The role of citizens and consumers in promoting legumes
Slides presented during "How legume science is enabling industry "
Webinar 6: European legumes in transition 4th May 2021
" The role of citizens and consumers in promoting legumes"
Presented by - Prof Marta Vasconcelos - Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina (CBQF), Universidade Católica Portuguesa-Porto, Portugal : Agricultural plant science animal and human nutrition
Legumes are being the target of recent scientific and innovation activities across Europe that enable legumes as dietary vehicles to improve consumer health. Specific initiatives include, for example: 1. the comprehensive nutritional characterization of large germplasm collections; 2. the understanding of the nutritional value of conventionally grown vs. organically grown legumes; 3. the optimization of processing techniques that enable full grain valorisation; 4. the development of legume-based foods tailored to children and grown-ups alike; 5. the development of freely available legume-based recipe books. Still, for legumes to become more widely present in agricultural fields and consumer’s plates, and ultimately to “empower” legumes, citizens must be involved in “spreading the bean”. Fully decentralised approaches to legume conservation are needed, and one way to accomplish this is by involving citizens in legume germplasm conservation and multiplication. Citizen Scientist strategies are valuable tools to increase citizens´ awareness towards the importance of biodiversity, and create a strong bridge between germplasm banks, consumers, and other stakeholders, including school gardens, to educate children on biodiversity by active participation in seed conservation. A dedicated app to engage citizens in sharing a collection of 1000 beans has been developed with the project H2020 INCREASE. The collection of phenotypic data (e.g., morphological, yield components, growth, and even taste) by citizens is creating a community of shared experiences, where legume pictures and stories are increasing legumes´ public visibility across Europe.Back to Resource Section