Webinar: “Storytelling as a communication tool”

20 Oct 2022

Sharing a story can help engage individuals, not least because we all enjoy a story.

During this workshop, participants learnt about the power of storytelling as a communication approach, particularly what makes a good story and how it can best be delivered.

Perhaps reflecting a time when we relied on oral histories, our brains love stories. They help us understand processes and recall complex concepts. Stories also enable new information to be put into context and inspire change through engagement.

We can also be empowered to make informed decisions through storytelling.

Good stories address three concerns: context, exchange, and outcome. However, for the story to engage individuals, we – the storyteller – need to know our audience, build and release tension (drama and jeopardy), shape an idea, and communicate values that will resonate with those listening to our story.

Also, we need to remember, that less is more; we all know someone who bores us with irrelevant details. The key is selection of the information, specifically key facts only to avoid overloaded. It is also important to use appropriate analogies (comparison of two otherwise unlike things based on resemblance of a particular aspect, e.g., life is like a box of chocolates …) and metaphors (figures of speech that describe an object or action in a way that is not literally true, but helps explain an idea, e.g., she is night owl). Finally, stories benefit from demonstration or visualisation (i.e., position, colour, size, and shape, e.g., grass was green and the flowers were red).

This webinar was organised by the European Parliament partnerships team together with the European Food Information Council (EUFIC), which specialises in communicating science-based information to the general public.


Carlos Abundancia, EUFIC (BE)

Webinar: ” Toolsets for Mining the gut Microbiome to Enable Precision Nutrition”

18th October 2022


Disruptions in the ecological balance of the gut microbiota are associated with health problems and our gut microbiome is unique even identical twins. So, how do we measure these associations and manage responses to diet or prebiotic and probiotic interventions? This webinar provided an overview of some computational and experimental tools that can be used in microbiota-mediated nutrition.

Fecal samples offer only a snapshot of gut microbiome ecosystems. In healthy individuals, development of these ecosystems is related to transit time. Not all healthy individuals have eubiotic microbiota (healthy) and not everyone with health problems has dysbiotic microbiota (unhealthy); patterns associated with unhealthy microbiota are very common in many diseases, but not always characteristic.

Dietary interventions can trigger dysbiosis, but diets can also be designed to restore and maintain a eubiotic ecosystem. Many of the tools we need to build specific, targeted, precision interventions -when and where they are needed- already exist. Also, dietary, prebiotic, and probiotic interventions are low risk, so wider use could be beneficial, although efficacy in different scenarios is still not established conclusively. Smaller, targeted human intervention trials are needed identify precision interventions and we need rigorous standards and benchmarks for quantitatively these.

We also need to build capacity in the scientific and clinical workforces to build models, run trials, and translate bioinformatic outcomes to underpin public health advice.

The webinar was organized by ILSI Europe as a part of webinar series on personalised nutrition.

Chair: Gabriele Gross – Head of Emerging Sciences, R&D Science Platforms Nutrition · Mead Johnson Nutrition / Reckitt (NL)


Quantitative microbiome profiling and community type analyses in health and disease, Gwen Falony – KU Leuven (BE)

Microbiome: a piece of the personalized nutrition puzzle, Emily Leeming – King’s College London (UK)

Leveraging the Gut Microbiota to Predict Personalized Responses to Dietary, Prebiotic, and Probiotic Interventions, Sean Gibbons – Institute for Systems Biology (US)

Webinar: “Diet-genome Interactions: Bringing us a Step Closer Towards Personalised Nutrition”

17th October 2022


Diet has a crucial role in cardio-metabolic health, but metabolic responses to diet are highly individualised. One route to tackle the continued rise in obesity and associated health consequences is personalised nutrition. However, for this to be effective, it is important to characterise molecular pathways that mediate individual dietary responses.

Overall, DIMENSION aims to investigate the influence of dietary intakes on epigenetic regulation of gene function, and effects on human cardio-metabolic health. In this webinar, the latest research on effects of diets on our genomes and gene regulation were discussed as well as personalised nutrition-based strategies to promote cardio-metabolic health.

We live in the age of imprecise public health nutrition advice (so-called one-size-fits-all), which is nonetheless valuable. However, there is strong evidence for postprandial molecular and sex-specific responses to test meal challenges, dominated by genes involved in adipogenesis and inflammation.

Postprandial genomic trajectories and postprandial glucose, insulin, and lipid concentrations have together revealed genetic mediators of inter-individual variations in response to diets. In other words, we are correct in thinking that not everyone responds to same food in the same way. The problem is the variation between studies, which makes understanding implications of these difference difficult. Food-metabotype relationships, or metabolic phenotypes (i.e., characteristics responses to meals), can be identified loosely, but there is an urgent need to replicate studies if we are going to base public health advice on these outcomes. DIMENSION aims to bring new knowledge on acute and chronic methylation changes (epigenetics) and integrate this knowledge with personalised and precision nutrition and human health research.

The webinar was organized by ILSI Europe as a part of webinar series on personalised nutrition.


Sarah Berry – King’s College London (UK)


DIMENSION project overview and postprandial genomic trajectories, Jordana Bell – King’s College London (UK)

Habitual diet and epigenetic modifications microbiome & data, Jakob Linseisen – University of Augsburg and Ludwig-Maximililans University of Munich (DE)

Personalised nutrition: a game-changing journey towards health, Jose Ordovas – Tufts University (US) and IMDEA-Food (ES)

2nd International DISH Cluster Workshop

12th October 2022

Unsafe food is associated with around 23 million cases of illness and 5000 premature deaths in Europe every year. Additionally, non-communicable diseases linked to diet (e.g., excess weight and obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease) are responsible for almost 70% of all deaths worldwide including many premature deaths (i.e., before the age of 75 years).

The DISH Cluster aims to support consumers towards healthy diets, focusing on improved nutritional habits, and improved food safety. At this workshop, the cluster wanted to contribute to, and inspire efforts towards, safe and healthy food for all with keynotes speakers from the European Food System.

Some of the conclusions were that it remains important for this kind of messaging is kept as simple as possible using images and infographics and targeted towards a specific audience. Those delivering the messages need to be trusted by the various audiences and topics need to inclusive and informative with every-day examples. Whilst the science is interesting, many only want to know the bottom-line, what they must do in response to the problem; they do not always need the details.



  • Lars Münter – Nordic Health 2030 Movement
  • Solveig Langsrud, SafeConsume, Nofima AS (NO)
  • Pikka Jokelainen, One Health EJP TOXOSOURCES, Statens Serum Institut (DK)
  • Veronica Lattanzio, FoodSafety4EU, CNR-ISPA (IT)
  • Jose Angel Rufian Henares, Stance4Health, University of Granada (ES)
  • Domagoj Vrbos, EFSA (IT)
  • Cortney Price, FAO (IT)
  • Lisa Ackerley, Director of Medical and Scientific Engagement, Reckitt (UK)
  • Joanna Disson, Food Standards Agency (UK)
  • Gyula Kasza, The National Food Safety Office (HU)

The DISH Cluster comprises five projects (SafeConsume, Eat2benice, FoodSafety4EU, Stance4Health and One Health EJP) and aims to guide and support consumers towards healthy nutritional habits and improve food safety.


Webinar: “Nutrition and cognitive development in children”

4th October 2022

The food we eat influences functioning of the brain and, perhaps more importantly, development of the child’s brain. However, there is also a key link between brain development and the gut microbiome.

Microbes in our guts produce specific metabolites, some of which can be detected in our breath (e.g., methane, H2, short chain fatty acids and alkanes). The guts of infants are nearly sterile at birth, but they become a unique community of trillions of microbes by adulthood. An increasing body of evidence shows that these bacteria have an impact on development of the brain, affecting behaviour and cognitive function. The most important outcomes identified by NUTRISHIELD include:

  • Key role of gut microbiome in brain development and behaviour
  • Early gut colonisation is affected by the child’s environment
  • Gut bacteria can potentially be changed/manipulated and might positively affect brain development and function.
  • Relationships between the gut microbiome and health are complicated and not always as expected
  • Healthy, well-balanced diets are correlated with better cognition in children and reduced risk of less cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease in older adults
  • Pro-inflammatory foods (e.g., meats, non-oily fish, sugar-sweetened beverages) can negatively affect the gut microbiome whilst anti-inflammatory foods (e.g., oily fish, olive oil, green leafy vegetables) have a positive impact
  • Probiotics are the subject of current research and understanding of any benefits still at an early stage
  • Breath analysis is a useful non-invasive approach for assessing individuals’ metabolic status including gut microbiome responses to dietary intervention.

The webinar was organized by Alpes Lasers SA as a part of the EU-funded project NUTRISHIELD (Fact-based personalized nutrition for the young, Grant Agreement No. 818110).


Prof. Carolina de Weerth (Radboud University Medical Center, NL)

Prof. Esther Aarts (Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, NL)

Dr Simona Cristescu (Life Science Trace Detection Laboratory, Radboud University, NL)


EU Bioeconomy Conference 2022

Wednesday 6 October – Friday 7 October 2022 


Bioeconomy is one in which basic building blocks for materials, chemicals, and energy are derived from renewable biological resources. It has a central role in a more sustainable economic model for the European Union and investments will help Member States meet targets, as well as ensuring a fair and just transition for citizens. Knowledge and other outputs (e.g., new technologies) from Horizon Europe as well as evidence-based policies will support the bioeconomy and develop long-term solutions for European Green Deal objectives. It is also an opportunity for maintaining or reviving rural areas, creating employment in primary production and food sectors, boosting rural economies, and contributing to sustainable growth. A thriving bioeconomy will reduce migration to cities and attract newcomers to rural areas, supporting generational renewal in the agricultural sector.  

Bioeconomy innovation ecosystems can help guide development of sustainable solutions, reducing food waste and loss, upcycling waste streams, reducing CO2 emissions, improving income opportunities, and supplying services. This can be achieved through design of local bioeconomy policy strategies, creation of appropriate governance models for public-private partnerships, and formation of networks and financing systems that support technological innovations and innovative business models.  

What is more, major European financial institutions, like the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund, are willing to finance bioeconomy-based companies with ready-to-market products and services. These programmes fund companies, research organisations, and local policymakers, and create opportunities for new business networks to rise and thrive. Development of bioeconomy sectors also allows countries to be more autonomous in sourcing resources for energy and real estate sectors by replacing imported materials with alternatives that are more sustainable.  

A central theme of this conference was the importance of European youth and the education sector in boosting transition to a new bioeconomy-based economy. New skills and innovative mindsets are needed in coming years to drive the shift from profit-centered to more sustainable and mindful. 


The European Commission hosted the EU Bioeconomy Conference 2022, a two-day event for major European stakeholders in the bioeconomy industry. Bioeconomy encompasses all sectors and associated services and investments that produce, use, process, distribute, or consume biological resources. Bioeconomy is already one of the Union’s largest sectors, be it the food we eat or the furniture in our home, or the clothes we wear. Thus, bioeconomy is core to European Green Deal transformation. 


  • QU Dongyu – Director-General at Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 
  • Joanna Drake – Deputy Director-General at European Commission 
  • Maired McGuinness – European Commissioner for financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union at European Commission
  • Ladislav Miko – Advisor to minister at Ministry of Environment 
  • Catia Bastioli – CEO at NOVAMONT SPA 
  • John Bell – Director at European Commission 
  • Wolfgang Burtscher – Director-General at European Commission 
  • Petri Peltonen – Under-Secretary of State at Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
  • Frans Timmermans – Executive Vice-President at European Commission 
  • Joachim von Braun – Professor at Bonn University, Center for Development Research (ZEF) 
  • Luc Bas – Head of Coordination, Networks and Strategy at European Environment Agency 
  • Annica Bresky – President and CEO at Stora Enso 
  • Patrick Child – Deputy Director-General at European Commission 
  • Hannah Mowat – Campaigns coordinator at Fern 
  • Henry Neufeldt – Head – Impact Assessment and Adaptation at UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre 
  • Pierre Bascou – Director at Commission européenne 
  • Carlos Calvo Ambel – Senior Director, non-road policy and analysis at Transport & Environment 
  • Maria Helena Semedo – FAO Deputy Director-General at The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 
  • Acacia Smith – Senior Policy Manager at The Good Food Institute Europe 
  • Pieter Nachtergaele – EU Bioeconomy Youth Ambassador – Educator and Researcher at Ghent University 
  • Giulia Cancian – Secretary General at EBA 

Link to event’s host: link https://ec.europa.eu/info/index_en

Link to the event’s page: https://eu-bioeconomy-conference-2022.b2match.io/

R&I Days

European Research and Innovation Days 2022

28th – 29th  September 2022

This year’s European Research and Innovation Days gave participants the opportunity to discuss how EU research and innovation can help build the world we want to live in.

Young researchers and innovators brought out-of-the-box ideas to tackle big challenges, such as climate change, plastic pollution, and food security. Most valuable, however, were the richness of discussions in the programme panels, networking possibilities, opportunities to interact with committee staff in the so-called village, and first-hand experience of research innovation projects in the exhibitions; both the village and exhibitions were virtually platforms.

In July, the European Commission adopted a New European Innovation Agenda that aims to put Europe at the forefront of a new wave of high-tech innovation and start-ups, helping Europe meet societal challenges. Building on significant work that has been already done to foster innovation in the EU, this new agenda aims to accelerate development and scaling up of innovations through a coherent set of actions. For now, working closely with the Member States, the focus has shifted to implementation of 25 dedicated actions including funding for scale-ups, provision of space and public procurement, and fostering and retaining talent. Significantly, this new agenda recognises new innovations developed by startups and students as well as more traditional innovators in research.

European Research and Innovation Days is the European Commission’s annual flagship online Research and Innovation event, bringing together policymakers, researchers, entrepreneurs and the public to debate. The fourth annual event brought together more than 13500 people from more than 100 countries.

EITFood Annual Event 2022

Monday 17 October – Tuesday 18 October 2022 


The current geopolitical situation is impacting Europe’s food system and the interdependencies between food systems, the environment, and socio-economic status. Many new projects aimed at improving current food systems were presented during the event, exploring how various actors are working to improve transparency, resilience, and fairness of agrifood supply chains, meet net-zero goals, and limit global warming.  

One highlight of the event was the presentation of the new education services offered by EIT Food – EIT Food Learning Services – which supports employers in staff development, skills intelligence, and recognition and certification of innovation competencies.  

During parallel sessions, we (EuroFIR) met stakeholders working in the nutrition and health domain and had the chance to gain insights into their innovative projects.  

Overall, the event was fruitful, promoting networking and opportunities for new partnerships as well as advancing understanding of EIT Food (www.eitfood.eu) and other European institutions working to improve the quality of European food systems. 


EIT Food’s Annual Event brings together their community of partners and external agri-food stakeholders around the common goal to create healthy food systems. This was the fourth annual event. 

Main speakers: 

  • Michiel de Ruiter – Chairperson, EIT Food’s Supervisory Board 
  • Andy Zynga – CEO, EIT Food
  • Lukas Visek – Member of Cabinet, Executive Vice-President
  • Frans Timmermans, European Commission 
  • Klaus G. Grunert – Professor of Marketing at Aarhus University 
  • Angelo Riccaboni – Professor and Chair of PRIMA Foundation 
  • Hila Cohen – Head of Business Development and Chief of Staff, WFP Innovation Accelerator 
  • Rakesh Sharma – R&D Director, PepsiCo 
  • Maarten Vanderkamp – Director of Education, EIT Food 

EUFIC webinar

Waste not, Want not!

EUFIC’s webinar

Tuesday 27th September 2022 


Dr Chang presented results from EUFIC’s ‘Waste not, Want not!” campaign. “A science-based hack a day keeps food waste away: 30-day journey to reduce food waste at home” aimed to raise awareness about the impacts of food waste, especially at the household level.  

From this campaign, EUFIC also gained insights into how information-based campaigns can be most effective including addressing target audiences specifically with information about critical behaviors, every-day measures of change, simple and effective strategies for behavior change, working with others to maximise impact, and using the right measures to assess impact.  

Reducing food waste does not bring direct benefits to consumers, except for saving money wasted on products that are not consumed, meaning drivers to change consumers behavior are not awareness of environmental impact but economic and social benefits. Consumers want to save time and money, and want to communicate their efforts to peers, exchanging experiences and difficulties associated with food waste reduction.  

It is important to consider that individuals are often at different stages regarding food waste and engagement with reduction activities. Information should be easy to understand and act upon, especially at the beginning of a campaign so individuals and households feel like they are succeeding and remain engaged during the campaign.  

Whilst it is important for campaigners to assess awareness and understanding, judgments about behavioral compliance should be avoided, and assessment must consider control groups (those not receiving messages) as well as direct and indirect measures.  

EUFIC (European Food Information Council)  https://www.eufic.org/en/


Please accept YouTube cookies to play this video. By accepting you will be accessing content from YouTube, a service provided by an external third party.

YouTube privacy policy

If you accept this notice, your choice will be saved and the page will refresh.


Unleashing the power of law to promote better health for all

Thursday 20th May 2021

The value of legal intervention, and its inherent potential in stimulating progressive change for public health, is considerable and laws are expected to contribute to solutions to the most pressing global health challenges.

Not only do international commitments to reduce disease prevalence often call for regulatory interventions, there is also growing recognition that the law, as a discipline, has a major role in framing effective public health strategies at global, regional, national, and local levels. This webinar explored legal channels through public health can be enhanced.

For instance, one of the most contested issues is food packaging. Used mainly to inform consumers about products, labelling has an enormous impact on consumer choice. However, legal regulations are a tool, but it is insufficient alone.

Success depends the collaboration of stakeholders, including the scientific community, food industry, and consumers, and the panel stressed the need of legal actions to create environments where healthy options -from food to physical activity- are the easiest as well as most affordable options.

Also, any solutions need to be fit-for-purpose (legitimacy test) and must not exceed the objective (necessity test). In other words, legal measures should not create unnecessary obstacles (oppose the industry), but rather be an opportunity to regulate food industry operators, providing clear guidelines for the industry and protecting consumers.

Organised by EUPHA Public Health Law Section and the UK Faculty of Public Health.


Professor Amandine Garde – Law & NCD Unit, University of Liverpool

Lawrence Gostin – Georgetown University, WHO Collaborating Center on Public Health Law & Human Right

Professor Markus Frischhut – MCI

Dr Anniek de Ruijter – University of Amsterdam

Professor Martin McKeen –  London School of Hygiene