Eat Right India, led by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), has recently been declared one of the top visionaries for the Food Systems Vision Prize 2050. Eat Right India envisions safe and nourishing food for all Indians produced in environmentally sustainable systems with a return to our traditional food culture. This Prize has been instituted by the US-based Rockefeller Foundation in association with SecondMuse and Open Ideo. The ten finalists shortlisted among over 1300 applicants have been announced as top visionaries recently.
As the apex food regulatory body in the country, FSSAI has the mandate to ensure safe and wholesome food for all citizens. In addition to scaling up its core regulatory activities, it is also promoting healthy food through sustainable food systems through the Eat Right India movement. This movement is a collective effort of all stakeholders in the food system and encompasses various initiatives targeted to food businesses and consumers. It has been launched to contain several food-borne illnesses, non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension, and micronutrient deficiencies, as well as to minimize negative effects on the environment.
Eat Right India has devised five key actions to achieve its vision. The first action is to formulate new regulations to promote healthy eating. The second is to train and build the capacity of various stakeholders in the food ecosystems such as food handlers, administrators, frontline health workers. The third is to certify various food businesses from clusters of street food vendors to restaurants, schools, and campuses based on benchmarks for food safety and hygiene. The fourth is to nudge food businesses to reformulate packaged foods into healthier options and to use safe and sustainable packaging materials. The final action point is to ignite large-scale social and behavioral change among the people of India towards safe, healthy, and sustainable eating habits.
Eat Right India is aligned with various government flagship programs such as Poshan Abhiyaan, Anemia Mukt Bharat, Ayushman Bharat, and Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan. To institutionalize Eat Right India, an inter-ministerial steering committee has been set up with representatives from all related ministries and departments such as Women and Child Development, Environment, Science and Technology, Agriculture, Food Processing, Food and Public Distribution. This would ensure continuity, scale-up, and real time monitoring of various initiatives and programs under Eat Right India.