This lab investigates the relationship between nutrition lifestyle and human wellbeing, considering also ecosystems and biodiversity which play a key role on health and quality of life.
Biodiversity makes a significant contribution in preventing disease and illness, considering the overall external exposome to which an individual is subjected from conception and during lifespan, and well functioning ecosystems can help protect human health, besides helping people recover from illness.
In this “Anthropocene” geological epoch we are witnessing an increase in morbidity and mortality due to environmental factors, including nutrition, that lead to a significant rise of Non Comunicable Disease (NCDs) prevalence that is dominating the globe ” as well as a significant human impact on Earth’s geology and ecosystems, including, but not limited to, anthropogenic climate change.
Most of the actual environmental systems and processes are pushed beyond safe boundaries by food production and they need to be urgently readdressed. Existing knowledge warrants immediate action to promote the sustainable use of biodiversity in food security and nutrition programmes, as a contribution to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Moreover unhealthy diets pose a greater risk to morbidity and mortality than does unsafe sex, and alcohol, drug, and tobacco use combined (Eat Lancet Commission, 2020).
That’s why transformation of nutrition to healthy diets is urgently needed to counteract increasing prevalence of malnutrition and preventable disease, besides planet degradation.
It is time to foster creative and inspirational environments and identify new strategies to exploit biological resources (product and process innovations) in order to obtain new food and sources, bioactive molecules and supplements, drugs and materials and create new production processes to be more sustainable and respectful of health requirements as well as planetary ones. In doing so, this lab also explores how the interaction between natural and social biodiversity within urban systems fosters innovation, health and wellbeing.
The role of digital transformation and smart technologies – e.g. artificial intelligence – is a key consideration in our studies.
Implications of such dynamics for nutrition and evolution towards new food eco-systems, paradigms and transformation to healthy and sustainable nutrition are a central issue. The argument is explored from a number of perspectives to fully capture its societal impact, including medical, technological, socio-economic and strategic approach.