Changing how a billion people eat, through games

Educating young children on diet can preserve both their health and the planet

Food Heroes is one of the first food education programs in China. Children learn to “eat a rainbow everyday”. Photograph: merc67/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Before every meal, the Maori people of New Zealand say a simple thanks for their food. A child might recite:

"Welcome the gifts of food from the guardian of the forest, the God of peace and agriculture, the guardian of wild and uncultivated food, the guardian of the sea, the God of rivers and streams. Ranginui Sky Father and Papatūānuku Earth Mother, bless our food as wellbeing for our body. Feed our spirit with the food of wellness. Share food for me, food for you, food for us all. The breath of life.”

In most of the industrialised world, the knowledge embedded in this blessing of how food is integral to everything – and gratitude for the community that brought it to our plates – has been lost. Our bodily wellbeing, our Earth, our economies, our society, our spirit have all wasted away with it. We ignore the disastrous consequences of our choices; of the sugary garbage we have become addicted to and the toxins we feed our food and soils.

Some 3 billion people, around 40% of the world’s population, face some form of malnutrition. Stunting from hunger is decreasing, but obesity has nearly tripledworldwide in four decades since 1975: by 2015, about 12% of all adults and 5% of all children were obese. In most places, more people die from being overweight than underweight. Diabetes will be the world’s seventh largest killer by 2030.

Read the full article in the Guardian