We all love food.
It contributes to the health of our families, our culture and traditions and our fondest memories.
In short, food is part of our identity.
“EU And My Food” is about safe and nutritious food. It’s about the health of our animals and how we treat them. It’s about taking care of our environment – the soil, water and air – which sustain the crops that produce so much of what we eat.
We all want food that is safe, ingredients we can trace and claims about the benefits of food to be proven. The EU ensures that farmers, manufacturers and supermarkets deliver a high level of safety for their produce and provide accessible information for consumers about all the ingredients and their origin.
The EU scientifically evaluates the safety of food, its nutritional value and allergenicity.
The EU has started assessing the safety of insects in food, a rich source of protein in diets worldwide. Meanwhile, some EU countries such as Belgium apply a 'tolerance policy' to safeguard consumers from concerns for safety or allergic reactions. (EN | FR | NL)
“Our interactive tool allows nutritionists and other health professionals to make quick and easy calculations using EFSA’s dietary reference values.” – Prof. Androniki Naska, Athens University and an EFSA expert
Authorities in the EU’s Member States provide national guidelines for healthy diets, tailored to local customs and backed by EFSA’s scientific evidence. Finland’s general instructions on the safe use of foods and fish are a good example. (EN | FI | SE)
“To protect consumers against misleading claims on food labels, we scientifically check them before the EU approves them.” – Prof. Dominique Turck, Lille University and an EFSA expert
If you know exactly what food labels mean when you read them, it can help to prevent food poisoning and unnecessary food waste: “use by” is about food safety, “best before” is about its quality. (HR | EN)
Correct storage and handling – during production, delivery, retail and at home – keep your food safe and easy to use while discouraging waste.
Our health is linked to animal health. Thousands of animal species live with us on this planet. Some 30% of Europe’s food is from animals and two-thirds of our crops are used to feed them. We need to protect animal health, properly feed and care for them, to protect our own health too.
“Human health, animal health and the environment are interconnected. This means that diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans and vice versa. Part of the fight to avoid this is to make sure our animals remain healthy, properly fed and cared for.” – EFSA Chief Scientist Marta Hugas
Foodborne illnesses and antimicrobial resistance can be spread through animals. We need to keep our animals disease-free while promoting the correct use of veterinary medicines.
The EU supports farmers to protect their livestock. This safeguards the livelihoods of rural communities while making our food safer.
Working with the EU and neighbouring countries helps with early detection of African swine fever. Quickly removing carcasses and hunting in designated areas is bringing eradication closer. (EN | FR | RO)
Europe is working to reduce animal testing in food safety research in line with society’s values and because new alternatives sometimes work better.
Our food comes from nature. Climate change and globalisation are changing our food ecosystem. Safeguarding our countryside, rivers and seas is fundamental to keeping our food safe, protecting our health and enjoying our way of life.
Our food comes from our countryside, rivers and seas so keeping our soil, air and water clean and fit for life is fundamental.
Soils and fertilisers, seeds, crop cultivation, plant protection, pollinators, biodiversity and water quality all contribute to ensuring a regular food supply while conserving the environment. (DE | EN)
Birds, bees and all our wildlife species need protecting and nurturing to sustain our rich fauna and flora.
Bees are vital to the food chain as pollinators of our crops as well as being honey producers. EU efforts to halt the decline of bee colonies depend on national research projects like this one in Belgium. (FR | NL)
Some 70% of our food energy comes from plants so we need to help our farmers, plant growers and sellers to protect their crops, plants and seeds from pests and diseases.
Xylella fastidiosa is a bacterium that has been attacking plants, notably olive trees, in Europe since 2013. Controls are in place in the affected countries to prevent the bacterium from spreading and researchers are urgently seeking solutions.
Microplastics are small pieces of plastic less than five millimetres long which can be harmful to our ocean and aquatic life. We can all help keep plastics out of the ocean.