The World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that healthy diets are essential to tackling numerous health challenges in today’s society such as malnutrition, obesity and other non-communicable diseases. Combined with a healthy lifestyle, healthy diets are able to improve the quality of life for the public.
On my blog, Tasty Mediterraneo, I promote one of the healthiest dietary patterns in the world, the Mediterranean diet, by sharing healthy and nutritious vegetarian and vegan Mediterranean recipes in 4 languages (English, French, Spanish & Arabic).
Thanks to my work, I was invited back in November 2018 as a “Key Food & Health Influencer of the European Union” to attend the “Food and Health Forum: Personalised Nutrition & Health” in London.
At this forum we were introduced to EIT Food. EIT Food is Europe’s leading food innovation initiative, with the aim of creating a sustainable and future-proof food sector that is set to support economically sustainable and innovative initiatives to improve our health, our environment, and our access to quality food.
EIT Food is part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) that is an EU body created by the European Union in 2008 to strengthen Europe’s ability to innovate.
This was an invitation only non-profit evening event to discuss ‘Personalised Nutrition’ & the relationship between ‘Food & Health’, where we had a fantastic roundtable of discussions & networking with academic experts from UK universities, food & nutrition communicators, practitioners in food, nutrition & medicine, chefs, sport and fitness experts, food start-up businesses & global food industry businesses.
Consumers can be categorised according to their dietary needs, which could be age-related or related to specialised diets, such as allergy-avoidance or nutrient depletion. As an example, the dietary requirements of older adults differ from those of children. However, nowadays some consumers also expect healthy diets to consider sustainable and ethical issues. Thus, consumers can also be categorised in terms of their beliefs, such as vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diets. Consumers can as well be classified in relation to their attitudes to health. Some consumers actively seek healthy foods and/or lifestyles and are willing to invest the required time and money, while others may not be willing to do so, or only seek it when it is absolutely necessary, for example as a result of health challenges.
When we need to effectively communicate with these various types of consumers there are clear challenges. As an example, in some cases, consumers misinterpret the information from communicators.
Key food communicators include food researchers, regulators, the print media and social media (online influencers). These key food communicators actively promote health messages by providing consumers with information about food to enable them to make good food choices.
I am delighted to have been chosen as an EIT Food Ambassador. The EIT Food Ambassadors project provides a platform where accurate food and health information is provided to consumers. Through a series of engagements with key stakeholders i.e. communicators and food and health industries, issues of importance to consumers are discussed and disseminated via a unique website, Food UNfolded (FUN), providing information to relevant issues on food and health.
The “Food and Health Forum – Personalised Nutrition and Health” was the first of these engagements. And I have also been invited to attend another event in Brussels as a Key Food & Health Influencer of the European Union and as an EIT Food Ambassador at the end of June 2019 called “Eating the Gap – changing the food system”, for a cooking contest with top chefs and influencers to experience how healthy and sustainable food is at hand, raising awareness on the need of changing the food system and our habits.
Among the food and health media and social media influencers that accompanied me at the London forum there were: Anthony Warner (a.k.a Angry Chef), Ben Coomber, Dr Stuart Farrimond, Dr Zoe Williams, Kimberley Wilson (a.k.a Food and Psych), Gemma Evans (Health Hackers) and Graeme Tomlinson (a.k.a The Fitness Chef).
I am proud to be the only Spanish blogger who attended this event as a Key Food & Health Influencer of the European Union. And also the only blogger to attend the 1st celebration of World Pulses Day at United Nations headquarter in New York. There could not be a better recognition to my work at Tasty Mediterraneo.
If you are interested in learning more about the event held in London you can read this summary report by University of Reading.
Enjoy a healthy lifestyle and happy healthy cooking!