Barilla: Center For Food & Nutrition

Cristina Di Leva


Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) Foundation held its first official event at John Cabot University last March 21, 2017. The theme was “How to Promote Food Sustainability.” Professor Margaret Kneller introduced the lecture, which was carried out by Dr. Elena Cadel, researcher, consultant and representative of the BCFN Foundation.


The lecture focused on the importance of promoting sustainable agro-food especially among young people, to create awareness and generate a world where “food is produced and consumed in a sustainable way for the benefit of current and future generations.”


BCFN Foundation is a private non-profit apolitical institution working as a multidisciplinary and autonomous think tank founded in 2009. Its president, Guido Barilla, is also known as the current president of the Barilla company, famous Italian food brand. The foundation analyzes the economic, scientific, social and environmental factors related to food in a cause-effect relationship and produces a high scientific value content to inform and guide people toward daily choices regarding food and nutrition, health and sustainability.


During the lecture, Dr. Cadel emphasized one of today’s greatest paradoxes: “for every undernourished person, there are now two obese or overweight people in the world.” While 36 million people die every year from malnutrition and famine, 3.4 million die from being overweight. Additionally, she continued, the phenomenon of obesity has nearly doubled worldwide since 1980 and keeps growing. In other words, while one part of the population eats too much (and poorly), the other eats too little.

Dr. Cadel also showed the double food and environmental pyramid developed by BCFN Foundation, which “demonstrates a direct relationship between the nutritional aspects of foods and the environmental impact created in the production stage and when they are consumed.”


BCFN Foundation, in partnership with Thomson Reuters Foundation, launched the Food Sustainability Media Award, which Dr. Cadel introduced to both John Cabot University students and professors. The Media Award aims to recognize the work of professional or non-professional journalists in “reporting and communicating issues related to food security, sustainability, agriculture and nutrition” in the categories of written journalism, photography and video. Applications can be sent until May 31, 2017.

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