Round-up: The Future of Food - A Japanese-German Dialogue

2nd February 2023

Parallel to this year's "International Green Week" in Berlin, the JDZB, together with the Japan Foundation, hosted the virtual symposium "The Future of Food - A Japanese-German Dialogue" on January 25, 2023, which was attended by around 200 experts and interested individuals. The central question addressed by the event was: how can our societies and local food cultures contribute to a food system that is sustainable in terms of environmental protection while resilient in terms of food production and nutrition?

The symposium was opened by keynote inputs from Prof. Dr Ryo KOHSAKA (The University of Tokyo) and Prof. Dr Jana RÜCKERT-JOHN (Fulda University of Applied Sciences). In the panel discussion that followed, speakers from the field - from the areas of agricultural production, food supply chains and sales planning, Slow Food, and from the Future Foundation for Agriculture - presented their projects and work before responding to questions from the moderator Prof. Dr. Cornelia REIHER (FU Berlin) and the audience. What is healthier for the planet is also better for people - that was one of the central messages. Attention was drawn to the discussion about the necessity of a "Planetary Health Diet" for the preservation of our planet, and also about a "One Health Diet" for the health of planet and people. For both approaches a system change is necessary. The attitude that "food is an expression of privacy" is contrasted with the view that "nutrition is political". In Germany, it was said, a reorientation in nutrition policy is currently becoming apparent. In Japan, the opinion was heard that changes in the nutrition system have so far tended to take place at the "grassroots level" and that the topic should be introduced more strongly in schools, for example. The numerous questions from the audience made it clear that the topic is moving - the discussion could certainly have been continued for longer.

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