KNOWLEDGE HUB FOR CULINARY NUTRITION IN FOOD EDUCATION

NETWORK AND DIALOGUE  -  COLLABORATIVE PLATFORM  -  LEARNING AND KNOWLEDGE APPLICATION
____________________________________

PROJECT: FOOD EDUCATION FOR ALL - COMBINING CULINARY, NUTRITION AND SUSTAINABILITY

The Basic idea is to create a platform on a national level for similar situation (e.g. COVID-19) and also developing learning activities and programs that might serve as a post-crisis model of prevention. This platform should be supported by nutritionists, medical experts, chefs, etc. Moreover, there is number of initiatives who develop similar project, but instead of re-inventing the wheel, this platform might give those initiatives, organizations and new project developers a space to promote the good examples of their practice, the results and we might all work collectively on the post-virus prevention through food education.

We are innovating the food education ecosystem by integrating the elements of culinary nutirion and medicine into the research and future programs and analysing the concept and presence of culinary nutrition in restaurants, hospital outreach programs, public catering facitilities and as part of home-cooking.

Cooking education can provide people with a sense of control over the ingredients, preparation style and portion size allowing people to actually see, feel and taste what nutrition is all about. Even though, nutrition and culinary are two separate identities, they are now needed as one entity working together for a common cause to make this easily accessible activity also practical and so called „how food education can be more visible“.

 

And this exactly aims at the challenge we are curently working on to bring new evidence and create solutions through nutrition education and implementing culinary nutrition into practice.    



WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE ?
Nearly 1.5 bilion schoolchildren (millions of other people, including patients) were/currently are out of school or work due to Covid-19 lockdowns and we could all see how important it was to maintain our health while being quarantined. Home cooking has been trending in the last weeks and months and this only proves my words how the culinary nutrition should definitely be given more attention.  

Nutritional status has been associated with physical and mental health. The current pandemic has challenged how we can maintain a balanced diet, while facing restrictive isolation and social distancing lockdowns that can increase sedentary behaviours (e.g. sitting down) which can lead to irregular eating, increased snacking. It would be safe to say that food is energy and it can also bring a healer which is what society needs at the moment and not only this it is vessel that can bring people together even when they are apart.  That said individuals are still able to make decision about food utilization as well as maintaining a healthy diet. during confinement and our solution is going to address this.

Eating, cooking healthy recipes, overeating at home, cooking during pregnancy, recipes for patients, free online courses have become the most searched topics on the largest search engines. These keywords are mostly initiated by individuals, families, a certain group of students, working professionals and even by patients – not having an availability to see their doctor or therapist. As a result, they usually search for the key information and scroll down multiple websites and online resources. Unfortunately, there are not many trustful sources and this is, may (it is) very often confusing.

_______________________________________________________________________________

SOLUTION

The fact is that a distance learning needs to be thought through at a much deeper level. Reacting to this challenge, we are creating an umbrella learning platform or a resource hub for nutrition education that would not only provide a self-guided and online team training for key stakeholders, but could connect parents, schoolchildren, students,  teachers and experts together. Our goal is to create a collaborative and learning environment, develop needed resources, train key stakeholders and achieve effective hands-on experience through distance collaboration/learning. 

THE PLATFORM AND ITS MAIN PARTS:
1.) Providing information resources about showcasing good examples of practice (respond to current/other challenges and possible solutions
2.) Learning programs and models for different target groups (combining distance learning and a successful mobile teaching kitchen concept)  
3.) Training for current and future leaders (teachers, chefs, health educators, entrepreneurs, leaders, innovators, etc.)

MODEL OF KNOWLEDGE DISTRIBUTION AND APPLICATION
Research - Science - Key Organizations - Medical Doctors
Education - Key Medical Professionals - Selected Healthcare Workforce - Nutrition Related Professionals (e.g., agriculturists)
Nutritional Workforce - Teachers - Health Educators - Wider Hospitality Professionals (especially chefs) - Communities

Note: A special attention goes on chefs who may potentially become Ambassadors for Change by re-training them in the fields of global health diplomacy, nutrition, sustainability and applying their knowledge in the public-private cooperation.

Moreover, we are scoping for options and possibilities to focus more on life skills training to better understand the integration of sustainability in our lives and also trying to merge the school curricula or work duties, where they could use these resources. We strongly believe that the well-being will support a professional development at various areas and the gained knowledge might be applied by making healthier food choices. Hands-on learning will also be part of the project.
At the later stages of development, we would like to gradually be concentrating on training opportunities in higher education for professionals and future leaders. For example, retraining chefs to enable them to work healthcare professionals in the sector of lifestyle medicine. We are aware of the fact that there are many patients amond these key groups and the nutritional advice has been limited during the lockdowns. So, food therapy will stand among the priorities.

In regards to a public-private sector, providing education for innovators, organizations, leaders and entrepreneurs working on related projects is also planned. Giving them a customazible study option to get and apply new knowledge about the topics like global health diplomacy or public-private collaboration.


The project idea will be integrated along with a multi-level framework into a digital and real-life collaboration platform. In the initial phase we will publish co-created recipes with experts in the field of nutrition and hospitality with a focus on the emerging science of culinary medicine. In order to provide trusted information to the community all of the content will be peer-reviewed by industry experts. Along with recipes the platform will also provide learning programmes for people interested in deepening their knowledge about cooking/food/health. The interactive platform is designed to the following target groups

--Individuals and families: Reducing misinformation about nutrition and dietary intake by providing nutritionally approved recipes and videos to educate about nutrition

- Teachers: Connecting parents, teachers and schoolchildren together to integrate food education within a school curriculum

- Patients: Linking the principles gastronomy and nutrition through a culinary medicine (part of lifestyle medicine) concept

- Athletes: Focusing on sports nutrition, food education and culinary training for athletes

- Communities: Trusted messaging on food resources, accessibility, support for the community (such as vulnerable groups) which decreases panic-buying/stockpiling. We are also working on a mobile teaching model to access food education for people in need and for migrant communities.

-- Agriculturists: Contribute to the creation of food baskets across communities that provide the basic substance through informed meal planning and programmes, normalise from ‘farm to table’ access by working with local producers, integrate networks of private and public agencies that build trust in the community


- Organizations: developing a collaboration model for other organizations to access the data and the knowledge


MAIN ACTORS AND STAKEHOLDERS: EXCHANGING KNOWLEDGE AND CREATING LEARNING AND COLLABORATIVE ENVIRONMENT
AREAS OF ACTION:  SCIENCE - INNOVATION - INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1. Chefs and Hospitality Professionals
2. Healthcare and Nutrition Workforce
3. Teachers and Educators

The stakeholders will gain skills in the following areas: Sustainability, busines, social sciences, teaching skills, global health diplomac and nutrition.
Key Areas of Specialization: Lifestyle medicine, agriculture, food and nutrition education

Note: We will be organizing online sessions for future collaborators and innovators through a free 45-minute long sessions including a mentorship and analysis of potential collaboration. The aim is these sessions will be to explore more collaborative opportunities to find potential partners on cooperation and implementation.
All participants will receive and opportunity to join a dialogue, collaborate on our existing/new projects, current challenges and solutions. For those, interested in developing future ideas with us and transferring them into real projects, an additional training will be provided free of charge as part of the support package. Moreover, our long-term vision is to launch a nutrition education academy to provide to offer learning programs for all, as well as, to offer fully customizable exciting cotinuing education programs, primarily in higher education. 

PLATFORM STRUCTURE: LEARNING PLATFORM FOR ALL / TEACHING KITCHEN / RESOURCE HUB
1. Taste Atlas
2. Exploring Food and Recipes through Landscapes and Natural Resources
3. Global Kitchen Initiative: A network of chefs creating sustainable and healthy recipes for communities
4. Culinary Workshops for All
5. Mobile Teaching Kitchen: Implementation of food education in vulnerable areas, as well as, well-developed countries
6. Digital Health Hub


FRAMEWORK 2020-2025 AND VISION OF THE PROJECT IN ALIGNMENT WITH THE GLOBAL STRATEGY ON NUTRITION AND SUSTAINABILITY
1. To innovate the current food education and create more effective interactions (focus on hands-on experience and behavioral changes through distance learning)
2. To promote example of practice, solutions and future perspective of culinary arts for health outcomes, education, sustainability and related cross-fields.
3. To secure a translatable source of trustful information (understanding) the food/nutrition education and its capacity in food and health ecosystem
4. To create a knowledge hub/training and programs for communities, key stakeholders and organizations developing similar projects and campaigns.
5. To introduce and integrate a new approach of eating and cultural habits through The New Sustainable Table initiative.

6. To align the learning platform and provide support to the Global Nutrition Knowledge Application Network (lplanned to be launched in 2025)

EXPECTED OUTCOMES OF CULINARY/NUTRITION TRAINING FOR A SUCCESSFUL SELF-GUIDED LEARNING AND INTEGRATION INTO EVERYDAY LIFE
1. Integration of culinary nutrition in the wider food and health ecosystem (using the potential to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals) 
2. Life skills improvement (critical thinking, art of collaboration, critical thinking, etc.) and its use in practice.
3. Incorporation of distance learning.
4. Access to a food and making healthier food choices.
5. Understanding food education, its structure, global status and development.

NOTE: THIS PROJECT (LEARNING PLATFORM FOR ALL/TEACHING KITCHEN) IS PART OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE GLOBAL NUTRITION KNOWLEDGE APPLICATION NETWORK (TO BE LAUNCHED IN 2025 ALONG WITH FOOD EDUCATION ACADEMY , THE NEW SUSTAINABLE TABLE INITIATIVE AND VERSUS-VIRUS POST-HACKATHON CHALLENGE/SOLUTION DEVELOPMENT. OTHER CHALLENGES/SOLUTIONS AND PROJECTS WE ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON WILL BE MERGED WITH ALL MAJOR PROJECTS BASED ON THEIR AREA OF SPECIALIZATIONS (CROSS-FIELD COLLABORATIONS) AND INTEGRATED IN THE LEARNING PLATFORM.
___________________________________________________________________________________

IMPLEMENTATION
Current Status:
1. Successful submission for VersusVirus Hackathon – from concept to creation
2. Multidisciplinary team formed with an open network for further expansion
3. Redefining and refining the current scope of the project
4. Leveraging the network from established organisations in Switzerland that are involved in food education.
5. Created a partial prototype for the digital platform

Current Gaps:
1. Design and develop the integrated digital platform
2. Further market research on the product potential
3. Create a sustainable financial model
4. Develop an incentive model for experts and partners to join the platform

________________________________________________________________________________

NEXT STEPS AND DEVELOPMENT
1. Planning/Legal Administration/Official Registration May-June
2. Launch of the platform Pilot Project by August 2020
3. Development of Further partnership Programs and Activities

In-Progress:
- On-boarding of further team members from partner networks
- Establishment of a non-profit organization
- Selecting and on-boarding into the project further team members or external companies to execute on the product vision (developers, designers, etc.)



Note:
More details containing information about the project and develpment plan will be published continually. The expected time of programme deliver is planned to be launched in October 2020: This project idea and solutions has been developed by the following team members who have participated in the National (VerususVirus) Hackathon of Switzerland - www.versusvirus.ch

Jaroslav Guzanic
Ambra Curetti
Bejal Joshi
Suzana Mantovani