Understanding and experiencing the impact of our daily food choices is at the core of our vision - understanding leads to change in habits.
Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.
We live in the City of Vienna and we have built strong connections to a variety of stakeholders interested and contributing to the development of the situation of food products in Austria.
All Stakeholders involved are also based in Vienna. They support and contribute to the vision are listed above and include government institutions, city council, schools, teachers, parents, children and NGOs that can and do support the project and together work for an improvement of our Food System.
Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.
View from Saint Stephen's Cathedral across the city till the Viennese forest which provides an excellent area for enjoying nature while living, working and studying in Austria's largest City. Vienna has been selected the City with the highest living standard for 10 years in a row by Mercer International. One reason being the great care of environment and the accessibility of natural habitats.
People in Vienna have a strong interest in environmental issues on a global scale. This is evidenced by the Green Party being part of both the federal government coalition as well as the City governement. However the complexity of our food chain today leads to a lack of consciousness in what needs to be done and how all stakeholders could and need to be connected. The City of Vienna this week publicly announced the decision to develop a "Food Action Plan" which will have all stakeholders join.
Vienna is known for its most popular dish, the "Viennese Schnitzel". Little do people know, that most meat served in restaurants today is either imported at cheap prices from countries with lower environmental and animal protection standards. Increase transparency as to the origin of food, it's way of production and the hidden cost to our environment is required - ultimately also for food to regain its correct price and achieving better prices for local farmers.
Meat Consumption in Austria is decreasing, albeit still being way aboved recommended levels: Men eat approximately 300% and women approximately 50% above the recommended levels for a healthy nutrition.
As in most Western countries the risk of dying from a heart attack or from cancer rank highest in Austria's populations. There is ample evidence, that the risk of heart desease correlates with the usual diet consumed.
We need to understand the value chain of food and food choices for consumers to start making the right choices on a daily basis and pushing for policy change on a strategic level.
This with a view to understanding the impact of our food choices with regards to our own health, the health of our planet and the well-being of all living species on our planet. Only by understanding people can be convinced of change.
Change in behaviour and consumption needs to start with the WHY.
Our food system is broken. To repair it, people need to understand. Understand cause and effect.
Vienna has been chosen for 10 years in a row as the city with the highest standard of living. One of the reasons, why the standard of living is regarded as high, is the high level of green habitat surrounding the city. This habitat gives inhabitants the possibility to have an access to nature as well as to small agricultural production entities.
People in Vienna have a strong conscience about the importance of organic farming. Vienna and Austria is a leader in organic food production and consumption across Europe.
However also the consumption of meat and dairy product is very high. This is due to the cultural development and habits of what is considered "traditional local food" in Central Europe, which actually only developed in the post-war period. Meat is associated with high-income - people who could afford meat were better off. This has been a learned cultural behaviour over the last 50 years.
We require a cultural shift. We need to reduce meat and dairy consumption. We need to re-learn eating and consumption habits.
We need to learn about plants that grow in Austria and need to learn again, how to work and cook with them. We need to re-learn again what a plant-based diet would look like based on local produce. We need to make people in Austria - and Central Europe - less dependant of a high animal protein diet. For the benefit of their own health and the health of our planet.
High animal produce consumption is only possible through high imports of protein through soy beans and corn from overseas - at the detriment of deforestation in tropical zones. Also the high consumption of meat and dairy products may be one reason for the unchanged and worsening health issues within the Austrian population.
Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.
Culture in 2020:
The food system in Vienna shows little awareness to the footprint and the importance of food both to our health and diets.
In order to change the awareness we have dedicated ourselves to working with children and showing them the environmental foodprint of our daily choices. Austria is a net importer of plant-based protein for the purpose of feeding livestock.
We need to understand how we can shift our diets. This is also important in a cultural perspective, because people are used to their food and whole restaurant concepts circle around these food choices of "Wiener Schnitzel". If we take away the Schnitzel from the plate - what is left? People only see a little leaf of salad left on their plate and do not see the abundance that exists in the realm of plant-based options.
This discussion was even a topic in the last elections to the Austrian governement. It has become very clear that even policy drivers in the past had little to no awareness of the importance of food choices.
Change is starting to develop however - especially the Fridays for Future movement hast led to a shift in thinking especially in schools and institutions. Politics is starting to listen.
Diets in 2020:
Increasing rate of obesity is prevalent in Austria over decades. In spite of several efforts of teaching children and adults obesity rates are still increasing. We believe that actual "doing" and theory need to be correlated. We need not to just talk about food, we actually and literally have to show people how to cook, how to produce a meal at a low cost in spite of using high-quality and fresh ingredients. We need to learn to move away from fast food to slow preparation and celebration of meals, that will nourish our people at all levels.
Economics in 2020:
The agricultural scene is very dependent on animal products. A change in consumption behaviour needs to be accompanied by a support programme to local farmers in order for them to be able to go through the required transition from conventional to organic farming and from high-energy-intensive farmic to low-energy options.
Environement in 2020:
Currently environment policy is focused on energy and waste issues - less on the impact of our food system on our and the global environment.
Policy in 2020:
The city of Vienna has just now kicked off the "Aktionsplan Lebensmittel" - "Wien isSt gut" ("Vienna eats / is well"), which provides for the right framework through which change can develop towards a vision with an improved food system. This action plan includes a framework of what public entities are allowed to purchase, thereby increasing the organic and regional share in food purchases - all with a view to an improvement of the ecological impact of our food-print.
Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.
Through education system starting to change today, customers will start shifting habits and change demand.
This will result in a chain reaction, forcing the industry and governments to change. Mindsets will change and so will the offer.
Our vision is that we show children the impact of the food choices we make by showing the "life" and the roadmap of different agricultural food products - eg what it means to "create" milk, meat or also plant based food like a mango - which needs to be transported across the globe to meet our plate.
We have already acquired experience by holding workshops and working with our interactive "danachda" board to "visualize" different stories about different types of food.
Recently we finalized the story of how "milk" is produced and how dairy products have an impact on our environement and what different "qualities" and "prices" of milk mean in terms of environmental and social impact for farmers and animal welfare.
When people do understand the footprint of their food and their diet we are convinced that many will change their food choices to more sustainable options. We help to achieve this by providing plant based cooking lessons in schools. Even if people continue eating meat, they will understand that price is not the only relevant decision driver when they shop their food, but that the quality that they buy has an impact - therefore they will be more inclined to make better choices for themselves and the planet.
Danachda will provide its knowhow and experience together will all other involved stakeholders to the Action Plan announced just this week by the City of Vienna. We are looking forward to jointly develop our way forward. At the same time we want to learn and share experiences, especially from countries that share our vision, like Denmark and the Nordic European Countries.
This will lead to a European movement rooted in regional structures but working for global solutions.
Making good choices on public procurement in schools for school meals, adapting the curriculum to integrate the food topic in an inter-disciplinary approach - elaborating all this together with the stakeholder for this Vision - will add to an improved policy.
The price anomalities will be corrected. Public utilities will no longer be priced at zero respectively at a large discount for communities to take all the weight. Focusing on circular economy will make sure, that the price of a product will reflect all stakeholders at a fair level as well as go and cover its whole life-cycle. This leads up to zero - waste across the product cycle.
is our top priority. Because this is our only planet. Agro-forestry being the main source of food production.
Research is focussed on total energy efficiency and on living with nature - not working against it. Clean water is a birthright and technology will be used to ensure it.
High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.
Culture in 2050:
In 2050 our food habits in Austria are adapted to support our planet: we don´t grow animals to eat them anymore. Meat can come from forest hunting only. By law. Thus we will have increased the forest coverage to 70%. Humans will easily build communities and grow fruits and vegetables wherever possible, in particular in cities: gardens, rooftops, public places.
Diets in 2050:
90% of the population will eat plant-based respectively vegan, as the famous “Vienese Schnitzel” will have been replaced by the new Vienese “Stefanitzel” based on mushrooms from the forests. Austrian will mainly use regional and seasonal fruits and vegetables and will have re-energized its biodiversity.
Economics in 2050:
We spend 15% of our income on our food - compared to 7% back in 2020 - because food matters and we willingly and deliberately give it a higher value. Farmers can live from their income without the need to receive subsidies. Consumers understand the value of their produce and willingly pay for it.
Environment in 2050:
Austria will have only organic agricultural areas, all used to feed humans and the growing population. No more planes to carry food 10.000 miles. Last but not least we eat less (Calory consumption adapted to real needs!) but diets are adapted to age and gender. This cascades in healthier people so governments support Organic food production instead of health insurances.
Policy in 2050:
We will no longer import soy, corn. We are part of the global movement and pay for the existence of the rainforests as lungs of our planet and for a fair income share for the regions preserving the forests to our all benefit.
Technology in 2050:
Reforestation, Biodiversity measurement and automated re-investment in all environmental spheres are part of the global targeted technology programme all nations have undersigned.
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
Our FOOD VISION - 1
Our FOOD VISION - 2
Our FOOD VISION - 3
OUR PLAN - HOW TO GET FROM HERE TO OUR VISION!
WE TRUST AND RELY ON EDUCATION. LEARNING THE FOODPRINT - THE FOOTPRINT OF OUR FOOD.
We join forces to increasing the KnowHow for better choices for a better world for every being on our planet.
Understanding and experiencing the impact of our daily food choices is at the core of our vision - understanding leads to change in habits.
Start sharing and exchanging, building stronger communities.
Living up to our vision is the result of co-operation of stakeholders across the food chain including policy makers and involving people and communities of every age - first and foremost including children.
Children research the connections of their food choices and make their own designs on the danachda board to visualize the complexity of the global food system. Going forward this type of learning will expand to the digital interactive world making it possible for children to work on open-ideo with a digital "danachda" board across the world. This will engage consumers and producers across the globe who will be incentivized to think in circular economy concepts.
Cooking is a regular part of daily classes in all schools. Children learn to prepare their own meals from basic ingredients. Parents have learned cooking skills again through their own children. Sharing breakfast, lunch and dinner at a table becomes a basic element of everyday life AGAIN. Eating in public transport is not allowed - just like smoking. People eating in-between or in front of their computer are seen as being non-mindful towards themselves.
Food is increasingly organic and GMO-free with a focus on increasing bio-diversity.
Children learn to grow their own food and know that growing food requires time and important resources. Therefore food is never wasted!
Having a great time while eating together is a natural result!
2nd of January 2050:
Press conference with the newly appointed minister for agriculture and environment, Alice Grünberg, 39.
Alice Grünberg will start today her new role as Minister for agriculture and environment and gives an exclusive interview about how she built her vision
The Environmental Times: "Dear Minister, tell us why you decided to go for this position?"
"When I was 9 years old, my school participated in a series of workshops presented by the team of a small environment association called Dadachda. I remember my first one was called the „Milk Story“. We learned not only about what is milk, but how cows are treated when the farmers work on maximising profit, limiting their life expectation to around 6 yrs instead of 25. We learned that cows are fed with soy instead of grass, soy coming from the amazonas region where precious rainforest is burned massively to get new land to cultivate soy. High CO2 footprint to transport this soy all over the planet was the result. For the first time, what sounded normal to me - drinking milk every morning - became a global environmental issue going in the wrong direction. This is where my vision started. I became a „Danachda Ambassador“.
When I was 18, I did an internship at Danachda. I participated in their vision to share knowhow and make the complexity of our system transparent to consumers and thereby to regional policy makers. There I also learned how to cooperate with different stakeholders and understood how well connected you need to be to bring a vision forward.
The Environmental Times: "What is your plan on the ENVIRONEMENT side today?"
Climate change is still a phenomenon we need to adapt to. We will go on protecting basic ressources like clean water, clean air, forests/green in cities, and reduce CO2 emissions.
I will continue supporting the 3 pillars:
Cities: reduce again to -25% the number of cars left
no more cars in cities > 50.000 inhabitants: make bikes affordable to everyone.
minimum of 60% green coverage on buildings (vertical gardening) and streets
for the countryside we will further increase trains frequencies and comfort. our plan is to reach far beyond Europe as fossile-fuel-based flight traffic has been cut to zero.
no taxes on clean water for households - clean water is accessible to every private household. 100% of toilet flush & shower shall come from rain water. higher taxes on water consumptions for companies which should use waste water for all areas where no clean water is absolutely necessary.
FOREST: increase by +5% the national coverage (to 70%), for CO2 matters as well as source of food (berries, nuts, mushrooms, meat) for agro forestry.
The Environmental Times: What is your plan on the DIETS side?
Here again the 3 pilars are the basis to make sure we live sustainably. We managed to reduce the meet consumption to the strict minimum and cover it by forest animals ONLY. Agro Forestry is fully used.
Fruits and vegetables come from organic farms only and we will continue to face regular checks to renew licences. Quality checks include means of transport. We will offer a „starter pack“ to families not yet growing their own fruits and vegetable garden.
We will control houses in cities to make sure roof tops and gardens are used properly for „community micro-agriculture“ (decreasing temperatures in cities and improving the air quality on top). We continue to favorise plant based consumptions in all public entities including schools, public cantines, hospitals and retirement homes to keep people healthy and feed everyone.
We support restaurants inventing new affordable receipes with the criteria: seasonal and regional fruits and vegetables, 100% organic, covering the perfect nutrition mix for human needs.
Training for kids to build micro-agriculture and learn agro forestry are still financed by the state and communities.
The Environmental Times: "What is your plan on the ECONOMIC side?"
We are happy that the regulation to declare food origin and checking routines have yielded excellent results in people taking choices for lower CO2 foodprint. We will further incentivize this approach.
We will cooperate with our local food industry to be sure that consumers can rely on receiving exclusively „clean“ food (no use of chemicals or hormons) and use only allowed respectively zero packaging.
I believe that communities need to be empowered. I love to support sharing concepts in all possible areas to reduce waste close to zero.
We need to ensure that supermarkets, restaurants & caterings are encouraged to share left overs / offer to a minimum price and food waste is minimized to zero.
Our city will not only be seen as the city with the highest standard of living due to our beautiful forest, but also for our excellent food quality in all life situations - including schools and all public institutions. City will be THE European place to go for organic-food tourism.
We will encourage schools for children to co-develop and co-engineer education platforms and games based - just like "danachda".
The Environmental Times: "What is your plan on the TECHNOLOGY and POLICY side?"
I am so happy that we can rely exclusively on clean energy (water, solar, geothermy) today - including the food transport. Can you imagine we were still burning fossile fuel when I was in school?
I am cooperating with our ministry for transport to convert the former highways to bicycle roads planted with treas and including recreational areas. Also the riksha production for single houshold and short distance food transport will profit from this improved network.
Together with the water ministry we are further improving the usage of rainwater for households and industry, to grow food and produce packaging, which is 100% plant-based and recycled.
Solar technology has revolutionized all our transport vehicles - we are emission free and there is no necessity any longer to own a car because every village in all of Austria can be reached today through our transport network.
We no longer need chemical pesticides because finally we understand the cycles of our biosphere and know and understand what is required in every context for the good of all plants and living species.
We want to make sure that every inhabitant in our city has access to his own garden plot to grow food or plant a micro-forest. This year we will have a big outdoor party in all communal gardens on mid-summer day to celebrate our success!
Are you ready? Shall we get started?