content tagged as Sustainability

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Tamar Haspel, Washington Post columnist, moderates a discussion on how shifting diets to more plant-based food might impact the environment. Panelists include: Mary Christ-Erwin, Taylor Wallace, Adam Drewnowski, and Jessica Fanzo.

More and more consumers are gravitating toward increased consumption of plant-based foods, and health and diet research supports the many benefits of doing so.

IFT and the Feeding Tomorrow Foundation have announced a new program called Food Technologists Without Borders to leverage the technical know-how of the IFT community to address critical global food needs.

The IFT17 screening of Food Evolution drew an enthusiastic audience response. The film uses the debate around GMOs to further the dialogue about the role of science in the food system.

Environmental concerns over conventional meat production is stimulating R&D of cultured meat products.
This year’s Scientific Programming will include four Hot Topic sessions—curated, scientific sessions focused on impactful, current trends and issues facing the science of food. 
Today’s consumer seeks greater transparency to all aspects of the food they purchase, including how it is grown or raised. This session will address the similarities between organic, conventional, and biotech food production, and dispel myths between the various agriculture methods. Technologies along the continuum of gene modification will be discussed, including CRISPR gene editing, methodologies used in the Artic Apple, and Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) gene transfer. Real life examples from the family farm will include how the synergies of different farming systems work together toward true sustainability and how farming in sensitive watersheds has more to do with which tools in the toolbox are utilized over which farming system is employed. Attendees will be challenged to ensure their decision-making, policy making, and communications align with science and fact-based information while meeting consumer demand for greater transparency to food production methodology. Too often we believe the answer is one way or another, but multiple methods of agriculture can co-exist in today's dynamic and global food supply to provide choice to consumers.
Protein, one of the three major macronutrients in our diets, is essential for human growth and health, especially for building and maintaining muscle mass. Protein demand is expected to grow in the future as consumers continue to demand high protein products. In light of environmental and sustainability concerns regarding the current use of animal proteins, and the more recent consumer awareness of the health benefits of plant-based diets and meat alternatives, whether a balance of animal and plant proteins in the diet can meet humans' health needs is of interest.

In this symposium, we will discuss the dietary protein requirements of humans throughout growth, development, and aging and ask several important questions, such as: Are proteins derived from plant sources nutritionally adequate with respect to their amino acid composition and bioavailability? What role can plant proteins play in meeting the dietary protein requirements of humans throughout life? How is protein quality rated and why and when do protein quality ratings matter? What are the regulatory challenges faced by industry in the marketing of foods containing plant proteins?
The future of food packaging concerns the consumer packaged food industry as well as business-to-business commerce in the case of food ingredients, as well as shipments of foods in intermediate states of processing for consumers. The future of food packaging relates to how packaging technology will be applied to extend the shelf life of food and decrease food waste while being competitive and meeting business-to-business as well as business-to-consumer needs. Future food packaging must be meet technical needs of a changing food supply, consumers’ buying patterns, and changes in complex supply and value chains. This session will not review past technologies in place; but, instead address emerging, future/pending food packaging technologies related to: sustainable packaging to align with the circular economy, meeting the needed of altering venues such as e-commerce, intelligent packaging to benefit the value chain, active packaging, and package design.

This topic is relevant to food industry professionals looking for innovations, development pipeline context, and competitive advantages, as well as researchers searching for alignment of their research to new packaging technologies. This session is co-sponsored by the Food Science and Technology Honorary Society Phi Tau Sigma.
Clean meat – meat produced through cell culture – has the potential to address all of the most pressing concerns about industrialized animal agriculture, including land use, water consumption, food safety, antibiotic overuse, and animal welfare concerns. The first public demonstration and tasting showcasing clean meat technology occurred in 2013, with a price tag of hundreds of thousands of dollars per pound. In the intervening half-decade, the field has made tremendous progress – both in technological sophistication and in approaching economically feasible price points. As of the 2017 IFT session on clean meat in June of last year, over a half-dozen companies had launched to commercialize clean meat. Since that time a flurry of activity has occurred, including the genesis of several new companies and the influx of significant venture capital and meat industry corporate venture investment. In this session, we will focus on the developments that have occurred in this fast-moving field in the preceding 12 months. Our speakers include an academic with a long track record of rigorous bioprocess design for large-scale animal cell culture; the food policy expert who is spearheading the collaborative effort for clean meat’s regulatory approval; and the CEO of one of the first-established clean meat companies. The session will be opened and moderated by Dr. Liz Specht, senior scientist with the Good Food Institute, to introduce the concept of clean meat for audience members for whom this is a new concept and to put each speaker’s role in the development of this technology in context.