Knowledge for better food systems

To eat healthy low-income families need to spend one third of their budget according to Food Standards Agency

This joint survey by the Food Standards Agency, Foodsafe and the Consumer Council in Northern Ireland finds that low ­income families need to spend at least one third of their weekly income on food if they want to eat healthily.  This percentage was the result when consumers were asked to select a realistic, healthy food basket that met the family’s taste requirements and included some special food items for visitors and social occasions.

A parallel FSA­NI report, Understanding food in the context of poverty, economic insecurity and social exclusion, highlighted a number of factors that were trapping segments of society in a food poverty cycle. The high cost of eating healthily, declining cooking skills and the fact that other expenses such as energy bills took precedence over food bills meant that people were buying cheaper and less nutritious food.

This may indicate that the failure of government healthy eating campaigns were therefore not lack of interest but rather lack of economic resources.

Read the full report here and see further coverage here.

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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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