Publish your Smart Food Research Paper

Call for research and opinion pieces providing insights to food system
solution understanding the components and especially the nexus of
being Good for you, the planet and the farmer.

Research Topic

Smart Food for Healthy, Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems

Participating Journals

  • Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems
  • Frontiers in Nutrition

Submission Deadlines

2 March 2021 Abstract
16 June 2021 Manuscript


We are no longer able to provide the world population with a healthy diet and, at the same time, sustainably balance our planetary resources to ensure resilient and viable livelihoods for smallholder farmers. For the past fifty years, diets have become less nutritionally balanced, contribute significantly to climate change, and have accelerated the process of biodiversity erosion. We have reduced the number of species that are cultivated for food, and for each species, we are growing fewer varieties. While agriculture has moved towards uniformity, biodiversity is the basis of healthy and nutritious diets, and biodiversity is paramount for adapting crops to climate change. Hence, it is important to build resilient and sustainable food systems by re-introducing diversity into our agricultural systems and introducing “Smart Food” from smart crops into our diets.

Research Topics

Smart Food is food that fulfills the criteria for being good for you (nutritious and healthy), good for the planet (environmentally sustainable); and beneficial to the farmers who grow these crops (resilient and viable).

The aim of this Research Topic is to provide researchers, research managers, funding agencies, and government agencies with scientifically backed information to foster awareness, increased use, and support for research into Smart Food.

We expect to:
1. Identify solutions, new data, or information that contribute to our food being smart: good for you (healthy and nutritious), good for the planet (environmentally sustainable), and good for the producers especially the smallholder farmers (resilient and viable).

2. Identify food system solutions that are smart: having a Smart Food triple bottom line of being good for you, the planet, and farmers.

3. Identify and address the needs of current scientific research looking into how Smart Food affects our nutrition and health, the planet, the farmer, and the whole value chain (from farming to cooking, processing, marketing).

The research topics that fit into one or more of the following sections can be submitted:

Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems Frontiers in Nutrition

Nutrition and Sustainable Diets

Nutrition and Sustainable Diets

Any food/agricultural crops covered must show that they are a Smart Food, recognized as nutritious, environmentally sustainable, and (potentially) beneficial for the farmers (climate resilience and multi-purpose such as food, fodder, fuel and so on.). Examples of some crops to be considered, but not limited to, are millets (Pearl millet, Finger millet, Kodo Millet, Proso Millet, Little Millet, Barnyard Millet, Foxtail Millet, Browntop Millet, Teff, Fonio), sorghum, barley, and grain legumes.

Any solutions presented must show that the work can contribute to a Smart Food triple bottom line of being good for consumers, the planet, and farmers.

Keywords: Biodiversity, Millets, Legumes, Cereals, Healthy Food, Nutrition, Climate Change., Smart Food

Topic Editors

Dr Stefania Grando

Honorary Fellow,


Dr Anitha Seetha

Sr. Scientist,


Dr Ramadjita Tabo

Regional Director WCA


Dr Taku Tsusaka


Ostrom Center, Thailand

Professor Dr Ian Givens

University of Reading

United Kingdom

Dr Tshilidzi Madzivhandila

Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

Pretoria, South Africa


Submitted manuscripts may include Original Research, Systematic Reviews, Reviews, and Perspective papers that address issues across the value chain from farmers to consumers – including research into the adaptation of various crops to climate change, farmer acceptance and profitability of various crops, nutrition and environmental sustainability of food crops, processing impacts on the nutrition of food, consumer awareness of healthy food, changing consumer behavior towards food, and other obstacles which potentially deter farmers from growing more diverse and smart foods.

The mission of the Specialty – Frontiers in Nutrition and Sustainable Diet is to publish original research and review papers addressing the complex interplay of environmental sustainability and human nutrition. Evidence-based policy decisions are critical in health, agriculture and the environment in order to provide sustainable solutions to sectoral problems. However, when these sectors address issues independently, the end result is often collateral damage in the other sectors. In order to sustainably achieve international targets and goals in nutrition, all three sectors need to interact. One hypothesis is that nutrition-driven agriculture within environmental limits can provide the solution to many global problems simultaneously. However, the evidence base is weak and more and better research is required.

Useful perspectives can be found in the domains of sustainable diets and food systems, biodiversity for food and nutrition, food/nutrient losses and waste, environmental impacts of agricultural production and consumption linked to nutrients and nutritional outcomes. The research dimensions may include any of the following:

• Environmental impact studies: analyses of water, land, GHG emissions, agro-chemical use, etc., associated with production of diets, foods and individual nutrients for human nutrition;

• Policy reviews: assessment of global, regional, national or sectoral policy papers and that have real or potential benefits or risks for nutrition and environmental sustainability;

• Food/nutrient losses and waste: assessment of natural resource pressures or environmental impacts due to losses and waste from farm through consumption;

• Impacts, trade-offs and consequences of dietary transitions, current and future demands;

• Environmental sustainability and human health/wellbeing;

• Food composition: analyses of nutrients, bioactive non-nutrients, and contaminants in food biodiversity (varieties, cultivars, breeds; or neglected and underutilized species);

• Dietary intakes / food consumption: studies characterizing agro-ecological zones for delivery of nutrients for human nutrition, or individual or household intakes of agricultural or industrial contaminants via the food supply;

• Diets, foods and nutrients for human nutrition as ecosystem services;

• Hunger, food insecurity, undernutrition as natural resource and environmental issues;

• Overweight, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and other diet-related chronic diseases as environmental issues;

• Impacts and costs of foods and whole diets for delivery of nutrients vs supplements, fortificants, therapeutic formulations;

• Interventions and case studies

• Qualitative and quantitative methods and indicators: development, validation, and analyses.

The scope of the Specialty will evolve as new ideas and assessment techniques emerge.

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Publishing Fees

Frontiers, as a Gold Open Access publisher, offsets all the costs associated with high-quality publishing service through Article Processing Charges (APCs): articles that are accepted for publication by external editors following rigorous peer review incur a publishing fee charged to authors, institutions or funders.

Article Processing Charges by Journal
Journal A Type Articles B Type Articles C Type Articles D Type Articles
Frontiers in Nutrition US$ 2,490 US$ 1,150 US$ 450 Free
Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems US$ 950 US$ 700 US$ 450 Free

A-Type Articles: Clinical Trial, Hypothesis & Theory, Methods, Original Research, Policy and Practice Reviews, Review, Systematic Review, Study Protocol, Technology and Code, Registered Report

B-Type Articles: Brief Research Report, Case Report, Community Case Study, Conceptual Analysis, Curriculum Instruction and Pedagogy, Mini Review, Perspective, Policy Brief

C-Type Articles: Data Report, General Commentary, Opinion

D-Type Articles: Book Review, Core Concept (Young Minds), Correction, Editorial, Field Grand Challenge, New Discovery (Young Minds), Specialty Grand Challenge.

Fee support for authors

Frontier provides for assistance to those authors unable to pay publication fees. 

For more details, visit –

Support for authors from Francophone Countries

On sucessful acceptance, the editors will provide suitable guidance for scientists from francophone countries for translation by subject matter expert for further improvement of the manuscript.

Important Note
: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.


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