About this Research Topic
With the exponential growth of the world’s population, increasing awareness that our natural resources are limited, a growing food justice movement; and the development of sustainable approaches to grow, process, and distribute food is essential. The processing of raw commodities into food products and their subsequent distribution and sale, is a multi-billion-dollar industry that contributes significantly to most economies throughout the world. Meanwhile, health care costs for diet-related diseases contributes detrimentally to economies. In fact, in every country, the food industry is the largest industrial sector and consequently consumes tremendous quantities of energy, water, and other natural resources, and thus has far-reaching impacts on the environment. These impacts include greenhouse gas emissions, toxic emissions, land use changes, as well as emission of other gaseous, solid, and liquid wastes.
Historically, the criteria for food choice amongst consumers is often based on availability, taste, price, quality and safety, marketing and promotion, cultural preference, and nutritional attributes; additionally, food choices are often driven by agricultural practices and policies. However, evidence suggests that consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impacts of the foods they consume. While agricultural practices and packaging have important environmental impacts for many food products, the processing of foods, distribution, as well as food waste and loss all contribute to the environmental footprint of this industry.
This Research Topic welcomes manuscripts that focus on the interrelationships among four pillars of sustainable food supply chains (e.g., production, processing, distribution, waste), nutrition and health (consumption), the environment (sustainability), as well as public policy. Environmental burdens and costs will also be discussed, as they cross all sectors of the supply chain, as will methodologies and techniques to calculate, model, and simulate these impacts. Thus, we will address all aspects of the Triple Bottom Line (Environmental, Social, and Economic Sustainability). Case studies of specific industry segments will also be considered, as will new technologies for improving efficiencies and decreasing environmental impacts. Government policies will also play a critical role in adoption and improvement of the food industry.
While this Research Topic aims to span the entire food industry, this new contribution (Volume II) will have a special emphasis on the intersection amongst nutrition, dietetics, and food choice vis-à-vis potential environmental, social, and health impacts.
Keywords: Food, Nutrition, Dietetics, Supply Chain, Economics, Efficiencies, Environment, Sustainability
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.