When it comes to food, we make on average 200 decisions every day, researchers say.

These decisions may include what, where, how often, why, from whom to buy food, but also quantity, quality, origin, and impact of our food choices. Just like drops of water that, consistently after decades, can modify rocks, also our food choices, reiterated on a daily basis and replicated for almost 8 billion people, can shape our current food system. For better or worse.

In fact, the power for consumers to literally vote with their forks means that they can make their food decisions in support of individual health, longevity, regenerative practices, biodiversity, high nutritional values, resource preservation, small farmers, and women empowerment. Or not.

Having a closer look at the current state of the world today, it seems that the world population has been (consciously or unconsciously) choosing the “not” side. There are in fact several paradoxes, dysfunctions, and non-senses characterizing food patterns and scenarios within our food system. In particular, food waste and the current “obesity epidemics,” as warned by the FAO, represent two clear pieces of evidence of the fact that, due to our food choices, are losing both our health and our planet. Unveiling the complexities behind these current dysfunctions also means recognizing the deep and hidden interconnections that make apparently separated aspects connected. Being in the middle of Climate Week and approaching the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste provides the right occasion to unveil these interdependencies, spotlighting the multiple factors that alter and influence our food choices and that inevitably connect food waste with overeating and climate change.

I am deeply thankful to Silvia Lisciani, a researcher at CREA Research Centre for Food and Nutrition of Rome, who gave this article the depth and meticulous approach that is typical of the scientific world.


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