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BioValue Project’s Research Featured in Aprifel 

We are excited to announce that our latest research under the BioValue Project has been featured in Aprifel, an esteemed agency dedicated to research and information on fruit and vegetables. The study, led by Mattas et al. (2023), delves into the crucial issue of biodiversity decline, focusing on food plant species, subspecies, varieties, and races. This pioneering research compares the food plant diversity between Mediterranean (MD) and Western dietary patterns, shedding light on the significant differences and implications for sustainability and nutrition security. 

Key Findings: 

  1. Higher Diversity in Mediterranean Diets: The study found that the mean number of majorly cultivated food plants in the Mediterranean diet (29.33) was significantly higher than in the Western diet (19.17). Similarly, the average number of native food plants was also greater in Mediterranean countries (1508.83 vs. 1198.17). 
  1. Country-Specific Insights: Within Mediterranean countries, Italy exhibited the most diverse cuisine regarding both majorly cultivated and native food plants. Conversely, Algeria and Greece, as well as Algeria, Lebanon, and Malta, ranked below average in these categories. Among Western countries, Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden showed lower biodiversity in majorly cultivated food plants, with Denmark also having the lowest average of native food plants. 
  1. Biodiversity and Nutrition Security: The study emphasizes that biodiversity is a key prerequisite for dietary diversity and nutrition security. With only 10% of historically cultivated crop varieties still grown today, the reliance on a few major crops has led to micronutrient deficiencies. 
  1. Sustainable Food Systems: To meet the growing demand for healthy and sustainable food, the Mediterranean diet’s adoption and transmission to other regions is crucial. Introducing neglected and underutilized plant species (NUPs) into agro-food systems can benefit both consumers and producers, contributing to biodiversity preservation. 
  1. Integrated Approach to Diets: The research underscores the need to approach diets within the broader context of agro-food and ecological systems. Diverse diets can support biodiverse rural environments and mitigate climate change effects. 

The BioValue Project’s findings highlight the intricate link between food biodiversity and sustainable agricultural practices. Strengthening these practices ensures access to nutritious, adequate, and affordable food while protecting our environment. 

Read the Full Article on Aprifel: https://www.aprifel.com/en/global-fv-newsletter-article/the-mediterranean-diet-case-biodiversity-a-key-requirement-for-food-diversity-and-food-security/  

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