Defining healthy and sustainable diets
The world’s food system faces a great balancing act. By 2050 it must feed around 10 billion people more sustainably without increasing the agricultural land area, using fewer natural resources, and emitting fewer greenhouse gases. In addition, diets should be healthier and meet human nutritional needs. Diets should prevent malnutrition and non-communicable diseases like obesity and cardiovascular disease.
The research area of sustainable nutrition attempts to provide answers on how to meet these challenges.
Healthy and sustainable diets
Businesses, governments, and civil society organizations are all looking for ways to make our food healthier and more sustainable. Blonk can help your organization identify the available options to achieve this. The answer ultimately lies in finding the right balance between food sustainability and health value. We use optimization techniques to help understand how to improve diets with minimum changes to eating habits.
Grasp the complete picture of healthy and sustainable diets
Defining healthy and sustainable food patterns is complex and should be based on a systematic investigation and sound data. We developed our Optimeal tool to help you understand the complete picture of healthy and sustainable nutrition. Optimeal facilitates the exploration of many options, identifies new opportunities, and helps elevate the level of discussions regarding the optimization of diets for health value and sustainability.
Optimeal for companies producing foods and beverages
The main challenge for companies producing foods and beverages is to become 'future-proof' regarding health, environmental, and other sustainability concerns. Future-proof foods and beverages properly balance their nutritional value and environmental impact. This concept is called the Sustainability Nutrition Balance (SNB), which identifies whether a product or product group fits into a healthy and sustainable diet. The SNB-score can be determined in several steps, offering directions toward developing products that meet nutritional and sustainability requirements. With the help of Optimeal, we can assign SNB-scores to products or product portfolios.
A dietary pattern that is healthy for both Belgians and the planet
WWF launched the European Eat4Change project to make young Europeans aware of ways to develop and adopt a healthier and more sustainable diet. Our current food system has a substantial environmental impact. With Eat4Change, WWF wants to make food production more sustainable, combat biodiversity loss and tackle the climate crisis. As part of this European project, on behalf of WWF Belgium, we analyzed which products fit into a sustainable and healthy diet for a family of four. We did so using our Optimeal software tool. The results also show that a sustainable and healthy diet is cheaper than the average Belgian's current dietary pattern.
Future-proof food & beverage products
The main challenge for companies producing foods and beverages is to become 'future-proof' regarding health, environmental, and other sustainability concerns. Future-proof foods and beverages properly balance their nutritional value and environmental impact. This concept is called the Sustainability Nutrition Balance (SNB), which identifies whether a product or product group fits into a healthy and sustainable diet. The SNB-score can be determined in several steps, offering directions toward developing products that meet nutritional and sustainability requirements. Blonk Consultants developed the Optimeal optimization tool to grasp the complete picture of and study healthy and sustainable diets and assign SNB-scores to products or product portfolios.
Healthy and sustainable diets for people and planet
Recently, the EAT-Lancet commission published a report on healthy and sustainable diets. In our studies we arrive at roughly the same conclusion. However, our research method was different, and actually more precise, with fewer limitations.
Optimeal is a software solution that uses optimization to solve dietary questions that involve sustainability, as well as nutritional parameters. The tool helps to identify new opportunities and to elevate dialog on eating for a healthy and sustainable future.
Eating for 2 degrees - WWF UK and Sustainable Diets
In 2011 WWF UK published the first 'Livewell plate'. This was very successful in putting the topic of sustainable diets on the agenda of governments, food companies and health organisations, as well as demonstrating that it was possible to incorporate sustainability in dietary recommendations. Building on this success and the 'Paris Agreement' WWF UK decided to update the Livewell Plates. The new Livewell Plates demonstrate that by adopting a sustainable diet it is possible to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees.
Menu for Tomorrow
For the Dutch environmental organisation Natuur & Milieu Blonk Consultants investigated what a healthy and sustainable diet would be for the Netherlands. The result is the Menu for Tomorrow, which provides a considerable reduction of greenhouse gases emissions and a smaller claim on scarce natural resources.
Please get in touch with Marcelo if you would like to learn more about Sustainable Diets or Optimeal.