This product is free for those who attended FNCE® 2017.
We live in interesting times. World population is growing rapidly and at the same time is becoming increasingly urban. People are removed from the production of the food they eat and must rely on the expertise of food and nutrition scientists working in companies, universities and regulatory bodies to ensure the availability, safety and quality of their food. In this session, Dr. John Coupland will use examples from an earlier age – Chicago at the start of the 20th century – to reflect upon the challenges we face now.
Chicago was the place where we first learned to industrialize our food system – rail cars bought live animals from the recently colonized western United States to the stock yards where they were butchered at a staggering scale before being shipped to population centers in the east. The logic of speed and scale drove industrial consolidation. As industry leaders battled for dominance, workers struggled to organize to improve their conditions, and agitators worked to raise inequities with Congress and achieve political remedies.
Scientific experts became involved both in the development of the increasingly complex systems as well as in political advocacy on all sides. And their efforts changed the food system. People today enjoy less expensive, safer food; malnutrition and hunger are rarer; and employees enjoy better working conditions--but the changed food system still has real problems.
The environmental and food supply challenges of much larger populations, inequality, the loss of rural communities, malnutrition and obesity, and the weakening of trust in institutions pose challenges at a global scale. Now, as then, food scientists and nutrition professionals are engaged in these issues, sometimes working together and sometimes in conflict.
While providing no easy solutions to today's problems, these historical analogies provide a call for food scientists and registered dietitian nutritionists to join forces and improve the modern food system.
CPE Level: 2
Learning Codes: 2040, 8040, 4040
- Identify parallels between the history of food and challenges in the modern food system.
- Cite examples of the way food science and nutrition science have worked together to improve lives.
- Provide a positive vision for the continued engagement of food science and nutrition to solve global issues of the future.
- Farida Mohamedshah, MS, CNS
Planned with the Academy's Committee for Lifelong Learning and the Institute of Food Technologists