Oxfam Index: When Food Is Good Enough to Eat

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What makes a country one of the best places in the world to eat? For Oxfam, it isn’t cities teeming with restaurants run by celebrity chefs or bakers dreaming up cronuts. The answer for the non-profit took into account: if there was enough food to eat; if it was affordable; the quality of food available; and if people’s diets yielded unhealthy outcomes. The result is Oxfam’s “Good Enough to Eat” index.

To create the index, Oxfam standardized available data to calculate scores ranging from 0 (the best) to 100 (the worst). The lowest score — 6 — and title of best place to eat went to the Netherlands. Oxfam says this is attributable to the country having lower levels of diabetes, cheaper food, and more nutritional diversity than most other European countries. The Netherlands took first place despite its high obesity levels; nearly one in five people are obese.

France and Switzerland came next, each earning an eight overall. Next was a four-way tie for third place, because Austria, Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden all scored 10 points. Countries with 11 points rounded out the top 12; those nations were Australia, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Portugal.

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