We were invited by Mind & Life Europe (MLE), the leading non-profit that bridges and integrates contemplative practices with cutting-edge science, to provide a foundation for the creation of a “Mind Your Food” initiative around mindful eating.
The mapping of knowledge on mindful eating revealed a vast abundance of areas of research and practices. A wide-range of experts and practitioners are working in a rather fragmented way across different disciplines, including in the fields of social sciences (psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics); natural sciences (biochemistry, molecular biology, neuroscience); applied sciences (medicine, nutrition science); the humanities (philosophy, theology); and contemplative science.
The mapping methodology consisted of conducting an in-depth analysis of emerging knowledge and stakeholders, semi-structured interviews as well as a literature and online presence review across interrelated but often disconnected disciplines in health, nutrition, food systems and contemplative science. Insightful contributions were provided by Esther Papies, Glasgow University; Constanza Baquedano, Université Claude Bernard Lyon; Francesco Branca, World Health Organization; Gunhild Stordalen, EAT Foundation; Martina Gewalt, Nestle Product Technology Center; Alan Jope, Unilever; Nicolas Gausseres, Danone; Lorna Davis, Danone; Birgit Schleifebaum, Firmenich; Patrick Holden, Sustainable Food Trust; Klaus Kramer, Sight & Life Foundation; Uwe Geier, WirkSensorik; Denise Loga, Sustainable Food Academy; Paul Newnham, Chefs’ Manifesto; Derek Yack, Smoke Free World and formerly the World Health Organization. Consultations were conducted across various disciplines and stakeholder groups including academia, the private sector, foundations, non-profits, forums and international organizations.
Success of the initiative will be built upon people. Therefore, it has been essential to build trust and credibility in any established relation at the start. Contemplative science and practice are not yet well understood among many stakeholders in a world driven by siloed linear approaches and short-term financial performance. Enthusiasm and interest shared by potential partners during this research has been extremely promising.
This initiative is ongoing.