Alexandra Bellows is a post-doctoral fellow at the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems at the University of Edinburgh. She received her Ph.D. in International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2022. Her doctoral research focused on changes in the food environment and its relationship with dietary intake and nutritional status of women in rural Bangladesh. Her current research focuses on developing metrics to measure sustainable food environments and food systems.
The food environment is where people directly engage with the broader food system and represents an important setting to intervene to influence the environmental sustainability of food systems. Environmental sustainability within food environments is an understudied component of the food system but has direct implications for the local environment, particularly in urban areas. The overarching goal of this project is to develop a framework and metric for assessing the environmental sustainability of food environments in low- and middle-income countries. After developing the framework and metric, we will derive a food environment sustainability index for two cities in India (Ahmedabad and Pune) using secondary data analysis for transport, vendor properties, and food waste collected by the UFSAN project supplemented with primary data collection on food packaging.