The importance of food literacy

Food literacy is the understanding and knowledge of various aspects of food, including nutrition, cooking skills, food safety, food sourcing, and the ability to make informed and healthy food choices. It allows a positive relationship with food and plays an important role in increasing self-determination and empowerment to make informed food decisions.

Food literacy is only one of the determinants of decision-making and needs to be interpreted in a broader ecological approach including all the factors mentioned in Chapter 1 (personal, social, economic, cultural, religious, among others).

The increase in diet-related diseases has been linked to poor dietary habits and low levels of diet-related knowledge and skills related to food. This is why food Literacy and nutrition literacy have increasingly relevant in health promotion1.

The food literacy is essential for improving public health, promoting sustainable practices, and empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their food choices.

This figure represents the components of food literacy, grouped into 4 interrelated domains:

  1. Planning and management;
  2. Selection;
  3. Preparation;
  4. Consumption.

🍽️ Eating local and seasonal food offers numerous benefits worth considering freshness and taste, nutritional value, environmental sustainability, supporting the local economy, connection to the land, food security and a sense of community.

Seasonal Fruit Calendar*

*Based on the “Calendário da fruta da época e benefícios”

The fig is a juicy fruit that can be found in various sizes, shapes, and colours. Whether in jam or natural form, their composition is highly powerful for our bodies. They are rich in fibre, which means they can be a good snack between meals, due to the feeling of satiety: by eating two medium figs (which is equivalent to one portion) you are consuming 63 kcal.

Cherries are rich in phenolic compounds and flavonoids, with antioxidant (cell protection) and anti-inflammatory properties. On the other hand, their potassium levels are cardiovascular protective. The popular saying goes that cherries are eaten one after the other. One portion of cherries (10 pairs) has around 66 kcal. How about trying some recipes from different countries? You can find them here.