the association Blue White Heart organized on November 24 at the convent of the Jacobins in Rennes its symposium One Health 2022. One health or “one health” in French, a concept that emerged in the early 2000s, highlights the close links between human health, that of animals and the overall ecological state.
The opportunity for the Bleu Blanc Cœur approach, created more than thirty years ago by Pierre Weill, an agricultural engineer, and Jean-Pierre Pasquet, a dairy farmer (the association was born in 2000 with Bernard Schmitt, a nutritionist ) to highlight its benefits: “ organize agriculture with a health vocation by promoting agro-ecological production methods on the basis of science and measurements reminds us of Nathalie de Kerhoas, director of Bleu Blanc Cœur. A solid scientific base co-constructed within the framework of collaborations with theInrae and society Valorex.
” Thirty years ago with Valorex, at first we thought that the lupine and the faba bean to replace the soy, agronomically it would be better. Then we went step by step into One health “, recalled in the introduction to the day, Pierre Weill who became a doctor of the University of Rennes 1 at the end of March 2022 after the defense of his thesis “improving the health of animals and ecosystems benefits human health . Towards measurable markers of global health”.
How does the soil influence the nutritional quality of plants?
In front of an audience of players in the agricultural and food sectors, Pierre Weill presented some data on the link between soil health and plant nutrient density.
Depending on the quality of the soil, the beta-carotene content of carrots vary from 1 to 20, he explained, referring to a study carried out by the Valorex-BBC laboratory with Bionutrient based on data from 22 French carrot producers. According to the choices of agricultural production, the content of antioxidants would vary from 1 to 10 for several vegetables, he then specified. A thesis is underway with Cirad-Inrae and several partners including Valorex and Bleu Blanc Cœur to determine the impact of cultivation methods on the nutritional values of plants from 44 plots.
How does soil health influence animal health?
Mathieu Guillevic, R&D engineer at Valorex, and Nathalie Kerhoas, general manager of Bleu Blanc Cœur, then recalled the benefits for sows and piglets of a Omega 3 (with addition of alfalfa or of linen for example in the ration) or the impact of an improved intake of linolenic fatty acid (ALA) on milk production and butter quality. “ Bleu Blanc Coeur is the PNNS for animals summed up Mathieu Guillevic.
What is the link between animal health and human health?
For 20 years, the Bleu Blanc Cœur association has been contributing to and bringing together studies on the impact of omega 3 intake in food on health. Nathalie Kerhoas cited some of them, including:
- Clinical studies demonstrating the beneficial effects of foods from the Bleu Blanc Cœur sectors in terms of the fatty acid composition of the serum and red blood cells
- L’matrix effect (modulation of lipids as a whole, synergy with other nutrients, association of foods) of Bleu Blanc Cœur products highlighted in animal experiments on markers of cardiovascular illnessesfrom diabetes and of theobesity
Many research projects are still in progress, including:
- A study currently being finalized on the impact of a Bleu-Blanc-Cœur diet on the lipid composition of breast milk and the baby’s microbiota (with Inrae, Rennes University Hospital, Inserm and Valorex)
- A start-up study on the impact of the Bleu-Blanc-Cœur diet on the loss of dependency of fragile people in nursing homes (with Rennes University Hospital, Inserm and Valorex)
- The project to create a Blue-White-Heart cohort
Hopes linked to epigenetics
Highlight of this information day: the intervention of the Inserm research director Dr Mohamed Benahmed who undertook to popularize theepigeneticsor how the environment and food can affect thegene expression.
The development of a discipline that brings a lot of hope to medicine: “ We will be able to move from curative to more preventive medicine “, explained the scientist, according to whom the reversibility of certain chronic pathologies via the impact of nutrition would begin to be considered. A phenomenon that would pass through the intermediary of the microbiota.
There is something here to further boost our convictions
” No, nothing is inevitable, we are individually and collectively responsible and actors of our health! This is enough to boost our convictions and our determination to move the Bleu-Blanc-Coeur project forward! “, welcomed Nathalie Kerhoas, at the end of this intervention on Linkedin.
How to make Bleu Blanc Cœur better known to consumers?
However, it remains to raise awareness of the Bleu Blanc Cœur concept, which is still relatively unknown to consumers, as recalled by Romain Jubert, from Bon Magazine, who has carried out work on the subject with the sociologist Claude Fischler. The head chef Thierry Marxwho became spokesperson for the initiative last September, should contribute to better communication with the general public.
Whether ” Bleu Blanc Cœur talks to the guests “, according to Sabine Maillot, CSR director of the group Compasswho spoke on the afternoon of November 24 during a round table, for Aurélie Menenteau, QSE manager of fresh produce and sectors at Système U, there is still some education to be done with the consumer in a ” hyper important price context “. ” Blue White Heart is a real solution “, she is convinced.
“I produce legumes so that I no longer depend on imported soybeans”
The Bleu Blanc Cœur approach can also be explained through the testimony of its various players. Thus Guillaume Bouleau, farmer in the Orne within the Gaec Triskel with 120 dairy cows on 200 hectares and farmer producer Bleu Blanc Coeur, came to testify to his experience on November 24th. Installed in 2008 on a single ration based on corn, rapeseed and soybeans, the breeder tells how in 2015 he wanted to change production methods and in particular to do without imported soybeans. ” We made the rotation evolve, adding alfalfaof the faba beanof the peasthen from lupine he explains. “ There are few lupine in France and I like challenges “, he comments. A good experience : “ It’s a good cropping headit requires few inputs, it is easy to harvest, and it is interesting for the needs of the cows “, he underlines. And to conclude: it requires acidic and deep soils. It is a plant that acclimatizes easily everywhere, do not hesitate to go there “.
“I feed my cows better and I reduce methane emissions”
Co-founder of Bleu-Blanc-Cœur and dairy farmer, Jean-Pierre Pasquet, for his part, defends the ecological interest of the approach proven by the Ecomethane project set up 15 years ago. The method is based on a technique for reducing methane emissions of digestive origin by providing dairy cattle with foods rich in alpha-linoleic acid, via pasture, alfalfa or even flaxseed. treated according to a specific Valorex process. A method recognized by the UN and low-carbon label by the Ministry of Ecological Transition. “ A Bleu Blanc Cœur ration can reduce by 30% the methane emissions. 775 breeders are in the process, which is the equivalent of 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 saved”, summarizes Jean-Pierre Pasquet. ” Imagine the potential if we develop the approach on 58,000 farms in France! With just 1,800 breeders, we would save 5 million tonnes of CO2 he exclaimed.