On the occasion of the International Year of Pulses, the Louis Bonduelle Foundation has reaffirmed the importance of pulses in the human diet, as much due to their high nutritional value as to their ecological and economic advantages. The ninth Conference, focused on the theme of “Hungry for beans: intersecting perspectives on the place of plants in diet” took place in Paris on June 7, 2016 and brought together nearly 200 participants. To learn more about the subject, download our scientific monograph!
Nicolas Bricas, a socioeconomist, emphasized the importance of optimizing the current system, with less importance accorded to animal products and more waste reduction. According to him, however, this ratio will not suffice for building a sustainable food system; it is also important to ensure that plant production itself is sustainable.
For Florent Quellier, a historian, the International Year of Pulses is a chance to rehabilitate the role of pulses in history. According to him, pulses could take on the role of meat if consumers who care about the future of their planet make the choice.
The economist Marie-Benoît Magrini complemented this historical point of view by affirming that, in the food transition oriented towards the importance of plants that is beginning in Western countries, pulses have a significant role to play not just in agribusiness innovations but also through citizen initiatives.
Géraldine Camilleri, recipient of the 2014 Louis Bonduelle Research Award, presented the results of her work on intuitive eating and mindfulness. Her study, carried out on a large sample of adults from the NutriNet-Santé research program, shows that these factors could promote healthy eating and weight maintenance and that “it is important to consider positive behaviors, and not just risky behaviors, both in primary and secondary obesity prevention.”
The 2016 Louis Bonduelle Research Award was presented to Annie Geziena Venema, a PhD student at Utrecht University. Ms. Venema’s research focuses on nudging, and more specifically its effectiveness in gently guiding consumers toward a balanced diet. The idea behind nudging is to avoid coercion and instead unconsciously direct people toward a behavior that is believed to be better for them (e.g. by placing salad at the entrance to a buffet and using small plates to reduce portions).