Food and sustainability

Eating Planet: a book for a planet in search of balance

Food and sustainability are at the heart of the multidisciplinary thoughts in the new edition of this book edited by the BCFN.

From the chef Jamie Oliver to the statesman Shimon Peres, from the director of the Climate Policy Initiative in Europe Barbara Buchner to the founder of Food Tank and journalist Danielle Nierenberg: these are just a few of the many experts who were invited by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation to analyse the intrinsic paradoxes of the current food production, distribution and sustainability model. Theirs and many other’s thoughts are included in the second updated edition of Eating Planet, which aims to help the reader – and civil society in general – to understand how we can move towards a diet that is both healthy and sustainable, including in light of the findings of Expo 2015 and the ambitious goals set during the Paris Conference (COP21) on climate change.

Four major issues

Eating Planet, published by Edizioni Ambiente, is the result of the work launched by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN Foundation), a think tank set up to analyse the major issues of food and nutrition around the world.

Divided into four major themes (food for all, food for sustainable growth, food and health, and food and culture), the book looks at food across many sectors, suggesting an alternative model that creates a constant link between the well-being of mankind and that of the planet.

To do this, the authors have developed a tool to support gross domestic product (GDP), the BCFN Index, which not only measures countries’ economic well-being but also future sustainability, social inequalities and the state of the environment.

In this light, the book tackles the issue of food availability and explores how we can feed the world’s population given that by 2050 it will have reached approximately 9 and a half billion people and to feed them agricultural production will have to increase by 70%. The answer, the experts argue, cannot ignore the impact our choice of food has on the environment (and on our health), as highlighted by the updated version of the Double Food and Environmental Pyramid which is also available in a version suitable for children and teenagers.

Individual choices

Much more also needs to be done to promote lifestyles which ensure that the increased average life expectancy recorded over the last few decades corresponds to a greater number of years spent in good health, which currently do not always seem to go hand in hand. With this in mind, the book – which is available at all good bookstores or as an ebook on the major e-commerce sites – analyses the relationship between food, culture and traditions in different countries, with a special focus on the Mediterranean diet.


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