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CABI Book Chapter

Sustainable diets: linking nutrition and food systems.

Book cover for Sustainable diets: linking nutrition and food systems.


This book takes a transdisciplinary approach and considers multisectoral actions, integrating health, agriculture, environment, economy, and socio-cultural issues, to comprehensively explore the topic of sustainable diets. Consideration is given to the multi-dimensional nature of diets and food systems, and the book explores the challenging issues connecting food security and nutrition to sustaina...

Chapter 6 (Page no: 53)

Agroecology and nutrition: transformative possibilities and challenges.

Agroecology is a holistic approach to agriculture, which takes into account the ecological, social, political and economic dimensions of producing food in order to build sustainable and resilient food systems that ensure food security and nutrition. It is thus an approach that resonates closely with sustainable diets. Positive nutritional outcomes should be one important outcome of such an approach; however, there has been limited research to date on the relationship between agroecology and nutrition. Building on a series of dialogues on agroecology hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization, as well as relevant scientific literature, this chapter presents several dimensions of agroecology that seem to be relevant for nutrition. On the technical side of agroecology, some promising studies point to the role that biodiverse farming systems and agroforestry have in ensuring positive nutritional outcomes. Other studies contend that agroecology, when linked to questions of social inequality such as gender or class, can lead to improvements in nutrition. Areas of interest and further investigation are outlined in this chapter: biodiverse production systems, social empowerment, local knowledge, culture and diets, livelihoods and rights. An agroecological approach to nutrition will likely critically engage with several known underlying determinants of malnutrition, which include the political, economic and social environment. This approach critiques the concept of nutritionism, a reductionist approach to nutrition science that is focused on single nutrients rather than food systems, and has often dominated efforts to link agriculture to nutritional outcomes.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 1) Sustainable diets: a bundle of problems (not one) in search of answers. Author(s): Lang, T. Mason, P.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 13) Sustainable diets: the public health perspective. Author(s): Lawrence, M. Baker, P. Wingrove, K. Lindberg, R.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 22) The challenges of sustainable food systems where food security meets sustainability - what are countries doing? Author(s): Harper, M. Shepon, A. Ohad, N. Berry, E. M.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 32) Climate change and sustainable and healthy diets. Author(s): Pahlen, C. T. von der
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 42) Biodiversity loss: we need to move from uniformity to diversity. Author(s): Frison, E. A. Jacobs, N.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 64) Indigenous food systems: contributions to sustainable food systems and sustainable diets. Author(s): Kuhnlein, H. Eme, P. Larrinoa, Y. F. de
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 79) Can cities from the global South be the drivers of sustainable food systems? Author(s): Fonseca, J. M. Battersby, J. Hualda, L. A. T.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 89) Consumer-level food waste prevention and reduction towards sustainable diets. Author(s): Gaiani, S. Rolle, R. Bucatariu, C.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 99) Attaining a healthy and sustainable diet. Author(s): Fanzo, J. Swartz, H.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 113) Highlighting interlinkages between sustainable diets and sustainable food systems. Author(s): Meybeck, A. Gitz, V.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 121) Understanding the food environment: the role of practice theory and policy implications. Author(s): Mattioni, D. Galli, F. Brunori, G.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 131) Sustainable diets: social and cultural perspectives. Author(s): Medina, F. X. Aguilar, A.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 137) Nutritional indicators to assess the sustainability of the Mediterranean diet. Author(s): Donini, L. M. Dernini, S. Lairon, D. Serra-Majem, L. Amiot-Carlin, M. J.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 146) Assessing the environmental impact of diets. Author(s): Dooren, C. van
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 158) Sustainable diets and food-based dietary guidelines. Author(s): Jones, R. Vogliano, C. Burlingame, B.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 172) Costs and benefits of sustainable diets: impacts for the environment, society and public health nutrition. Author(s): Drewnowski, A.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 178) The One Planet Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Programme as a multistakeholder platform for a systemic approach. Author(s): Solon, M. M. Mink, P. Dernini, S. Bortoletti, M. Lomax, J.
Chapter: 19 (Page no: 187) The Med Diet 4.0 framework: a multidimensional driver for revitalizing the Mediterranean diet as a sustainable diet model. Author(s): Dernini, S. Lairon, D. Berry, E. M. Brunori, G. Capone, R. Donini, L. M. Iannetta, M. Mattioni, D. Piscopo, S. Serra-Majem, L. Sonnino, A. Stefanova, M.
Chapter: 20 (Page no: 199) Traditional foods at the epicentre of sustainable food systems. Author(s): Trichopoulou, A.
Chapter: 21 (Page no: 204) Globally important agricultural heritage systems (GIAHS): a legacy for food and nutrition security. Author(s): Koohafkan, P.
Chapter: 22 (Page no: 215) Sustainability along all value chains: exploring value chain interactions in sustainable food systems. Author(s): Loconto, A. M. Santacoloma, P. Rodríguez, R. A. Vandecandelaere, E. Tartanac, F.
Chapter: 23 (Page no: 225) Sustainable and healthy gastronomy in Costa Rica: betting on sustainable diets. Author(s): Echandi, M. D. Masis, P. S. Viquez, R. G. Rodriguez, R. A.
Chapter: 24 (Page no: 232) How organic food systems support sustainability of diets. Author(s): Kahl, J. Strassner, C. Bügel, S. Lairon, D. Paoletti, F.
Chapter: 25 (Page no: 240) Institutional food procurement for promoting sustainable diets. Author(s): Tartanac, F. Swensson, L. F. J. Galante, A. P. Hunter, D.
Chapter: 26 (Page no: 248) Renewing partnerships with non-state actors for sustainable diets through sustainable agriculture. Author(s): Ghosh, K.
Chapter: 27 (Page no: 255) Decalogue of Gran Canaria for sustainable food and nutrition in the community. Author(s): Serra-Majem, L. Bartrina, J. A. Ortiz-Andrellucchi, A. Ruano-Rodriguez, C. González-Padilla, E. Dernini, S.
Chapter: 28 (Page no: 261) Ten years to achieve transformational change: the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016-2025. Author(s): Oenema, S.
Chapter: 29 (Page no: 268) Towards a code of conduct for sustainable diets. Author(s): Burlingame, B.

Chapter details

  • Author Affiliation
  • Department of Development Sociology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2019
  • ISBN
  • 9781786392848
  • Record Number
  • 20183377460