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Indicators for assessment of health effects of consumption of sustainable, organic school meals in Ecoregions (INSUM)

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Funded by Ekhagastiftelsen, 2021-22

Project summary

Ecoregions are territories devoted to organic, where farmers, citizens, public authorities, realize an agreement on sustainable management of local resources, based on the principles of organic farming and agroecology. Research to determine physical and mental health and well-being and sustainability in such systems needs suitable indicators and biomarkers. Biomarkers are a topic of intensive research and new biomarkers are evolving fast. Their use and the interpretation of data needs careful and informed knowledge, therefore it is necessary to bring together scientists from a wide range of fields in order to establish a catalogue of suitable biomarkers and other indicators useful for different fields of research.

The aim of our project is to create a network of experts in the field of school meals, nutrition, organic food and diets, child health and other relevant areas, to define the most suitable indicators to be used for future research aiming at assessing diet and health in Ecoregions focusing on sustainable, organic production and consumption. For this we will organize 2 international workshops, with invited experts, followed by the development and publication of the workshop proceedings with consensus statements and guidelines. School meal programs will be in focus, because of their proven importance for future habits and changes of consumer behavior. We will also carry out a systematic literature review on organic food and health, with an analysis of all reported indicators differentiating consumers of organic vs. conventional food. All the project outcomes and networking actions aim to set a strong background for a multicenter Horizon Europe project about dietary transition, consumption of organic and sustainable food, health and wellbeing of inhabitants in ecoregions.

The first workshop focused on indicators of mental and societal health is planned to take place in Münster late autumn 2021.

Applicants: