The 8th conference of the Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA) took place last June 13-14 in Pistoia.
A number of participants got together and discussed the complex interaction of economic development, nutrition and health, and sustainability. It is well-known that sustainable diets are intended to address the increasing health and environmental concerns related to food production and consumption. However, despite past progress, approximately 3 billion people across the globe have low-quality diets. Nearly a quarter of all children under five years of age are stunted, more than 2 billion people have insufficient micronutrients. While undernourishment is concentrated in developing countries, the incidence of overweight and obesity is growing in every region. As a result, many economies are seriously underperforming, and diet-related chronic diseases are placing ever greater demands on health care systems. Jennie MACDIARMID from the University of Aberdeen gave a keynote speech on the impact of changing diets on health and the environment, and Cristina MORA from the University of Parma served as discussant.
My colleague Professor Davide Menozzi of the University of Parma presented in a poster session our latest book titled “Edible insects in the food sector: methods, current applications and perspective” (Springer, in press). The book will explore one of the most discussed and investigated novel foods in recent years: edible insects. Increasing demand for alternative protein sources worldwide had led the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to promote the potential of using insects both for feed and food, establishing a program called “Edible Insects”.
Finally, Professor Cristina Mora presented the findings of our work on college students and eating habits, using an ecological model for healthy behavior. The study was carried out in the US and Italy in the last year and used focus group to understand opinions and thought of what is the relationship between young adults and healthy food.