Knowledge for better food systems

Diet Dimensions: a sustainable diets policy game

This report from the global research network Agriculture, Nutrition & Health (ANH) Academy introduces a game, ‘Diet Dimensions’, which is designed to engage researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders in the issues and policies surrounding healthy, sustainable food systems.

During the game, participants from a wide range of backgrounds are given an overview of the concepts of sustainable diets and food systems. They then complete a ‘character sheet’ outlining their own skills and knowledge, and form teams with people who have complementary skills. Each team generates ideas for projects that could improve the sustainability of the food system. Teams pitch their ideas to the other teams and to judges, who give feedback based on interdisciplinarity, feasibility, adaptation of the project to context and successful use of critiques to improve the project proposal.

A case study game session, held in London in 2016, generated the following ideas:

  • Collecting and redistributing food that would otherwise be wasted from supermarkets and restaurants in Nigeria
  • Provide low-cost seeds and equipment loans to farmers in remote parts of India
  • Supporting small-scale cooperatives to encourage the growth of certain nutrient-rich crops in Burkina Faso
  • Develop a framework for labelling the sustainability credentials of foods in the UK.

Read the full report, ‘Diet Dimensions’: a case study on a sustainable diets policy game, here. See also the Foodsource chapter What is a healthy sustainable eating pattern?

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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