The master class was held as part of the educational program "Healthy and sustainable diets: synergies and trade-offs" on July 8-10, 2019 in Wageningen, the Netherlands.
This study was attended by more than 30 young scientists, specialists and graduate students from 17 countries. Among the participants were representatives of the European region (Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Russia, France, Sweden), Asia (Vietnam, China), Africa (Algeria, Nigeria, etc.). Specialists from the most diverse areas related to nutrition were invited to the master class: nutrition, biotechnology, food safety, veterinary medicine, etc.
The main goal was to familiarize students with a multidimensional and multicomponent food security system, with the goal of creating sustainable food systems oriented towards healthy nutrition and safe production, with challenges to sustainable food systems, as well as technology of nutrition research.
One of the main speakers of the master class was a scientist from the University of Sussex (UK), Professor Eric Millstone. Prof Millstone is a physicist by education, who has devoted himself to the study of philosophy in the field of epistemology of political knowledge for many years. However, according to the professor, once having arrived in the United States of America, he was surprised by the unhealthy nutrition of the population, but when he arrived at UK, he realized that in Europe, nutrition is not much healthier. Since then, the scientist has devoted himself to studying a wide range of issues related to nutrition and sustainable food systems oriented towards healthy eating.
Prof Eric Millstone showed that the complex sustainable food systems affect all kinds of institutions: political, agriculture, livestock, research and biotechnology, education, and should also take into account processes such as global climate change, and etc.
“Currently, about 1 billion people on Earth are suffering from hunger. At the same time, overweight and obesity are about the same amount. One would think that hunger is the result of inadequate food production. However, it is not. The reason for the famine lies in the economic inaccessibility of food for the poorest segments of the population. According to the estimates of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the volume of grain produced in 2019 around the world is enough to provide the entire population with calories near normal amount, even without taking into account the consumption of other groups of products: meat, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, etc. ”- noted Prof Millstone.
Participants in the master class also received training in the principles of computer modeling of diets. Independently learned to create a diet by implementing elementary programming. Based on the specified needs for macro- and microelements, an approximate European menu was modified, for example, reducing the amount of protein of animal origin, due to the inclusion of other sources of essential amino acids in the diet.
Interesting data presented by scientists from the University of Wageningen about their own research on creating sustainable food systems in Europe, focused on various goals: ensuring safety, reducing the production of animal protein, and providing the population with micro and macronutrients. Such data can be used to make changes to existing agricultural and livestock production.
In general, the master class provided the participants with the most modern, comprehensive approach to studying the problems of sustainable foods, their economic and environmental impact.
Photo 1 Professor Eric Millstone
Photo 2: Master class participants