Functional and Sustainable Food-Biophysical Implications of a "Healthy" Food System

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In this chapter, the author argues for the need to consider both the individual immediate health benefits of various "functional foods" and the wider biophysical impacts of their production. Some of the wider challenges of food system sustainability are introduced. The chapter proposes a life cycle approach to explore some of the biophysical aspects of functional food production. It focuses on a single major agriculture item considered in the literature as "functional food" - tomatoes. The carbon and ecological footprints of tomatoes are analyzed. The chapter further highlights the complexity and challenges to characterizing this functional food as "sustainable." It suggests some potential directions for integrating both the concerns for human and environmental health. Finally, the chapter highlights that once the environmental impacts of consuming functional foods have been measured, it is possible to consider the means to reduce the footprint of various functional food items along their life cycles.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNutraceutical and Functional Food Processing Technology
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781118504956
ISBN (Print)9781118504949
StatePublished - 6 Feb 2015


  • Carbon footprint
  • Functional food
  • Healthy food system
  • Processed tomatoes
  • Sustainable food

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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