Meats and Cured Meats: The New Frontiers of Sustainability

Environment, Health, Safety, Culture, Economy and Ethics in Meat Supply Chains


Elisabetta Bernardi
Ettore Capri
Giuseppe Pulina


Animal source foods taken as part of a balanced diet are considered by nutrition experts to be foods of high nutritional value that are important for human health. According to the FAO, the demand for animal proteins worldwide is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, due both to the increase in global population and the growth in demand for higher-quality food in developing countries.
At the same time, starting from the mid-80s, meat consumption in Italy and the Western world has stabilised, and in the face of now consolidated food security, there has been a shift in sensitivity towards ethical issues such as animal welfare and the environmental impacts of livestock farming.
The challenge for livestock production has therefore become to “produce more with fewer resources,” aiming for an increased offer but more “sustainable”, efficient, environmentally attentive and considerate of animal welfare, ensuring fair compensation for farmers and all those involved in the value of the supply chain. Analysing the sustainability of meat and cured meats means studying in the most objective way possible the various topics that concern both the consumer and livestock production.
This volume sparks from an initial interdisciplinary study published in 2018, to describe the “5 facets” of meat sustainability, represented by five chapters: nutrition, environmental impacts and the application of the circular economy to livestock and industry, food safety and animal welfare, the economic aspects of supply chains and the fight against food waste.
Five years later, a revision by the authors has permitted the publication of this new text, which delves deeper and elucidates the significant recent scientific and technological innovations most recently emerged: from more accurate methods of calculating environmental impacts and preserving biodiversity; from the role of livestock in ecological transition, to new opportunities in bio economics and the circular economy, as well as recent scientific developments in the fields of nutrition and health.


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Author Biographies

Elisabetta Bernardi

She is a nutritionist, biologist, with a specialization in Food Science has over twenty years experience in scientific communication and applied nutrition research. Author and host of “Scienza in cucina” (Science in the Kitchen) for the scientific television program “Superquark” on RaiUno, hosted by Piero Angela. She is lecturer on Biology of Nutrition at the University of Bari, on Sustainable Nutrition and Metabolic Food Waste at the University of Bologna, and Scientific Communication at the University of Camerino. Elisabetta Bernardi is a member of SIO (Italian Society for Obesity) and the Scientific Committee of Assalzoo and Sustainable Meat.

Ettore Capri

He is a full professor of Agricultural Chemistry at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, where he lectures various courses on food and environmental risk assessment, director of the European Observatory for Sustainable Development in Agriculture (OPERA), a think-tank based in Brussels and Piacenza, whose main research activities include education, training, dissemination and communication of research results for stakeholders and policy discussions. He served as a member of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) from 2006 to 2015, holding the position of expert in many national and international authorities. His expertise has been applied to the field of sustainability, as a result director of a master’s program in sustainable catering and also develops sustainability programs for the entire public sector agri-food supply chain. In addition to these achievements, he has more than 250 scientific publications to his name in over 30 years of activity in this multidisciplinary sector.

Giuseppe Pulina

He is an agronomist and research PhD, full professor of Ethics and Sustainability of Animal Production, at the Department of Agriculture at the University of Sassari and lectures on Ethics of Science for the doctoral program. Vice Rector for Research at the same university, President of Unitel-Sardegna, a telematic consortium of universities in Cagliari and Sassari, and President of the non-profit association Carni Sostenibili (Sustainable Meats). Author of approximately 400 scientific and technical papers and ten books, he is Ordinary Academician of the Georgofili Academy, the National Academy of Agriculture, the Italian Academy of Cuisine and an Honorary Academician of Pesaro-Urbino.


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ottobre 4, 2023

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