Healthier and sustainable food systems: integrating underutilised crops in a ‘theory of change approach’

Elisabete Pinto, Helena Ferreira, Carla S. Santos, Marta Nunes da Silva, David Styles, Paola Migliorini, Georgia Ntatsi, Anestis Karkanis, Marie Fleur Brémaud, Yann de Mey, Miranda Meuwissen, Janos Istvan Petrusan, Sergiy Smetana, Beatriz Silva, Lina Maja Marie Krenz, Daniel Pleissner, Adriano Profeta, Marko Debeljak, Aneta Ivanovska, Bálint BalázsDiego Rubiales, Cathy Hawes, Pietro P.M. Iannetta, Marta W. Vasconcelos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Increasingly, consumers are paying attention to healthier food diets, “healthy” food attributes (such as “freshness”, “naturalness” and “nutritional value”), and the overall sustainability of production and processing methods. Other significant trends include a growing demand for regional and locally produced/supplied and less processed food. To meet these demands, food production and processing need to evolve to preserve the raw material and natural food properties while ensuring such sustenance is healthy, tasty, and sustainable. In parallel, it is necessary to understand the influence of consumers’ practices in maintaining the beneficial food attributes from purchasing to consumption. The whole supply chain must be resilient, fair, diverse, transparent, and economically balanced to make different food systems sustainable. This chapter focuses on the role of dynamic value chains using biodiverse, underutilised crops to improve food system resilience and deliver foods with good nutritional and health properties while ensuring low environmental impacts, and resilient ecosystem functions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiodiversity, functional ecosystems and sustainable food production
EditorsCharis M. Galanakis
Number of pages49
ISBN (Electronic)9783031074349
ISBN (Print)9783031074332
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Nutrition
  • Sustainability
  • Underutilised crops
  • Value chains


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