German City Sets an Example by Providing Organic Food to First Graders
By Anna Hunt
When it comes to making the organic food industry successful, Nuremberg, Germany, is a shining example of what is possible. One of the city’s initiatives is to gift first-graders with yellow lunchboxes filled with organic food on their first day of school, reports German broadcaster DW. The city refills the box daily as part of an initiative to increase the amount of organic food offered in public institutions.
In Nuremberg City, Organic Food Takes Priority
The Nuremberg initiative extends beyond public schools. It includes nursing homes, daycare centers, correctional facilities, and city administrative offices. The efforts are part of the city’s Organic Metropolis Nuremberg project, which runs many outreach programs to promote organic food producers and farmers.
Since 2003, Nuremberg City has been actively supporting the production and consumption of organically grown food. As a result, the Nuremberg metropolitan area has more than 2,000 certified organic companies. A growing share of the city’s agricultural operations are switching to organic methods. In fact, organic farming has quadrupled from 2.5% in 2008 to 12% in 2014.
The city leaders believe that supporting organic farming and organic food producers has many advantages. For example, it benefits the local population, with higher quality drinking water and food products.
As part of its organic food initiatives, Nuremberg joined the Biostädte. Translated organic cities, this network of municipalities across Germany includes Munich, Bremen and Karlsruhe. Their goals are to make food production healthier and more sustainable.
Other initiatives in German cities include:
- Car-free, solar-powered districts dedicated to growing edible plants on and around buildings.
- Encouraging local citizens to use public green spaces to grow useful crops.
- Allowing people to use public spaces to produce, process and trade organic food.
The Copenhagen Organic Project
The Copenhagen organic project is another example of a hyper-local effort to transition a city to organic food. The project’s goal is to convert all 900 public kitchens to 90% organic.
The city established the organization Copenhagen House of Food to oversee this effort. When the project started in 2001, the city was using no organic food. By early 2014, this increased to 76%!
The institutions taking part in this project include schools, shelters, nursing homes and sports facilities. Already, most kindergartens in Copenhagen have 90% organic food.
Below is a short video about this project.
All of these cities are a wonderful example of how we can address the issues of food insecurity and quality at a local level. The efforts of these city government not only support local organic business, but also benefit the public. The benefits include higher quality products, better health and more food independence.
Consequently, communities rely less on outside food sources, making food consumption more sustainable. In addition, this trend of supporting and promoting organic foods is bound to create a shift in mindset. Instead of thinking of food as there to feed us, the perception changes to food being there to provide nutrition.
Read more articles by Anna Hunt.
Anna Hunt is writer, yoga instructor, mother of three, and lover of healthy food. She’s the founder of Awareness Junkie, an online community paving the way for better health and personal transformation. She’s also the co-editor at Waking Times, where she writes about optimal health and wellness. Anna spent 6 years in Costa Rica as a teacher of Hatha and therapeutic yoga. She now teaches at Asheville Yoga Center and is pursuing her Yoga Therapy certification. During her free time, you’ll find her on the mat or in the kitchen, creating new kid-friendly superfood recipes.
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