Dr. Hrvoje Fabek is a Research Associate in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto and Program Manager of the NSERC Program in Food Safety, Nutrition and Regulatory Affairs. Dr. Fabek earned his MSc in 2011 and PhD in 2015 at the University of Guelph in the Department of Food Science, Ontario Agricultural College. His research focus is on understanding the relationship between food structure and physiological functionality. He has carried out work using simulated digestion models to understand the role of dietary fibres and glycemic reductions and is currently managing human nutrition intervention trials in Dr. Harvey Anderson’s lab focused on exploring the functionality of an array of functional foods, including dairy, pulses, potatoes and novel ingredients such as proteins extracted from an array of Canadian crops.
Canada’s Food Guide emphasizes choosing foods from plants more often due to their impacts on health and environmental sustainability while also maintaining cultural awareness of food traditions. Creating sustainable food systems requires coordination across the agriculture environment-health nexus taking into consideration individual nutrient requirements, biodiversity of soil and animal feed and social determinants that fuel food choices such food costs, poverty and inequality and cultural diversity.
Although the actions that are required to tackle these issues may seem apparent the next steps require careful consideration and collective discussions among academics and individuals from different disciplines and sectors. That is, we need coordinated efforts and to find a way to work together in an integrated fashion. Transdisciplinary research is an example where people from multiple disciplines are able to come together by providing their individual expertise and perspectives and subsequently aid in discussing and understanding a specific problem. This session will inform the audience on recent work done in this field and pave a path for further dialogue that will aid in the overarching goal of creating a healthy and sustainable food supply.