Food systems—food from production to digestion and related contexts—contribute significantly to disease and environmental degradation. Hence, transforming food systems is thus key to improve sustainability and health, and requires attentiveness to the physical and meaningful aspects that affect food production and consumption. This project seeks to enrich the current sustainable-food-systems-for-health agenda by including important socio-cultural aspects besides the more common nutritional, biological, ecological, and technological aspects in the development of an integrated approach to food system.
EATWELL pursues this holistic ambition with Bhutan as our informative and critical case. In a first stage, we will examine and describe the food system in the cultural heartland of Bhutan, exploring the cultivation, foraging, herding, eating patterns and the like. We will thereafter examine why the food system is constituted the way it is by examining its connections with broader environmental, cultural, and religious factors. After describing and explaining how food systems and practices are constituted, we will investigate their effects on nutrient intakes. In a second stage, we will scale-up this examination of the food system to additional sites across Bhutan. The methods for investigation entail ethnography, nutritional surveys and extended ethnographic nutritional case studies.
The project has following key aims: