Sustainability Research in Spotlight: The key to more sustainable food systems includes multiple solutions

Rachel Mazac sheds light on her research about the future of sustainable diets and sustainable food systems as well as their transition.

Rachel Mazac, a HELSUS member and a doctoral student from the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry at the University of Helsinki, investigates sustainable food systems focusing on sustainable diets.  

Food systems are one of the anthropogenic systems with the most extensive environmental impacts. Agriculture covers a significant part of global land use and is responsible for 1/3 of total global emissions.  

“It’s certainly a challenge for our future and the sustainability of food systems to try to tackle some of these issues”, Mazac says. 

In her research, Mazac studies future sustainable diets. In particular, she has investigated topics such as novel foods, legumes and plant-based proteins, extensively farmed livestock products, and protein alternatives like artificial meats. A central question to Mazac’s work is how we can produce nutritional food while putting less stress on the environment in the future. 

“We’re also trying to find ways to address not just the nutrition and the lower environmental impact but also meeting these cultural and social needs as far as addressing that aspect of sustainability”, Mazac explains. 

Mazac points out that it is crucial to provide people more understanding about the complexities behind sustainable food systems, to help them make better choices when it comes to food and diets. 

One single solution or “silver bullet”, as she puts it, for sustainable food systems does not exist, which is also why Mazac wants to look into multiple solutions in her research and speaks for a thematic approach.

Find out more in the video below!


Sustainability Research in Spotlight – new video series!

Sustainability Research in Spotlight video series aims at opening up what sustainability research can be about. Sustainability science is inter- and transdisciplinary field of research covering a variety of research topics, approaches, and theories. The new HELSUS video series gives a voice to sustainability scientists and different perspectives of sustainability. We start with eight videos in which HELSUS members introduce their valuable research. In the following weeks, we will introduce one researcher and research per week. We hope that these videos enlighten your autumn and give food for thought!