Open online Symposium on Environmental Sustainability of Food Systems and Diets 25 March 2021

Photo: Unsplash

This symposium presents leading experts in Europe in the fields of nutritional epidemiology and nutritional biochemistry and aims to strengthen networking in the context of environmentally sustainable foods and diets.

Dietary recommendations and food product innovations supporting wellbeing of both people and the planet are hot and current topics in research and in public discussion. Although tools to improve the sustainability of diets have been recognized, many consumer and human physiological issues still set major challenges to the full exploitation of many environmentally sustainable food and nutrient sources. Interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge transfer are needed to find the best methods and solutions to address these challenges.

Welcome to open online Symposium

Time: 25 March 2021 at 9:30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. EET (Finnish time)

Place: Zoom (the link will be delivered to participants by email)

This event is aimed especially for researchers, decicion-makers, food industry operators and all who are interested in food systems and sustainable diets. The event is free of charge.

Program for Session 1: Towards sustainable food systems and diets

9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EET

  • Opening of the symposium (Food Safety Director Sebastian Hielm, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland)
  • Viewing diets through Planetary Health lens – the Helsinki Declaration (Research Program Director Jaana Halonen, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, THL)
  • The development of food based dietary guidelines taking sustainability into account (Dr. Caroline van Rossum, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM, Bilthoven)
  • Shifting consumer habits towards a diet with more plant-based foods and less animal-based foods – the ongoing SHIFT-DIETS project (Dr. Marga Ocké, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM, Bilthoven)
  • Commentary note (Research Director Helle Margrete Meltzer, Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Committee member of the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2022)

Short break

  • Recent activities and results
  • The Nature Step to Welfare (Luontoaskel) (Senior Res. Heli Kuusipalo, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, THL)
  • Sustainable diets across socio-demographic groups of the Finnish population (Just-Food) (Prof. Xavier Irz, Univ. of Helsinki, Finland)
  • The role of legumes in diet and health (Leg4Life) (Dr. Niina Kaartinen, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, THL)
  • Commentary note: (Res. Prof. Minna Kaljonen, Finnish Environment Institute)
  • General discussion

Break 12:30–1:15 p.m.

Program for Session 2: How to best assess the nutritional quality of sustainable protein sources?

1:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EET

  • Opening of the Session
  • State-of-the-art methods to assess protein bioavailability in vivo (Prof. Claire Gaudichon, INRA, Paris)
  • Can we apply in vitro digestibility methods to evaluate the nutritional quality of plant and animal proteins? (Research Director, Dr. Didier Dupont, INRA, Rennes)

Short break

  • Analytical methods to compare the quality of plant and animal-based protein sources (Dr. rer. nat. Lotti Egger, Agroscope, Bern)
  • General discussion
  • End of the Symposium


Please, register here by 18 March at the latest.

The Symposium is organized by

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)
University of Helsinki
University of Eastern Finland, Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition
STN/Leg4Life project
Food Valley

Funded by

The Nordic Council of Ministers (NKMT group)

More information

Anne-Maria Pajari, Associate Professor, Leg4Life Consortium Leader, University of Helsinki,
Marjukka Kolehmainen, Professor, University of Eastern Finland,
Liisa Valsta, Research Manager, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL),




Sähköpostiosoitettasi ei julkaista. Pakolliset kentät on merkitty *