Strategies and food consumption models, relations between food, culture, territory and religion, sensorial and neurocognitive aspects are elements strongly connected and have a consistent impact on both chain productions and society well-being.

Research activities and services of this area are addressed to the analysis of consumption patterns, socio-territorial and socio-cultural factors related to food, and the assessment of the food system’s societal impacts with the final purpose of providing operative supports to realize appropriate food for contemporary society and more sustainable and inclusive food systems, accessible also by most vulnerable citizens.

 

Food and culture

Food production, preparation and consumption should be considered from a local perspective, in relation to patterns of resource use and the socio-cultural dimensions of agro-pastoral production, with a view to enhancing the social and ecological sustainability of the production chain.

Furthermore, understanding the socio-cultural relations between food, diets, social groups, and territories means first coming to terms with the modern-day divide between food and those who consume it, between the areas where food is produced and the cultural systems to which it belongs. It is key to explaining new food and dietary habits, bringing to light the value of specific products and their peculiarities, designing suitable marketing strategies, and developing connections among individual life stories, collective lifestyles, food aesthetics, and what we refer to as “local traditions”

TEAM

Ilaria Grazzani - Biographies and nutrition histories
Stefania Ulivieri - Biographies and nutrition histories
Ivan Bargna- Anthropology of Food
Silvia Barberani - Anthropology of Food
Luca Rimoldi- Anthropology of Food
Mauro Van Aken- Anthropology of Food- Anthropology of Food
Gianmarco Navarini - Wine & Food Cultures
Laura Formenti - Food and Education
Micaela Castiglioni - Food and Education
Barbara Biscotti- History of Private and Public Law
Elisabetta Nigris- Food and Education
Emanuela Bricolo - Psychology
Sara Zizzarri - Elderly's food access and habits

Nutritional style and food governance

Food accessibility, the knowledge of the supply and consumption strategies, and needs and preferences of various metropolitan populations are crucial aspects to provide products which can address deficiencies, meet consumers’ interests, and plan an appropriate food supply.

Starting from these information it is possible to enhance both the product range and the diet variety, and to define new strategies of food governance suitable for the local context and the targeted consumers.

TEAM

Matteo Colleoni - Food styles
Luca Daconto - Food accessibility
Nunzia Borrelli - Food policy & governance
Marco D'Addario - Lifestyle change, health and well-being. Risk perception and risk communication
Massimo Miglioretti - Lifestyle change, well-being, health promotion and occupational health
Massimiliano Rossetti - Food and sustainability
Bianca Minotti - Food and public policies

 

Food territory and development

Food is a key driver of the local socio-economic development, and it is an important factor of territorial attractiveness, which can attract tourists looking for typical culinary experiences and flavors.

The analysis of the relations between producers and consumers, local food networks, and enogastronomic tourism is therefore crucial to the development of innovative, sustainable and embedded in the territory food economies.

TEAM

Matilde Ferretto - Tourism and local devolpment
David Benassi - Food territorial economy
Raffaele Matacena - Alternative food networks
Annastella Gambini - Food and innovative Learning
Silvia Mugnano - Tourism and local community
Nadia Oliviero - Consumer detriment assessment, consumer protection, behavioural change and persuasion for health promotion, ICTs

Food history and economics

-Members of this section study the food economics and history from the Modern Age to the new Millennium both in macro-level and specific cases. Their researches in particular concern:

-The effect of the public institutions’ choices (the rules they promulgate and the policies they follow) on the production and distribution of the food and its healthy (from the ancient annona to the Common Agricultural Policy in the EEC/EU), the food law and governance and the European food certifications and their societal impact;

-The causes and consequences of the scarcity / excess of food and water both in pre-industrial societies and in contemporary markets: in particular in the Lombard town and in the Alpine valleys (16th – 20th centuries).

-The evolution of the production systems and technology, of the quantity / quality of the rural products and their market: in particular the wine, the dairy products, the olive oil, the cereals, the honey (17th – 21th centuries).

-The relevance for the food market of the protection of the quality of products and the effects of changes concerning consumers’ tastes and customs (18th – 21th centuries)

-The consumer preference for food and the marketing concerning the food and the cookware and the evolution of laws regulating the agri-food industry, the food markets, the packaging and the advertising (19th-21st centuries)

-The promotion and development of the sustainable tourism in World Heritage Sites and the gastronomic tourism.

- The economic rationality, economic ethics, the experimental economics and the neuro-economics related to the purchase and consumption of food.

 

TEAM

Garbelli Maria Emilia - Marketing
Mellinato Giulio - Food history
Mocarelli Luca - Food history
Prosperi Laura - Food history
Tedeschi Paolo  - Food history
Ottone Stefania - Economics, neuroeconomics
Garavaglia Christian  - Economics
Matteo Pelegatti  - Statistics
Benedetti Auretta - Law
Buzzacchi Camilla - Law

Food and cognitive neuroscience

Just as as other stimuli in the environment different aspects of food are represented by our brain in its complex networks, in order to produce certain beliefs, memories and behaviors. Cognitive neuroscience has revealed much about how the brain integrates information from multiple sources to create our perception of the external world.

In order to promote healthy diets, it is essential to understand consumers’ perceptions of and responses to new and old foods. Cognitive neurosciences can offer theories and advanced research techniques to address this aspect from a scientific point of view.

The different features of a product, such as its color, shape, smell, tactile feel, sound and so on, are rarely processed in isolation by our neural system.

A neurocognitive analysis of consumers’ multisensory perceptions of food allows to promote new food or ways of consumption and improve the diets of modern society. This analysis also needs to take into account demographic aspects, such as age, given that the sensorial, motivational and cognitive processing by the brain changes a lot from youth to elderness, leading to different taste, preferences and behaviors. Only by taking into account all of these aspects it will be possible to fully understand habits, choices, necessities and limitations of the whole population with respect to food consumption.

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