23 Feb 2016


Sustainable Diets Key for the Well-Being of People and the Planet.

Northbrook, Ill.- Most people think that the biggest single impact on the environment is the cars they drive, or the energy they use to warm their homes. In fact, it’s what they eat. If we look at greenhouse gases emissions, food production is the main contributor to climate change, with 31 percent of the total, surpassing home heating (24 percent) and transportation (18 percent). 1 Particularly relevant is the consumption of meat, responsible for 12.4 percent of total emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture have doubled since 1960. Our food choices therefore have a key role in the preservation of our planet.

That is why, as highlighted in the second edition of the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) Foundation’s book, “Eating Planet”, the adoption of the double food and environmental pyramid - a model that demonstrates how a Mediterranean diet can benefit both people and the environment - becomes one of the first steps on the way to safeguard the planet and your health.

“This second edition of Eating Planet collects the most recent research and debates around food, people and the planet,” said Barilla Chairman Guido Barilla. “It proposes concrete actions for policymakers, the business world and citizens to build a more sustainable future. We want everyone to be more informed and aware of the responsibility we all have – and of the change we can all bring – to our health and that of our planet.”

BCFN gathered input from internationally renowned experts, such as the founder of the International Slow Food Movement Carlo Petrini, Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver and environmental activist Vandana Shiva, to tackle these issues and offer practical proposals to paradoxes related to food, nutrition and sustainability.

Through the four pillar analysis, Eating Planet presents food as an overarching element in all aspects of our lives, from the economy to health, from sustainability to traditions and it sets out an alternative model continually linking human well-being to the well-being of the planet.

Eating Planet proposes an alternative to GDP, which does not take into account social inequality and the state of the environment. The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Index not only measures the economic well-being of a country, but also its future sustainability.

The authors tackle the problem of food availability. What will we do in 2050 when the global population reaches around 9.5 billion people requiring a 70 percent increase in agricultural production? According to Eating Planet, it is important not to overlook the fact that the food we choose to eat has a direct impact on the environment (and of course on our health). These issues are analyzed in great depth with the help of an updated version of the double food environment pyramid.

Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition uses this new model to emphasize the direct link between lifestyle and health. Despite the fact that on average people are living longer, people’s health do not seem to be improving at the same rate.

Eating Planet examines the connections between food, culture and traditions in different countries. It explores how food choices vary from country to country, with a particular focus on the Mediterranean Diet, which appears to be in constant evolution as the pace of people’s lives continue to change. Recently, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended the Mediterranean Diet as an eating pattern that can help promote health and prevent disease.

Edited by Edizioni Ambiente, Eating Planet is available in bookstores and subsequently in eBook format on leading ecommerce websites. The new edition was presented in New York last night at an exclusive dinner discussion hosted by Guido Barilla at the Barilla Restaurant – Herald Square.

Some of the leading figures in scientific, environmental and food-related fields in Italy and worldwide 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 and Riccardo Valentini.
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