Limburg coalition promotes healthy food in the region
Heerlen, NL, 14 Sep 2021 08:00 CEST
DSM is working with educational institutions in Limburg, the municipal health department of South Limburg, Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo and other parties to launch a follow-up to the Food Boost Challenge. The aim is to enhance the appeal and attraction of healthy food and a balanced lifestyle for young people.
DSM has been a partner of the Food Boost Challenge from the start. This is an initiative of Foodvalley NL, Medical Delta Living Lab VIT for Life and HortiHeroes. They bring together business, education, science and government. The initiative is open to anyone interested in contributing.
The Food Boost Challenge is an initiative with, for and by young people. They are involved in the research phase and also help to find and implement solutions. Young people ask each other what they see as healthy food, how important it is to them, what criteria they use to make their choices, what their needs are and how they think they can make eating habits healthier. Then they are challenged to come up with their own ideas to make healthier eating more appealing. The results of these discussions will be used by knowledge institutions, experts at DSM and other partners to develop concepts that elaborate on these outcomes. Think, for example, of creating new tasty and healthy products, apps or wearables, or designing different layouts in stores or environments such as canteens and festivals, so young people actually start eating a healthier diet.
This new Food Boost Challenge 2.0 is a follow-up of the first challenge launched in the summer, which focused on fruits and vegetables. Various partners are involved from the business community, education and social organisations. These partners will be given the opportunity to join similar challenges in the future. Indeed, the experiences and infrastructure of previous challenges will be carried over into each new Food Boost Challenge.
Good nutrition is the foundation of good health. Diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are on the rise worldwide, including in the South Limburg region. COVID-19 has certainly not helped the situation. Various initiatives are underway in the Limburg region to turn the tide, involving many enthusiastic participants. This broad commitment is sorely needed if we are to make a difference. DSM is using this initiative to create synergy where possible and give the concept of healthy food an additional boost.
Today, DSM announced a series of new, ambitious and specific commitments for 2030 that will make a meaningful contribution to improving the world’s food systems and focus on the health of people, health of the planet and healthy livelihoods. The Food Boost Challenge is one of the ways we are implementing these commitments in the Netherlands.
DSM has been socially engaged with young people in South Limburg for decades – for example, by having DSM employees give chemistry lessons in classrooms and the ‘chemistry day’ at Chemelot and JetNet in Limburg. We would like to continue sponsoring activities for young people in areas where DSM has a great deal of current knowledge, such as nutrition and health. DSM is a purpose-led company that is proud of its rich history in South Limburg and feels strongly connected to the region. With the many successful transformations of DSM, the way the company carries out its social commitments is also evolving.
In the years to come, DSM will apply its expertise and knowledge to social challenges in the area of nutrition and health. With the Food Boost Challenge, DSM and its partners are launching the first of a series of new, social initiatives that have one thing in common: health through food.
Edith Schippers, President of DSM Nederland: ‘Together we can change the world. Unhealthy food leads to lower immunity, obesity and other diseases. This is a growing problem that is too momentous for people to change on their own. We want to join forces with other parties and involve young people in every facet of this battle. We must all take responsibility to ensure access to healthier, tasty food for all. Will you join us?’
Judith van der Horst-Graat, Innovation Lead at Foodvalley NL: ‘It’s great that the Food Boost Challenge is being received so positively that a second challenge is already in the works in South Limburg. This is a major incentive to get young people to eat healthier and enhance the appeal of healthy food.’
Saskia Goetgeluk, Director of Brightlands Greenport Campus Venlo: ‘I’m happy that our food campus is part of this joint Limburg initiative to take healthy food to the next level. Only through collaboration and dialogue can we bring about change, with youth as the foundation, and the innovative power to translate ideas into concrete actions and products.’
Luc Verburgh, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Zuyd University of Applied Sciences: ‘The importance of healthy eating cannot be underestimated. It starts with young people and students. It’s extremely important that we continue to invest in this, as we have done so often in recent years. I’m delighted that we can now use our knowledge and strength in cooperation with DSM and the other partners in the region to take this social responsibility to the next level.’
Karel van Rosmalen, Chair of the Board of Vista College: ‘It’s not often that large companies want to talk to, rather than about, young people. We’re delighted that, in addition to our VistaVitaal project, we can also join this initiative and make a difference together with young people. Healthy eating needs to become something natural, and we’re happy to contribute to that.’
Fons Bovens, Director of the municipal health department (GGD) of South Limburg: ‘We always applaud initiatives in the field of health. Healthy food and youth are pillars of the health policy in South Limburg and the ‘Trendbreuk’-programme. We hope that this initiative will act as an impetus to the business community's firm commitment to our common task of creating a healthier generation in our region.’