Special Issue "Food Security and Sustainable Rural Development: Exploiting Potential Functional Foods with High Health-Impact as an Example of Biodiversity Integration and Conservation"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Dario Donno
Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Forestali e Alimentari, Università degli Studi di Torino, Grugliasco (TO), Italy
Interests: food security; nutritional quality and biodiversity integration; food by-products and re-use strategies; sustainable food waste valorization; food chemistry and green extraction; agrobiodiversity; biodiversity conservation; sustainable rural development; food–health relationships in sustainable agro-food systems
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food security and sustainable rural development are the main challenges for the next years: In particular, energy, malnutrition in children, and micronutrient deficiencies (e.g., vitamin deficiency and nutritional anemias) are important public health issues influencing productivity, maternal/infant health, and intellectual development in some rural areas, despite an abundance of often underexploited plant species, grown in seminatural conditions, with high health-promoting properties thanks to their bioactive compound composition.

The characterization of potential innovative functional foods and their nutritional and nutraceutical traits could be an example of biodiversity integration and conservation in order to valorize a food production and to raise income for the population and the agro-food industry. The advances in food production can be important in poverty reduction and deserve greater attention in sustainable rural development: It is necessary to link the evidence of poverty impact to simple policy recommendations in order to potentially integrate the promotion of local food products into national-level planning.

Finally, further benefits of this approach could include the potential for a better nutrition, maintenance of biodiversity, and environmentally sustainable food systems.

Dr. Dario Donno
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • agrobiodiversity
  • health-promoting food products
  • phytochemical composition
  • biodiversity conservation
  • environmentally sustainable agro-food systems
  • rural development

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Managing the Risk of Food Waste in Foodservice Establishments
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2050; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12052050 - 06 Mar 2020
Abstract
Although it is difficult to clearly identify the extent to which the foodservice industry contributes to food waste, its share is undoubtedly significant. As the hospitality and foodservice industry develops, more and more food waste is produced. The reduction of food waste is [...] Read more.
Although it is difficult to clearly identify the extent to which the foodservice industry contributes to food waste, its share is undoubtedly significant. As the hospitality and foodservice industry develops, more and more food waste is produced. The reduction of food waste is a key challenge for the sustainable development of the foodservice industry as it has negative economic and environmental impacts and is ethically reprehensible. The objectives of the study were to develop a risk management model of food waste based on the ISO 31000 standard for foodservice establishments, to learn the causes of food waste, and, on this basis, to estimate the risk of food waste in foodservice establishments. The survey was conducted in 130 foodservice establishments located in Poland using a specially designed questionnaire. The risk of food waste was identified in the studied foodservice establishments, manifested by throwing away of semi-finished products, hot and cold served dishes, bread, vegetables and fruit, expired products, products with signs of spoilage, and products with no visible signs of spoilage. Two risk levels were identified: medium risk for fruits and vegetables, and bread, and high (not acceptable) for the other six foodstuffs. Two risk treatment options were identified: prevention and tolerance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Determinants of Food Insecurity in Rural Households: The Case of the Paute River Basin of Azuay Province, Ecuador
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 946; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030946 - 28 Jan 2020
Abstract
Eliminating food insecurity is one of humanity’s greatest global challenges. Thus, the purpose of this research was to analyze the factors that determine food insecurity in households in the rural area of the Paute River Basin, Azuay Province, Ecuador. Stratified sampling was used [...] Read more.
Eliminating food insecurity is one of humanity’s greatest global challenges. Thus, the purpose of this research was to analyze the factors that determine food insecurity in households in the rural area of the Paute River Basin, Azuay Province, Ecuador. Stratified sampling was used as the sampling method, with proportional affixation. Moreover, we employed the Latin American and Caribbean Household Food Security Measurement Scale (ELCSA). We estimated the main determinants of household food insecurity using two binomial logit models and one ordered logit model. For the analysis of the data, the respective statistical and econometric tests were employed. The results show that housing size and access to food security information are the most important determinants of food insecurity in the three predictive models applied in this research. This research contributes to the existing literature on food insecurity and provides important information for policymakers, especially regarding food insecurity in rural areas, which has profound economic and social implications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring the Determinants of Food Security in the Areas of the Nam Theun2 Hydropower Project in Khammuan, Laos
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020520 - 10 Jan 2020
Abstract
This article examines the driving forces of food security in the areas of the Nam Theun2 Hydropower Project (NT2) in Khamuan, Laos. A questionnaire survey was conducted to collect data from 100 NT2 resettlement households based on the random sampling technique. A linear [...] Read more.
This article examines the driving forces of food security in the areas of the Nam Theun2 Hydropower Project (NT2) in Khamuan, Laos. A questionnaire survey was conducted to collect data from 100 NT2 resettlement households based on the random sampling technique. A linear regression technique was used to identify the influence of household food insecurity. The result showed that household size, food price, drought, shock, household income per month, number of laborers, gender of the household head, and farmland areas are important factors for household food insecurity. Policies should focus on irrigation that will permit yearlong cultivation. This will in turn become the stimulus for a concatenation of events in the process of development. People will resettle to practice agriculture while also expanding non-agricultural employment. Businesses in skills training, fish processing, textile, services, and crafts will be created, boosting household income. With inevitable population expansion, education in family planning will also be necessary to control population in relation to available resources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of the Behaviors of Polish Consumers in Relation to Food Waste
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010304 - 30 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Food waste occurs at all stages of the food chain, but it is households in developed countries that have the largest share in the production of food waste. In order to develop and implement effective programs to combat consumers throwing away food, the [...] Read more.
Food waste occurs at all stages of the food chain, but it is households in developed countries that have the largest share in the production of food waste. In order to develop and implement effective programs to combat consumers throwing away food, the factors that determine food waste in a household must first be known. The purpose of this study was to assess the risk of food waste by Polish consumers and identify the effect of demographics on the respondents’ behavior related to food management. The results show that factors such as age, gender, place of residence, and education influence consumer behavior in terms of food management at home. It was found that young people and those with university-level education were more likely to buy unplanned products and waste food. The causes of the risk of wasting food were identified and their frequency determined. The most common causes for the risk of food waste include food being spoiled, missing the expiry date, and failure to arrange food in cabinets according to the expiry date. Bread was the most frequently wasted product, especially by young respondents. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Restaurant’s Multidimensional Evaluation Concerning Food Quality, Service, and Sustainable Practices: A Cross-National Case Study of Poland and Lithuania
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010234 - 27 Dec 2019
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze consumer choices and evaluate the restaurant service quality, including quality of meals and services, and sustainability practices in restaurants in Warsaw and Kaunas. Our research was conducted using a sample of 1200 adult [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze consumer choices and evaluate the restaurant service quality, including quality of meals and services, and sustainability practices in restaurants in Warsaw and Kaunas. Our research was conducted using a sample of 1200 adult Poles and Lithuanians. Polish and Lithuanian consumers used catering services with varying frequencies. Different elements influenced their choice of restaurant. However, the common feature was the quality of meals, which in Lithuania was compared only with the price of meals, and with other elements in Poland. In the context of restaurant’s sustainable practices, it has been revealed that surveyed consumers had only partially fit into the contemporary consumption trends. In both countries, consumers have appreciated the use of reusable cutlery and crockery, as well as local and seasonal ingredients, while they did not pay attention to sustainable restaurant practices, such as the use of alternative sources of protein, environmentally friendly forms of energy, and reducing waste and minimization of food losses. The use of cluster analysis and principal component analysis (PCA) allowed a comprehensive assessment of consumer opinions on restaurants in terms of meal quality and service as well as sustainable practices. Restaurateurs should monitor the satisfaction of their customers and recognize the changing needs and habits of consumers. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Halophyte Common Ice Plants: A Future Solution to Arable Land Salinization
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6076; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216076 - 01 Nov 2019
Abstract
The problems associated with the salinization of soils and water bodies and the increasing competition for scarce freshwater resources are increasing. Current attempts to adapt to these conditions through sustainable agriculture involves searching for new highly salt-tolerant crops, and wild species that have [...] Read more.
The problems associated with the salinization of soils and water bodies and the increasing competition for scarce freshwater resources are increasing. Current attempts to adapt to these conditions through sustainable agriculture involves searching for new highly salt-tolerant crops, and wild species that have potential as saline crops are particularly suitable. The common ice plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L.) is an edible halophyte member of the Aizoaceae family, which switches from C3 photosynthesis to crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) when exposed to salinity or water stress. The aim of this review was to examine the potential of using the ice plant in both the wild and as a crop, and to describe its ecology and morphology, environmental and agronomic requirements, and physiology. The antioxidant properties and mineral composition of the ice plant are also beneficial to human health and have been extensively examined. Full article
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