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BCFN 7th International Forum on Food and Nutrition

An arena where international experts debate together the well-being of our Planet, in one big event on December 1st in Milan.

The International Forum on Food and Nutrition returns on 1 December, organised by the Barilla Centre for Food & Nutrition: an international arena where experts, opinion makers and researchers come together for an interdisciplinary event to share findings, scientific data and best practices in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals related to food, and to build a dietary model which protects people’s health as well as the planet.

Indeed, our food choices are closely connected to our health as well as the wellbeing of the planet: what we eat has a greater impact on climate change than transport, heating of buildings and the consumption of electrical energy. 31% of greenhouse gases are generated by food production, while heating contributes 23.6% and transport “only” accounts for 18.5%1 .
During last year’s Expo in Milan, the Foundation focused its energies on young people, offering its group of Alumni  the finalists of all the editions of the international competition ‘BCFN YES’ (Young Earth Solutions),  the opportunity to take part in a workshop organised especially for them, from which emerged the Youth Manifesto: a document containing seven practical proposals for tackling the current paradoxes in the food sector and outlining seven key roles within the system (policy makers, farmers, activists, educators, the food industry, journalists and researchers).

Indeed, the need for rapid and practical solutions has been put off for too long. The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) has shown that in under 50 years, 30% of the planet’s cultivable land has become unproductive but in order to feed a global population of 9.5 billion in 2050, agricultural production needs to increase by 70%. The right to food comes from the awareness that hunger is also caused by political and economic choices and to deal with these problems it is not enough simply to reform the agricultural system. Indeed, all stakeholders involved need to play their part, including individual citizens, who should focus on adopting more sustainable dietary models. For instance, by limiting our consumption of animal proteins to just twice a week, instead of every day, and by eating more cereals and pulses, we can improve our own health as well as saving up to 2,300g of CO2 a day. This equates to a 750kg reduction in CO2 emissions per year – the equivalent of traveling 5,600km in a family car, or the distance of a round trip between Milan and Moscow.

This edition of the International Forum of Food and Nutrition provides attendees with the opportunity to listen to and analyse the findings of the research carried out by the BCFN Foundation over the last year and the results of the work conducted by the stakeholder workshops, created in order to identify the priorities to be taken into account in the agro-food system and to set out recommendations for politicians, industry and civil society.
Thanks to the contributions of highly-esteemed speakers, practical solutions and effective proposals will be put forward to tackle the urgent issues of hunger and obesity, the correct use of resources, food waste, sustainable diets, the environmental impact of agricultural production and climate change.
Finally, ideas will also be set out by young minds through the BCFN YES competition which will once again be launching a call for tender to invest in young researchers, encouraging them to pursue postgraduate study with the support of a research grant.

 1BCFN, Eating Planet, data on greenhouse gas emissions of European families, p. 115-116. Cfr, Tukker A., B. Jansen, Enviromental Impacts of Products.

Elena Cadel 
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