerative food production, to promote health, to reduce food leftovers and generally to increase people welfare and satisfaction.
We enter here in a virtuous circle because of the difference between the mindset of a person who invests compared to a person who spends money with no particular expectations of added value.
Indeed, the investor wants to drive change : here is the real strength and leverage effect of Public Food Services.

Why should we need to demonstrate what is already common sense?
The ecological crisis brings Commons at the forefront. If goods are commodities, a good meal that arises from a flourishing food supply chain is certainly even more because it gives added value to environment, health, local jobs, alternative food supply chains, etc. Such added value however is very difficult to assess because of its consistent part of immateriality. We have already spent much time and effort to measure this added value looking for the best indicators to justify any financial/policy effort to achieve the change. Whereas this research is still going on and improving it must not become the alibi for status quo.

Advocacy today is about seriously taking into consideration the idea that Public Food Services could become a real political project everywhere in Europe, a service in the interest of the whole community such as education or health, a service which invests in regenerative food systems, which diffuses welfare and which increases awareness.

Author: Isabelle Lacourt – Eating City

Eating City participates in the IPES-Food roundtable on Alternative Food Systems

On the 29th March 2017, Isabelle Lacourt from Eating City participated in IPES's Policy Lab 2 : Alternative food systems in the EU: "Which regulatory and policy frameworks can best support local-level initiatives towards sustainable food systems"

We are pleased to announce the 6th “Eating City Summer Campus”, inviting 28 participants aged 22-32 working & studying around food sustainability: Chefs, Gastronomists, Nutritionists, Food Procurement Officers – F&B Buyers, Farmers, Fishermen, Foodies, young professionals… at anyone work or studying around food issues – are invited to share this challenging adventure.

The Eating City Summer Campus experience brings together young people, researchers, senior professionals working in the public and private sectors, opinion and community leaders and builds participants’ capacity for learning and leading in the 21st century.

Click here for more information and to how to apply.

The James Beard Foundation (JBF) is one of the most well-known culinary organizations, whose mission is the celebrate, nurture and honor diverse culinary heritage in the United States through programs, industry awards, programs, conferences, and scholarships for aspiring culinary students and chefs as well as other industry professionals behind it.

Eating City attended the summit both as a professional partner of JBF and a participant bringing to the table this year’s Summer Campus attendees; convening together with two hundred other food system experts, innovators and change-makers coming from media, business, science, politics, gastronomy and community to discuss this year’s theme “Consuming Power.”

The theme of the summit aimed to shed light on how consumers’ power should be harnessed in transforming the food system trajectory. One of the speakers, Mike Lukianoff, Chief Data Scientist at Fishbowl, Inc., told the audience that we’ve accumulated more digital, social, sensory, and mobile data in 2017 than in the entire human history. The agreement in the room was that an average citizen indeed has determining power in changing the food production. Yet, the bigger challenge was to settle on the question – what are the tools or mechanisms available to shift that behaviour, and who controls them?

Although it lasted only for a day and a half, facilitators effectively curated thought-provoking presentations, debates between the speakers, and creative and dynamic group workshops to engage participants in understanding their role in capturing the power of consumers to advance the food movement.

It was a valuable learning experience for Eating City Youth to participate in an event where speakers with overwhelmingly different power and agenda in the US food system and beyond, debated shoulder to shoulder on the way to influence people to consider elements like sustainability and food insecurity alongside taste, price, and nutrition. Mehmood Khan, Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer PepsiCo stated that their approach to, ultimately, gradually moving the consumer to more healthy, sustainable choices is about providing a diversified product set, including soda products with reduced sugar content next to conventional products.

Chef, author, innovator and James Beard Leadership Award Honoree Dan Barber mentioned how significantly smaller craft brewery industry serves as an example of a sustainable promoter that has a major market and can scale for impact, as barley is an excellent soil-supporting cover crop and soil health is one of the top challenges for the future of food system.

It would take a much longer post to list all the speakers and debated points, but it is enough to mention that this year’s other Leadership Award honorees included co-directors of Food Chain Workers Alliance, Member of Congress Chellie Pingree, professor and author Joan Dye Gussow, and former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter.

When Eating City Summer Campus attendees participate in the process of writing a common “Villarceaux declaration”, they engage in the process where different backgrounds need to come together to create pointers for the food system change. Even though the process is exasperating as much as inspiring because of the differences among participants and layers and complexities which reveal themselves, it is an experiment and experience for learning where to look for the common ground among diverging agendas.

At the end of the day, what drives us to continue engaging in difficult debates is not the variety and range of different approach to food system issues, but because it still remains unclear how different approaches from different stakeholders’ support or cancel, meet or miss one another in the allegedly common goal of creating good foodfor everyone?

Photo of the EC participants from left to right:
Hannah Chatterjee – Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council
George Pitsakis – Philly Bread
Madeline Smith-Gibbs – Philadelphia Food Council
Brenda Mutuma – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Maurizio Mariani – Eating City CEO
Sylwia Padiasek – Karen Karp & Partners
Akello Karamoko – Keep Growing Detroit
Jamilka Borges – Chef at “Spoon” Restaurant, Pittsburgh
Ana Puhač – Assistant to the CEO at Eating City

EC is proud to contribute to one of their actions called “Mon restau responsable” (My Sustainable Restaurant)  which is a French catering scheme for School canteens, restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals, leisure centers …

“Mon restau Responsable” encourages Public Food Services to opt for responsible purchases (organic, quality, local, fair), reduce and manage waste, control costs, educate teams and guests about the process involved.

Indeed, EC presented the programme during the workshop entitled “The role of collective catering in the paradigm shift in food systems”  organised during the last CLIMATE CHANCE conference in Nantes, France in September 2016.

Through auto-evaluation, it aims to provide catering teams, the organizations that accompany them, the decision-makers who manage them, the producers who supply them with benchmarks and tools to accompany their evolution towards more sustainable practices.

Such a system is an unexpected and unprecedented opportunity in the world to allow the academic world to study the multiple factors that contribute to the possible synergies that can make collective catering a real leverage for sustainable food chains.

By choosing this collaborative tool, “Mon restau responsable” everyone is able to take part in this movement.

The dimension of Public Food Services:

It can be estimated that a city of 1 million inhabitants spends 45 milion euros for school meals and 20 million more for hospitals and care homes… However, we must be aware these are approximate data, for instance in terms of turnover, no NACE code is identifying this activity andcertainly it could be a good start to create one in order to properly assess this economic activity.  Expertise is needed to aggregate numbers of such multi-faceted activity as a whole and to correctly analyse data.

About Green Public Procurement 
Green Public Procurement is a voluntary tool that can used to introduce sustainability in Public Food Services. Regarding its application and the original expectations, it drives a slow process of change, mainly for the following reasons:
– Food is a complex matter and the persons in charge of tenders contents are insufficiently prepared and trained: they would need more time to work on a strategy and would greatly benefit from exchanges with their colleagues.
– To use efficiently the tool of GPP, ideally, public bodies would need to design strategy based on a vision an action plan with short, medium and long term objectives but this is barely the case.

Affordability of sustainable food
It is generally said that sustainable food is more expensive than other kind of food, certainly too expensive for public bodies to afford.
The truth is that in the past 20 years, through the industrialization of production processes public authorities have tended to reduce the money “in the plate” with the consequence of lowering ingredient quality and reducing staff qualifications in the kitchen,.
Fortunately, not everyone has followed this way and the demonstration has been made in several contexts that is possible, within normal budget, to increase service quality taking into account the synergy of sustainable development.This requires a complete rethinking and re-engineering of the service, mainly based on people skills.
Today we live in a world in which machines are becoming more and more intelligent and intuitive and can replace people: but this must not be the case of meals preparation.
If you ask yourself the following question : do you prefer a meal that is prepared by a skilled person, with fresh products or by a robot heating frozen food and mixing powders ?
And now why would you think that if it is not good for you, it should be good for your children at school or your parents who are maybe recovering in hospital?
We also need to remember that most of the gastronomic recipes which are so fashionable today, are at the origin from « poor kitchens » prepared from scratch with local and seasonal food. Therefore, it is possible to prepare good, healthy and nutrious meals based on traditional recipes at a good price, on the condition that skilled persons are in the kitchen.

The new paradigm
No one is talking about dismantling from today to tomorrow what has already been built up : this would be unreasonable. But the trend of innovation needs to change. The first of the class are not necessarily the usual ones. The less is the industrialization level and the easiest it will be to change the paradigm. We have here a renewed opportunity to engage a peer to peer dialogue between the different EU countries for the exchange of good practices.
Transition will necessarily have a cost. That is why the long term vision is so important. We need to shift from a model where food is only a cost to a model in which public food becomes an investment. The money spent to buy fresh food, to train staff (a few percent of the meal price) is indeed an investment to increase local employment, to foster regenerative food production, to promote health, to reduce food leftovers and generally to increase people welfare and satisfaction.
We enter here in a virtuous circle because of the difference between the mindset of a person who invests compared to a person who spends money with no particular expectations of added value.
Indeed, the investor wants to drive change : here is the real strength and leverage effect of Public Food Services.

Why should we need to demonstrate what is already common sense?
The ecological crisis brings Commons at the forefront. If goods are commodities, a good meal that arises from a flourishing food supply chain is certainly even more because it gives added value to environment, health, local jobs, alternative food supply chains, etc. Such added value however is very difficult to assess because of its consistent part of immateriality. We have already spent much time and effort to measure this added value looking for the best indicators to justify any financial/policy effort to achieve the change. Whereas this research is still going on and improving it must not become the alibi for status quo.

Advocacy today is about seriously taking into consideration the idea that Public Food Services could become a real political project everywhere in Europe, a service in the interest of the whole community such as education or health, a service which invests in regenerative food systems, which diffuses welfare and which increases awareness.

Author: Isabelle Lacourt – Eating City

Eating City participates in the IPES-Food roundtable on Alternative Food Systems

On the 29th March 2017, Isabelle Lacourt from Eating City participated in IPES's Policy Lab 2 : Alternative food systems in the EU: "Which regulatory and policy frameworks can best support local-level initiatives towards sustainable food systems"

We are pleased to announce the 6th “Eating City Summer Campus”, inviting 28 participants aged 22-32 working & studying around food sustainability: Chefs, Gastronomists, Nutritionists, Food Procurement Officers – F&B Buyers, Farmers, Fishermen, Foodies, young professionals… at anyone work or studying around food issues – are invited to share this challenging adventure.

The Eating City Summer Campus experience brings together young people, researchers, senior professionals working in the public and private sectors, opinion and community leaders and builds participants’ capacity for learning and leading in the 21st century.

Click here for more information and to how to apply.

The James Beard Foundation (JBF) is one of the most well-known culinary organizations, whose mission is the celebrate, nurture and honor diverse culinary heritage in the United States through programs, industry awards, programs, conferences, and scholarships for aspiring culinary students and chefs as well as other industry professionals behind it.

Eating City attended the summit both as a professional partner of JBF and a participant bringing to the table this year’s Summer Campus attendees; convening together with two hundred other food system experts, innovators and change-makers coming from media, business, science, politics, gastronomy and community to discuss this year’s theme “Consuming Power.”

The theme of the summit aimed to shed light on how consumers’ power should be harnessed in transforming the food system trajectory. One of the speakers, Mike Lukianoff, Chief Data Scientist at Fishbowl, Inc., told the audience that we’ve accumulated more digital, social, sensory, and mobile data in 2017 than in the entire human history. The agreement in the room was that an average citizen indeed has determining power in changing the food production. Yet, the bigger challenge was to settle on the question – what are the tools or mechanisms available to shift that behaviour, and who controls them?

Although it lasted only for a day and a half, facilitators effectively curated thought-provoking presentations, debates between the speakers, and creative and dynamic group workshops to engage participants in understanding their role in capturing the power of consumers to advance the food movement.

It was a valuable learning experience for Eating City Youth to participate in an event where speakers with overwhelmingly different power and agenda in the US food system and beyond, debated shoulder to shoulder on the way to influence people to consider elements like sustainability and food insecurity alongside taste, price, and nutrition. Mehmood Khan, Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer PepsiCo stated that their approach to, ultimately, gradually moving the consumer to more healthy, sustainable choices is about providing a diversified product set, including soda products with reduced sugar content next to conventional products.

Chef, author, innovator and James Beard Leadership Award Honoree Dan Barber mentioned how significantly smaller craft brewery industry serves as an example of a sustainable promoter that has a major market and can scale for impact, as barley is an excellent soil-supporting cover crop and soil health is one of the top challenges for the future of food system.

It would take a much longer post to list all the speakers and debated points, but it is enough to mention that this year’s other Leadership Award honorees included co-directors of Food Chain Workers Alliance, Member of Congress Chellie Pingree, professor and author Joan Dye Gussow, and former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter.

When Eating City Summer Campus attendees participate in the process of writing a common “Villarceaux declaration”, they engage in the process where different backgrounds need to come together to create pointers for the food system change. Even though the process is exasperating as much as inspiring because of the differences among participants and layers and complexities which reveal themselves, it is an experiment and experience for learning where to look for the common ground among diverging agendas.

At the end of the day, what drives us to continue engaging in difficult debates is not the variety and range of different approach to food system issues, but because it still remains unclear how different approaches from different stakeholders’ support or cancel, meet or miss one another in the allegedly common goal of creating good foodfor everyone?

Photo of the EC participants from left to right:
Hannah Chatterjee – Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council
George Pitsakis – Philly Bread
Madeline Smith-Gibbs – Philadelphia Food Council
Brenda Mutuma – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Maurizio Mariani – Eating City CEO
Sylwia Padiasek – Karen Karp & Partners
Akello Karamoko – Keep Growing Detroit
Jamilka Borges – Chef at “Spoon” Restaurant, Pittsburgh
Ana Puhač – Assistant to the CEO at Eating City

EC is proud to contribute to one of their actions called “Mon restau responsable” (My Sustainable Restaurant)  which is a French catering scheme for School canteens, restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals, leisure centers …

“Mon restau Responsable” encourages Public Food Services to opt for responsible purchases (organic, quality, local, fair), reduce and manage waste, control costs, educate teams and guests about the process involved.

Indeed, EC presented the programme during the workshop entitled “The role of collective catering in the paradigm shift in food systems”  organised during the last CLIMATE CHANCE conference in Nantes, France in September 2016.

Through auto-evaluation, it aims to provide catering teams, the organizations that accompany them, the decision-makers who manage them, the producers who supply them with benchmarks and tools to accompany their evolution towards more sustainable practices.

Such a system is an unexpected and unprecedented opportunity in the world to allow the academic world to study the multiple factors that contribute to the possible synergies that can make collective catering a real leverage for sustainable food chains.

By choosing this collaborative tool, “Mon restau responsable” everyone is able to take part in this movement.

The dimension of Public Food Services:

It can be estimated that a city of 1 million inhabitants spends 45 milion euros for school meals and 20 million more for hospitals and care homes… However, we must be aware these are approximate data, for instance in terms of turnover, no NACE code is identifying this activity andcertainly it could be a good start to create one in order to properly assess this economic activity.  Expertise is needed to aggregate numbers of such multi-faceted activity as a whole and to correctly analyse data.

About Green Public Procurement 
Green Public Procurement is a voluntary tool that can used to introduce sustainability in Public Food Services. Regarding its application and the original expectations, it drives a slow process of change, mainly for the following reasons:
– Food is a complex matter and the persons in charge of tenders contents are insufficiently prepared and trained: they would need more time to work on a strategy and would greatly benefit from exchanges with their colleagues.
– To use efficiently the tool of GPP, ideally, public bodies would need to design strategy based on a vision an action plan with short, medium and long term objectives but this is barely the case.

Affordability of sustainable food
It is generally said that sustainable food is more expensive than other kind of food, certainly too expensive for public bodies to afford.
The truth is that in the past 20 years, through the industrialization of production processes public authorities have tended to reduce the money “in the plate” with the consequence of lowering ingredient quality and reducing staff qualifications in the kitchen,.
Fortunately, not everyone has followed this way and the demonstration has been made in several contexts that is possible, within normal budget, to increase service quality taking into account the synergy of sustainable development.This requires a complete rethinking and re-engineering of the service, mainly based on people skills.
Today we live in a world in which machines are becoming more and more intelligent and intuitive and can replace people: but this must not be the case of meals preparation.
If you ask yourself the following question : do you prefer a meal that is prepared by a skilled person, with fresh products or by a robot heating frozen food and mixing powders ?
And now why would you think that if it is not good for you, it should be good for your children at school or your parents who are maybe recovering in hospital?
We also need to remember that most of the gastronomic recipes which are so fashionable today, are at the origin from « poor kitchens » prepared from scratch with local and seasonal food. Therefore, it is possible to prepare good, healthy and nutrious meals based on traditional recipes at a good price, on the condition that skilled persons are in the kitchen.

The new paradigm
No one is talking about dismantling from today to tomorrow what has already been built up : this would be unreasonable. But the trend of innovation needs to change. The first of the class are not necessarily the usual ones. The less is the industrialization level and the easiest it will be to change the paradigm. We have here a renewed opportunity to engage a peer to peer dialogue between the different EU countries for the exchange of good practices.
Transition will necessarily have a cost. That is why the long term vision is so important. We need to shift from a model where food is only a cost to a model in which public food becomes an investment. The money spent to buy fresh food, to train staff (a few percent of the meal price) is indeed an investment to increase local employment, to foster regenerative food production, to promote health, to reduce food leftovers and generally to increase people welfare and satisfaction.
We enter here in a virtuous circle because of the difference between the mindset of a person who invests compared to a person who spends money with no particular expectations of added value.
Indeed, the investor wants to drive change : here is the real strength and leverage effect of Public Food Services.

Why should we need to demonstrate what is already common sense?
The ecological crisis brings Commons at the forefront. If goods are commodities, a good meal that arises from a flourishing food supply chain is certainly even more because it gives added value to environment, health, local jobs, alternative food supply chains, etc. Such added value however is very difficult to assess because of its consistent part of immateriality. We have already spent much time and effort to measure this added value looking for the best indicators to justify any financial/policy effort to achieve the change. Whereas this research is still going on and improving it must not become the alibi for status quo.

Advocacy today is about seriously taking into consideration the idea that Public Food Services could become a real political project everywhere in Europe, a service in the interest of the whole community such as education or health, a service which invests in regenerative food systems, which diffuses welfare and which increases awareness.

Author: Isabelle Lacourt – Eating City

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