Food security, healthy and sustainable diets, local foods and current market trends are some of the current issues to be treated in the 2nd Symposium of Food, Health and Sustainability, from May 25 to 26, in the Aula Magna of the Historical Building of the University of Barcelona. This science forum, organized by the UB Food and Nutrition Torribera Campusand Danone Institute, will gather many experts on public health and national and international researchers on different knowledge fields, such as medicine, nutrition, anthropology, sociology and economics, apart from experts from several local and European administrations.
The opening session will take place on May 25, at 4:00 p.m., and will include the participation of the vice-rector for Equal Opportunities and Gender, Montserrat Puig Llobet; the president of Danone Institute Spain, José López Miranda, and the president of Danone Institute Mexico, Nimbe Torres.
In the context of challenges on nutrition and sustainability, Puig Llobet states: “The need to broaden society’s ability to solve complex challenges has never been this important and urgent, both for our personal health and for the world’s health”.
López Miranda, also professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Cordoba, says: “The Symposium on Food, Health and Sustainability is a key event in which we could gather together distinguished figures of the sector to talk about sustainable and healthy food and how to combine both concepts. We will count on professionals from different fields, from the academic to the political ones, who will offer content of interest, also from the practical perspective and the users’ perspective”.
The program is divided into four great areas, with presentations and roundtables which will treat a wide range of issues related to the impact of food on people’s health and the environment. Also, the symposium will present successful cases of companies that made great innovations through their commitment to the planet. The symposium will also present the preliminary results of the “Sustainability survey: knowledge, habits and level of awareness”, by the researcher Ujué Fresán, from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal).
Institutions as a driving force for change
On May 25, after the opening session, Professor Jordi Salas Salvadó, from Rovira i Virgili University, will chair the roundtable “Dietary Patterns: health, environment and social challenges”. The participants in this roundtable are Carlos González Svatetz, emeritus researcher of the Catalan Institute of Oncology, with “Current dietary habits: epidemiologic implications on health and the environment”; Claudia Rocío Magaña González, lecturer at the Faculty of Education of the UB, with “Status of food security in Spain: challenges to reach affordability and access in sustainable diets”, and Helen Harwatt, researcher at Chatham House Food and collaborator from Harvard University, with “Food systems and biodiversity loss”.
Then, the roundtable “From theory to practice: institutions as a driving force for change” will include the participation of Fabien Santini, deputy head of the Unit for Governance of Agri-Food Markets of the European Union, with the talk “Sustainability of local foods: a review for policymakers”; María José Yusta, head of service of the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition, with “National field: public policies for healthful and sustainable diets”, and Glòria Cugat, assistant director-general of Agri-Food Inspection and Control of the Department of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda of the Catalan Government, with “Food utilization strategy”. The roundtable will be chaired by Miguel Saénz de Pipaón, from the Autonomous University of Madrid.
How to move towards a sustainable future?
On May 26, under the title “Current food trends: catalysts that facilitate behavioural change”, Professor Luis Moreno Aznar, from the University of Zaragoza, will moderate a new session with the participation of Jesús Simal Gándara, professor at the University of Vigo, with the presentation “Moving towards a sustainable food future”; Ángela García González, professor at the University San Pablo – CEU, with “Current state: Knowledge and attitudes of the Spanish adult population on food sustainability”, and Assumpció Anton Vallejo, head of the Environmental Quantification team at the Institute of Agri-Food Research and Technology, with “Challenges of environmental communication: consensus in the quantification and integration of nutritional aspects”.
“From theory to practice: small big innovations” is the title of the session to be chaired by Guadalupe Ramos Truchero, from the University of Valladolid. The participants will be Monica di Donato, member of the Research Group on Energy, Economics and Dynamics of Systems (GEEDS) of the University of Valladolid, with the presentation “Losses, waste and environmental pressures of food consumption in Spain”; Raquel Diaz Ruiz, head of projects of the Espigoladors Foundation, with “From imperfect fruits and vegetables are born second chances. Espigoladors: a project with a systemic approach to food”, and Helena Calvo, head of movement projects at Too Good to Go in Spain, with “Great success story: Too Good to Go”.
The symposium will be closed by Mª Carmen Vidal, professor of Nutrition and Bromatology at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences and director of the UB Torribera Food and Nutrition Campus, and Professor Jordi Salas Salvadó, who will present the main conclusions of the event.