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Sustainable Food Transitions

Research group The Research Group work will contribute to facilitating the transition to sustainable, healthy, and tasty eating rooted in historical, cultural, and social consumption practices and expressed through culinary craft. The Research Group works to bridge the different discourses and conversations around sustainability in the food arena.


  • To understand and facilitate the societal transition towards foods that are sustainable, healthy and tasty
  • To develop sustainability competences at the Department of Food Nutrition & Culinary Science

During the startup meeting for the Sustainable Food Transitions Group, we discussed the challenges the world is facing when trying to change eating habits to be more sustainable, healthy, and tasty. To facilitate this change, it is imperative that we elucidate a wide range of phenomena that influence our food choices, and that we explore the complex interconnectedness among these phenomena.

First, we need to bring about an understanding of what makes people want to buy certain types of food. This includes aspects like economy, emergencies, what foods are easy to find and buy, and the influence of people and companies who produce and sell food. We also need to regard how the public sector incorporate aspects of food and eating as preventive measures related to health, helping people to make well informed, sustainable, consumption choices.

Secondly, we must consider how food choices have changed over time and in different cultures. This means looking at the history of how people have used food to control others, how plants have been used in different societies, and how the world's climate has changed. We also need to think about how different people from different cultures view food and how their beliefs and values affect what they eat.

Finally, we need to regard the importance of how taste influences our food choices. This involves looking at how people can work together to create new and tasty foods, how to make it easier for people to change their eating habits, and how to make sure food is enjoyable to eat. As tastes are not formed in a social vacuum, we need to understand what motivates people to eat certain foods and how these motivations can be influenced by things like nutrition advice, family and friends, and the situations in which we eat. To make these changes, it's important to recognize the roles that food producers, trendsetters, and influencers play in shaping our food choices.


Links to existing projects:

Dietitian online (DiOn)



Sensing Tomorrow

Inventory management in a green restaurant industry

Head of research


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Food, Nutrition and Culinary Science, Umeå Institute of Design

Research area

Food, Nutrition and Culinary Science
Latest update: 2023-08-15