In your opinion, what have been the most important nutrition trends over the last 5-10 years?
Food systems are increasingly becoming the focus of public and scientific attention. Our planet is under pressure from climate change and human exploitation, and we face the additional challenge of population growth. With this in mind, we have seen that sustainable food systems have become a key priority for regulators, governments, consumers and businesses. Key trends include the rise of plant-based alternatives to meat, the digitalization of agriculture, a shift towards healthier eating and the rise of “free from” food, and a growing focus on reducing food waste.
Looking ahead, what do you think will be the key trends and themes for the next decade and beyond?
In essence, we believe that all of the trends that have gained momentum over the past decade will accelerate as the food systems transition is at a tipping point today. Contributing to this are more regulation, changing consumer behavior, more innovation, the Covid pandemic and the growing food crisis.
What would you say to someone who thinks we have too many people on the planet to be properly fed?
A A large number of solutions exist, from farm to fork, to contribute to food security and the goal of feeding a growing population while reducing the burden of disease and mortality from poor nutrition. One example of exciting innovation is precision farming technologies that enable us to produce more food with the same or fewer inputs, including remote sensing drones – automated farming devices powered by artificial intelligence and IoT devices that enable agronomic data analysis. We can also aim to reduce the one third of the food produced that is wasted each year, for example with sensor-based food sorting systems that can help determine when a fruit or vegetable intended to be wasted can be reused, or with Food cultures and enzymes that extend the shelf life of food products. Finally, we also believe that there is scope to increase our consumption of nutrient-rich foods relative to the intensity of their production in order to optimize our scarce resources.
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