Research Topic

Smart Food for Healthy, Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems

About this Research Topic

We are no longer able to provide the world population with a healthy diet and, at the same time, sustainably balance our planetary resources to ensure resilient and viable livelihoods for smallholder farmers. For the past fifty years, diets have become less nutritionally balanced, contribute significantly to climate change, and have accelerated the process of biodiversity erosion. We have reduced the number of species that are cultivated for food, and for each species, we are growing fewer varieties. While agriculture has moved towards uniformity, biodiversity is the basis of healthy and nutritious diets, and biodiversity is paramount for adapting crops to climate change. Hence, it is important to build resilient and sustainable food systems by re-introducing diversity into our agricultural systems and introducing “Smart Food” from smart crops into our diets.

Smart Food is food that fulfills the criteria for being good for you (nutritious and healthy), good for the planet (environmentally sustainable); and beneficial to the farmers who grow these crops (resilient and viable).

The aim of this Research Topic is to provide researchers, research managers, funding agencies, and government agencies with scientifically backed information to foster awareness, increased use, and support for research into Smart Food.

We expect to:
1. Identify solutions, new data, or information that contribute to our food being smart: good for you (healthy and nutritious), good for the planet (environmentally sustainable), and good for the producers especially the smallholder farmers (resilient and viable).
2. Identify food system solutions that are smart: having a Smart Food triple bottom line of being good for you, the planet, and farmers.
3. Identify and address the needs of current scientific research looking into how Smart Food affects our nutrition and health, the planet, the farmer, and the whole value chain (from farming to cooking, processing, marketing).

Submitted manuscripts may include Original Research, Systematic Reviews, Reviews, and Perspective papers that address issues across the value chain from farmers to consumers – including research into the adaptation of various crops to climate change, farmer acceptance and profitability of various crops, nutrition and environmental sustainability of food crops, processing impacts on the nutrition of food, consumer awareness of healthy food, changing consumer behavior towards food, and other obstacles which potentially deter farmers from growing more diverse and smart foods.

Any food/agricultural crops covered must show that they are a Smart Food, recognized as nutritious, environmentally sustainable, and (potentially) beneficial for the farmers. Examples of some crops to be considered, but not limited to, are millets, sorghum, barley, and grain legumes.

Any solutions presented must show that the work can contribute to a Smart Food triple bottom line of being good for consumers, the planet, and farmers.


Keywords: Biodiversity, Millets, Legumes, Cereals, Healthy Food, Nutrition, Climate Change., Smart Food


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.

We are no longer able to provide the world population with a healthy diet and, at the same time, sustainably balance our planetary resources to ensure resilient and viable livelihoods for smallholder farmers. For the past fifty years, diets have become less nutritionally balanced, contribute significantly to climate change, and have accelerated the process of biodiversity erosion. We have reduced the number of species that are cultivated for food, and for each species, we are growing fewer varieties. While agriculture has moved towards uniformity, biodiversity is the basis of healthy and nutritious diets, and biodiversity is paramount for adapting crops to climate change. Hence, it is important to build resilient and sustainable food systems by re-introducing diversity into our agricultural systems and introducing “Smart Food” from smart crops into our diets.

Smart Food is food that fulfills the criteria for being good for you (nutritious and healthy), good for the planet (environmentally sustainable); and beneficial to the farmers who grow these crops (resilient and viable).

The aim of this Research Topic is to provide researchers, research managers, funding agencies, and government agencies with scientifically backed information to foster awareness, increased use, and support for research into Smart Food.

We expect to:
1. Identify solutions, new data, or information that contribute to our food being smart: good for you (healthy and nutritious), good for the planet (environmentally sustainable), and good for the producers especially the smallholder farmers (resilient and viable).
2. Identify food system solutions that are smart: having a Smart Food triple bottom line of being good for you, the planet, and farmers.
3. Identify and address the needs of current scientific research looking into how Smart Food affects our nutrition and health, the planet, the farmer, and the whole value chain (from farming to cooking, processing, marketing).

Submitted manuscripts may include Original Research, Systematic Reviews, Reviews, and Perspective papers that address issues across the value chain from farmers to consumers – including research into the adaptation of various crops to climate change, farmer acceptance and profitability of various crops, nutrition and environmental sustainability of food crops, processing impacts on the nutrition of food, consumer awareness of healthy food, changing consumer behavior towards food, and other obstacles which potentially deter farmers from growing more diverse and smart foods.

Any food/agricultural crops covered must show that they are a Smart Food, recognized as nutritious, environmentally sustainable, and (potentially) beneficial for the farmers. Examples of some crops to be considered, but not limited to, are millets, sorghum, barley, and grain legumes.

Any solutions presented must show that the work can contribute to a Smart Food triple bottom line of being good for consumers, the planet, and farmers.


Keywords: Biodiversity, Millets, Legumes, Cereals, Healthy Food, Nutrition, Climate Change., Smart Food


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.

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Submission Deadlines

16 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

16 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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