Part of the whole reason YFM was started was because our co-founder Alex felt there was so much missing from conversations around”nutrition” and “healthy food” during her studies. Here are three ways to rethink healthy food and healthy eating that will ensure you never see it the same again.

Find simplicity while acknowledging complexity

Nutrition science is a relatively new science, and our understanding of how food is processed in our body, what nutrient interactions occur during digestion, and what soil is really made of, are growing each day. However we have a long way to go as there is much we still do not understand. Given this I would like to see a more common sense approach to health behaviours where nutrition science is considered alongside conventional wisdom and personal preference. Health is not black and white. Food is not good or bad. What is tasty for one is not tasty for another. As Michael Pollan suggests, eating well for your health and the health of the environment is relatively simple: eat real food, when you’re hungry, and eat mostly plants.

Stop counting calories, and focus on what really counts

I would also like to change the perception that all calories are created equal. By focusing on energy as a metric of food quality is simplifying food and its role in health to the point of uselessness. While energy is important, so are other metrics such as vitamin and micronutrient content. I would like to see a food system – right from soil and growing to processing and storage – that rewards and incentivises nutritional quality. It’s great to see events like the Food Tank Summit push this conversation forward so that agriculture is now seeing its role in nutrition as well.

Remember that health is never just personal

The thousands of young adults around the world who are leading the charge on sustainable and conscious food consumption are redefining what it means to make a healthy choice. And this new definition has to consider agriculture. Healthy is no longer about the individual. A healthy choice is one that is good for me, for the people that produced, processed, delivered and sold me my food, and good for the environment and generations to come.

For more holistic thoughts (and practical advice) to help you eat healthy, check out our guide to eating (bio)diverse.

Alexandra Iljadica