Pre-conference: Food culture and biodiversity

Wednesday 28 November, 12:30 - 17:00

Organised by:

EUPHA Section on Food and nutrition

Biodiversity and food culture are both important, but sometimes neglected, public health issues. Biodiversity is closely link to nutrition. What we eat is influenced by the availability and sustainability of agricultural crops, livestock and marine species harvested for food.  Protecting biodiversity is, therefore, essential to ensure an adequate nutrition of the population and it is closely connected to sustainable healthy diets.

By protecting biodiversity, food cultures and their diversity is also protected. Food culture is a well-known social determinant of health. The diet in the population is influenced by the cultural heritage of each society, which at the same time is influenced by the biodiversity of the soil and livestock of the area. Food cultures have been described as a positive and a negative nutritional influence. Whilst some argue that preserving traditional habits, such as daily cooking, could have a positive influence over the health of the population, others argue that many traditional food cultures are based on unhealthy products. 


Tatjana Buzeti - President EUPHA section on Food and nutrition
Chris Birt - Vice-president EUPHA section on Food and nutrition

The impact of food culture and biodiversity on healthy diets
Tim Lang - Centre for Food Policy, City University of London, United Kingdom

The MaxVeg Project
Ulla Kidmose - Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark 

Locally produced food – understanding the impact on health and sustainable development
Peter Beznec - Centre for Health and Development Murska Sobota, Slovenia
Silva Nemeš -  Innovation Technology Cluster, Murska Sobota, Slovenia

Panel discussion

In this workshop, the relevant questions that we aim to answer are:

  • How can environmental indicators such as biodiversity and socio-cultural factors become drives for changing food systems towards sustainable and healthy diets in European Countries?
  • What do we know about agricultural biodiversity and how can it be measured?
  • How can biodiversity contribute to sustainable and healthy diets?
  • How can culinary knowledge and purchasing power shape the connection between nutritional health and biodiversity?
  • How can biodiversity be implemented as part of sustainable diets strategies in Europe

Main message: Biodiversity and food culture are important public health issues. There is a need to incorporate these elements in the main food and nutrition policies and strategies.

Registration fee

The registration fee is € 70 which includes networking lunch and refreshments.