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Goals

The main goals addressed by this team are:

SDG10 (Reduced inequalities),
SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities)
SDG 3 (Good health and wellbeing).

Fully embedded in the activities are
SDG 2 (Zero hunger) and
SDG13 (climate action).

There is an increasingly large gap in our society between the upper middle class and the poor, and the high pace of urbanization is leaving behind the elderly and the marginalized. The goal of this network is to create strong research evidence for developing new foods that will contribute to maintaining the physical and mental health and well-being of the individuals, preventing or improving chronic conditions, at any stage of life.

The focus of the network will be in the finding new food systems solutions, not only to prevent and treat non communicable diseases, but also in maintaining the ability of individuals to thrive in their everyday life, depending on their needs, specifically in cases where disadvantaged people may not be in the position of access to the “right food, at the right time”. There are many inequalities, but those that could be prevented by affordability or accessibility of the appropriate nutrition and diet are inexcusable, in both the developed and developing world. Kids going to school should be able to all perform well and be alert, and maintain high cognitive function regardless of their social status or geographical location. Older individuals should be able to continue to consume sufficient amount of high- quality sustainable protein, regardless of their social and economic status, their geographical location and regardless of their lack of appetite, or challenges in swallowing or chewing. The recovery and performance of muscle mass after a disaster, after recovery from surgery, or simply due to age, should not be a privilege, but a right for everyone, regardless of their geographical location, their socio-economic status, or education.

The global demand for more, better, healthier and more nutritional foods is expected to grow significantly in the coming decades. Bio-resources are being squeezed by increased demand for food and climate changes. In the future, sustainability of our food supply will be “a must have”, and no longer just a “nice to have”. The development of a sustainable, climate friendly, personalized nutrition in a digital, urbanized world is a must. By 2025, the majority of the world population will be middle class, and living in large urban clusters. Millennials will account for over 30% of the population, they are digital natives and engaged consumers, focused on convenience, but concerned about food provenance, social and environmental responsibilities, and foods that perform beyond nutrition, responding to their physical and mental health needs and personal taste. The internet of things will make everyone a citizen of the world, with ease of access to personalized information, and everyone an expert. This will result in large inequalities, due to socio economical speed of growth, and lack of reliable sources of information. How will personalized diets look like? Affordability of good nutrition will be an issue, as well as the ability to recognize what is good for you. There is a large risk, if we do not develop food for everyone to thrive, that many will be left behind. In this journey, we can not forget that food has always a social context.