In 2005, Japan’s Basic Law on Food Education was enacted and the first Basic Plan on Food Education came into effect in 2006. Japan is the only OECD country that addresses food and nutrition issues in a comprehensive law. The law aims at the establishment of a national campaign for the promotion of food education and a state supported system for the protection of ‘traditional Japanese food culture’, the enforcement of measures to ensure food security and the promotion of healthy nutrition. These aims were to be implemented through co-operation between the state, the local authorities, food-related businesses, farmers, educators, and families. In the past ten years, schools and municipalities have hired nutritionists and engaged in all kinds of activities targeting children and adults alike. Examples are cooking classes, farm visits, and extensive information campaigns on nutrition, a balanced diet and food waste by different ministries and the municipalities.
Similar campaigns take place in Germany in various contexts. The BMEL has launched an anti-food waste campaign (“Zu gut für die Tonne”) or just recently, a campaign for healthy food in schools and kindergardens (“Macht Dampf”). A variety of other actors like chefs, civil society organizations and private companies also target consumers, schools, parents and children to educate them about food and a healthy diet. Food, health and nutrition is the omnipresent topic in the media, cityscapes, everyday conversions and academic discourse in both countries. From an academic perspective the questions of what a healthy diet is and who should actually define what people eat, points at the discoursive struggles between different actors in the realm of food and the contested relations between the state, the private sector, schools, families and individuals.
This interdisciplinary symposium aims at the exchange of experiences with food education campaigns and the state of eating, nutrition and diets in Japan in Germany by inviting scholars from different disciplines and practitioners from both countries to discuss food education with regard to concepts, institutional contexts, achievements, constraints and its potential to improve people’s diets and the food system. With its pioneering role in a comprehensive food education campaign on a national scale, experiences from Japan may offer insights that can be helpful in improving campaigns in Germany and may as well help to point out the limitations of such campaigns.
Conference Language: English
Please register until 25 November 2016!