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A new year to discuss topics at the forefront of agri-food sustainability.

Atualizado: 23 de jan. de 2023

The F4S Academy is preparing for another year of debates in webinar format, with topics that have generated discussion in the academic community, producers and consumers.

The F4S Academy starts already in February four cycles of webinars on creating emission-neutral food systems that create value for the entire food chain. Webinars are a practical way to disseminate academic content and practical cases of the new reality intended for a carbon neutral Europe in 2050. Starting in February and, as usual, always on Thursdays, from 16:00 to 17:30 (Lisbon time).

The first cycle discusses the theme of sustainable proteins. What are proteins and how do they contribute to human health? Throughout history proteins have always aroused interest among consumers, however, the balance between their consumption and human well-being has been a hotly debated topic over the centuries. At the same time, environmental scientists are now pointing to the need for a change in the diet of the westernised world by advocating higher proportions of plant proteins. In this cycle, the main focus will be on the past and future of (new) proteins, the role of the 9 essential amino acids and their integration into the Mediterranean diet. Proteins originating from food waste, cultivated in laboratories and the role of insects will be some of the case studies addressed.

The European reality shows an excessive consumption of animal protein and there is an incentive to intensify its production. In parallel with human health, the environmental issue arises, as livestock contributes to 14.5% of global emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHG). Reducing GHG, and especially methane emissions, is an urgent priority. As such, this cycle aims to discuss practical studies of ruminant feed that contribute to low GHG emissions.

Good practices in protein production and livestock production have direct repercussions on the ability to generate the ecosystem services essential to the proper functioning of the food system. If we do not take into account our natural resources and respect the environment, we put the safety and accessibility of food systems at risk. The 3rd cycle discusses best environmental practices in agri-food systems, with a focus on conservation and sustainable soil management.  What role does aquaponics play in preserving ecosystems? Do better environmental practices mean more food creation in humanely controlled systems?

Environmental practices are closely linked to the soil and its microbiology. This link, between soil microbiology and the role it plays in the gut microbiome - through functional nutrition - is of great importance, playing a role in chronic diseases. Does food produce in a more sustainable way impact on human health and well-being?

To see these and other questions answered, or if you would like to suggest your own questions go here and register for the 2023 Food4Sustainability Academy webinar cycles.

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