Campaign against food science misconceptions
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) today launched a new public education campaign called "A World Without Food Science" that will aim to generate greater awareness of the role food science plays in ensuring a nutritious, safe and abundant food supply. The campaign is a multimedia, national initiative featuring a series of videos that highlight how food science has responded to major food issues and provided positive solutions on a global scale.
The overarching kick-off video, unveiled during the keynote session at IFT's Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Las Vegas, accurately depicts what a grocery store would be like without the existence of food science. The black and white footage shows empty shelves, rotten fruit, insect-infested grain and spoiled meat to show the realities of a world without food science. The scene changes to color when the voice-over explains how dedicated food science professionals make it possible to have food that is safe, flavorful and nutritious. The concepts of the video are based on an IFT scientific review titled "Feeding the World Today and Tomorrow: The Importance of Food Science and Technology" published in the peer-reviewed journal, Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.
The campaign also includes five separate video segments that feature interviews with experts from various food science disciplines to show the positive impact of food science on the public. The first two video segments of the series were presented during the keynote address at the IFT's Annual Meeting & Food Expo. The first video highlights the challenges surrounding availability of food and how we will need to feed approximately 9 billion people by 2050. The second video focuses on food safety and the important role of food science in ensuring that the food we eat is safe.
"As a scientific society, education is at the core of our mission as we advance the science of food. It's especially important for the public to understand where their food comes from," says Roger Clemens, IFT President. "This campaign tells the story of food science in a new visual way so that consumers understand the role of food science in their daily lives."
In addition to consumer education, another goal of this campaign is to reach and inspire students to pursue food science careers. Food science incorporates concepts from many different fields including microbiology, chemical engineering, biochemistry and more. The ever-expanding field of food science encompasses a wide range of careers in areas such as food production and processing, quality assurance and control, food product development, food science research, and regulation and enforcement of food laws. IFT.org has information on becoming a food scientist, as well as lesson plans and activities for teachers. IFT also produced the Day in the Life of Food Scientist videos to help people understand what it's like to walk in the shoes of a NASA food scientist, a product developer at Disney Consumer Products, and a food packaging professional at a multinational food packaging and processing company.
As part of the World Without Food Science campaign, three more videos will be released within the year. Topics include Nutrition, Environmentally Responsible Food Production, and Developing Food Products for Specific Populations. Each video will be distributed nationwide and featured along with facts and additional resources on www.worldwithoutfoodscience.org. The videos complement IFT Food Facts, a multimedia website created to show the practical applications of food science for consumers, such as food safety in the farmer's market, how to store leftovers and understanding expiration dates. For more information, please visit iftfoodfacts.org for more information.