The Institute of Food Research will be taking over The Forum in Norwich with a feast of food science for this year’s EDP Adnams Norfolk Food & Drink Festival. For starters, there will be the chance to meet some of the researchers behind ‘superbroccoli.’ The main course is a giant interactive installation exploring the global food network, giving a flavour of the issues involved in bringing food from field to fork. And the IFR will once again be challenging local schoolchildren to produce prodigious puddings in its tallest jelly competition. If it’s food for thought you’re after, the IFR in the City Annual Lecture will be challenging controversies in food and health.
The IFR will be in the Forum from Thursday 26th September until Saturday 28th September, 10:00 to 16:00 each day.
The horsemeat issue earlier in the year focused a lot of attention on how food gets from farms to our plates. The IFR has worked with travelling arts emporium ‘MeandER’ to put together a giant interactive art installation that explores this issue. The installation gives people the chance to follow the convoluted journeys the various ingredients that make up a pizza take, and explore the consequences of what happens when one part of this system goes wrong.
The food supply chain is obviously extremely important to our everyday lives. How best can we protect it from deliberate interference such as in the horsemeat scandal, or accidental contamination epitomised by the E. coli outbreak that hit Europe in 2011? Experts from the IFR will be on hand to talk about how network science can help us get a handle on seemingly unfathomably complicated systems like the global food supply chain, as well as all the other networks that touch our daily lives.
Safeguarding the supply of food is just one part of global food security. An interactive exhibition will cover these complex issues – how can we make sure we produce enough food? Is it safe? How does this affect the environment? What can we do about waste? IFR researchers will be on hand to talk about how their own research is helping to come up with solutions to some of these problems.
There will also be the opportunity to find out more about Beneforté ‘superbroccoli’ – the new broccoli variety developed on the Norwich Research Park to contain higher levels of a compound we believe may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Other recent studies have linked it to osteoarthritis and even preventing sunburn. Find out from the scientists working on superbroccoli how the IFR is building up the evidence for these claims and how the broccoli was developed, or just tell us your favourite broccoli recipe to go on our new website: www.superbroccoli.info
On Friday 27th at 11:00am, the Institute of Food Research will be testing the skills of Norfolk’s schoolchildren, inviting them to use their culinary cunning to build the tallest possible jelly. The IFR is teaming up with the Institute of Physics to judge how well they use food science, physics, engineering and sheer ingenuity to build their edible edifices. Usually a jelly struggles to get over 10cm, will this year see the record of 1m being broken?
Are organic foods more nutritious or tastier than standard foods? Are food additives bad for you? Do ‘food miles’ really matter? These controversial issues will be the topic of the IFR in the City Annual Lecture at the Assembly House, 3rd October. Mike Gibney, author of ‘Something to Chew On’ and Professor of Food and Health at University College Dublin will be challenging common opinions in food and health that are not based on food science. The event starts with drinks and canapés at 18:00. Attendance is free but places should be reserved by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org (01603 450874).