The modern food system is heavily dependent on fossil fuels and is a main driver of many environmental impacts. Currently, a large portion of the human-edible biomass, such as cereals and grain legumes, is fed to animals instead of being used as food for humans. This causes inefficient resource use and larger climate impact than direct use of biomass in food products; and a transition towards more plant-based eating is therefore needed.
The aim of this project is to develop climate-smart and proteinrich food products containing domestic legumes (e.g. beans, lentils, peas), to increase the food system sustainability and stimulate a growing bio-economy based on novel, attractive and health-promoting foods.
The project objectives are to:
1) identify strategies for incorporating grain legumes suitable for cultivation in Nordic climate into the Nordic diet, 2) develop new legume-based cropping systems that rely more on ecosystem services and less on fossil resources, 3) investigate effects of processing techniques on the nutritional quality of novel legume-based foods, 4) assess the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the production of foods based on domestic grain legumes compared to imported raw materials or meat, and develop decision support for handling trade-offs in the development of more climate-smart food systems.
The project applies trans-sectorial collaboration among scientists, food industry, regional councils, farmers and consumers.