26 Sep 2016


For the annual Slow Food events Terra Madre- Salone del Gusto, the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition presents the second edition of “Eating Planet. Food and Sustainability: building our future” in Turin and announces the next meeting of the International Forum on Food and Nutrition, to be held in Milan on 1 December.

Turin 26/09/2016 – Creating and adopting a food system to fight poverty and eliminate hunger without treating the environment as an obstacle to sustainable growth. This is one of the most complex challenges which we will have to tackle in the coming years. Moreover, our food choices have a more significant impact on climate change than transport, heating in buildings and the consumption of electrical energy. 31% of greenhouse gas emissions are generated by the production of food, while heating accounts for 23.6% and transport “only” 18.5% . And this is not all, because we still need to go to great lengths to make up for the consequences of our actions. Over the last 150 years, we have lost half of the surface layer of soil and just in the last 40 years, 30% of the Earth’s cultivable land has become unproductive. Around the world, industrial agricultural practices have eroded the surface layer of soils. And yet despite this sacrifice, even today around 40% of global produce does not make it to our tables…it really is the ultimate paradox.

This is the overview provided by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN Foundation – a think tank created in order to analyse the key issues related to food and nutrition around the world) at the annual Slow Food event “Terra Madre – Salone del Gusto” in Turin, for the presentation of the second edition of “Eating Planet. Food and Sustainability: building our future”. This book compiles observations, challenges and practical proposals for achieving a sustainable system for people’s health and the planet.

“The new edition of Eating Planet offers updated examinations and studies which we have carried out in the four years since the last edition. We decided to continue with this approach because the requirement for practical solutions to the key issues of food and nutrition remains highly topical”, explained Paolo Barilla, Vice President of the BCFN Foundation. “Many people believe that our environmental impact is mainly caused by the cars we drive or the heating we use in our homes. Very few people are aware that the choice of what we put on our plate has a crucial influence on the protection of our planet. Adopting the food and environmental double pyramid – a model which promotes the Mediterranean diet and highlights its benefits for people’s health and the planet – could be one of the first steps in overcoming the challenge of protecting the planet as well as our health. This is just one of the many topics which will be discussed at the 7th International Forum on Food and Nutrition, organised by the BCFN and will be held on 1 December in Milan.

In this context, problems related to health are no less significant than those affecting the environment. Although the latest report from Istat shows that Italy has the longest-living and thinnest population in Europe – thanks in part to the Mediterranean diet – our country may yet see this situation change due to a gradual deviation from this food model, especially among the younger generation. Indeed, today almost 2 teenagers in every 10 are overweight, with one of the highest rates of overweight and obese children in Europe, while fewer and fewer young people and adults play sport regularly (only 3 in 10). If we combine these two elements (a sedentary lifestyle and altered eating habits tending towards diets rich in animal proteins and fats) and project them into the future, we can see the inevitable potential impact on the rates of illnesses as a consequence, including diabetes (with a new case every 5 seconds), cardiovascular diseases (which are still the number one cause of death around the world with 20 million deaths 2015) and chronic diseases (which account for 60% of deaths worldwide).

As we have seen, food production and sustainability are now inextricably linked. The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) has shown that just in the last 40 years, 30% of cultivable land has become unproductive, and yet simple solutions – such as increasing the variety of the crops – would help to revive the nutrients in the soil and help all farmers, regardless of the size of their land, to achieve a better yield per hectare.

Seen in a more long-term context, these observations and solutions are even more urgent given that we will need to increase agricultural production by 70% by 2050, when the global population is expected to reach 9.5 billion people. Consequently, it is once again topical to discuss the best dietary models to follow. By limiting the consumption of animal proteins to just twice a week (rather than on a daily basis) and eating more cereals and pulses, we can save up to 2,300g of CO2 a day. This equates to an annual reduction of CO2 emissions of 750kg per person – the equivalent of traveling 5,600km in a family car i.e. a trip from Milan to Moscow and back.

For this reason, in the latest edition of Eating Planet, the BCFN examines and proposes the adoption of the updated version of the food and environment double pyramid, which also takes into account the nutritional requirements of children and teenagers, and the eating habits of foreigners living in Italy.

On 1 December 2016 at Bocconi University, the 7th edition of the International Forum on Food and Nutrition will be held, organised by the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation.
Experts from around the world, international opinion makers and young researchers come together for this large inter-disciplinary event - the only one of its kind in Italy to involve civil society and the media to share findings, scientific data and best practices in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals related to food and build a food model which helps protect people’s health and the planet. The results of research carried out by the BCFN Foundation will be scrutinised and with the help of contributions from eminent speakers, practical solutions and effective proposals will be put forward to tackle urgent issues such as hunger and obesity, the correct use of natural resources, food waste, sustainable diets, the environmental impact of agricultural production and climate change.
The Forum is free and open to everyone. If you wish to attend, online registration will be available online from 10 October. For subscriptions and updates on the programme, see: https://www.barillacfn.com/it/forum/

Leading names in the fields of science, environment and food, both in Italy and around the world, participated in and contributed to the production of Eating Planet.
BCFN would like to thank Tony Allan, Gianfranco Bologna, Barbara Buchner, Paolo De Castro, Sara Farnetti, Ellen Gustafson, Michel Heasman, Hans R. Herren, Alexandre Kalache, Aviva Must, Marion Nestle, Danielle Nierenberg, Jamie Oliver, Shimon Peres, Carlo Petrini, Gabriele Riccardi, Camillo Ricordi, Paul Roberts, Vandana Shiva, Pavan Sukhdev, Ricardo Uauy, Riccardo Valentini.

Over the course of the year, Eating Planet will be presented in New York, Milan, Naples, Rome and at key national events dedicated to culture, science, literature and sustainable development.

Caterina Grossi, Media Relations Manager, caterina.grossi@barillacfn.com, +39 0521 2621

Simone Silvi, Senior Account Media Relations, s.silvi@inc-comunicazione.it, +39 335.10.97.279
Francesca Riccardi, Media Relations Consultant, f.riccardi@inc-comunicazione.it, +39 335.72.51.741

The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation (BCFN Foundation) is a think tank created in 2009 in order to analyse the key issues connected to food and nutrition around the world. By adopting a multi-disciplinary approach, economic, scientific, social and environmental factors are studied in terms of their effects on the food system. The President and Vice President of the BCFN Foundation are Guido and Paolo Barilla, while the board of directors is made up of, among others, Carlo Petrini, the President of Slow Food and Paolo De Castro, who ch3airs the committee on agriculture and rural development at the European Parliament. The Advisory Board oversees the work of the BCFN Foundation. For more information: www.barillacfn.com; www.protocollodimilano.it

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