Symposium Food for Future

This two day symposium is about food. Both days place research on food and food technology in future perspective.The first day focuses on food production, the second day on food consumption.

Organised by 100 years WUR

Fri 22 June 2018 until Sat 23 June 2018

Venue Orion, building number 103 Bronland 1, 103 6708 WH Wageningen

During the symposium, trends and innovations throughout the food chain are presented. On Friday 22nd June, technological innovations and global food chains are on the menu. Starting off with genomics and breeding of crops, the day flows into novel technologies on larger scale in aquaculture, greenhouses, robotics and precision agriculture. In a closing House of Commons debate on the 22nd speakers and audience are invited to discuss societal propositions related to the discussed topics.

Download the programme Food for Future

Friday morning: technological innovations

9:00 Arthur Mol Opening
9:10 Huanming Yang (Beijing Genomics Institute) Life 3.0 and the Future of Agriculture
9:40 Arjen van Tunen (Keygene) Crop brACrop innovations for a boost in agricultureeeding innovations
10:10 Steve Long (University of Illinois) Photosynthesis for global food security. Why, how and will you let me do it?
10:40 Break
11:10 Leo Marcelis (WUR) Vertical farming, innocations greenhouses, LED and farming in space
11:30 Janneke de Kramer (WUR) Sustainable food through Agro Food Robotics
11:50 Corné Kempenaar (WUR) Precision agriculture 2.0
12:10 Imke de Boer (WUR) Do animals have a role in future for food systems
12:30-13:30 Lunch

The genetic code of crops and livestock animals determines most of the agricultural traits. Recent technological breakthroughs enable to crack this genetic code with an unprecedented accuracy and speed. Now that we know the genetic building blocks we can combine the favourable genes by breeding. How new opportunities, such as gene editing and synthetic biology, can contribute to improving food quality and increasing food production will be discussed before the break.

During the session before lunch we move to technology. Technological innovations penetrate into all industries, including the food production chain. We have drones as spy in the sky to check and serve crop cultivation at the square meter level. With vertical farming, trees now literally can grow into heaven ‘to Mars and beyond’, using LED as our easy-to-manipulate sunny alternative. Harvesting in field and greenhouse becomes a robot action. Chipped cows are self-supporting to get fed and being milked. Large-scale food transitions, involving all the stakeholders in multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary settings, are at hand.

Friday afternoon: global food chains

13:30 John Ingram (University of Oxford) Food Security: what's coming down the tracks?
14:00 Karl Almås (SINTEF Ocean) Fish farming
14:30 Polly Ericksen (ILRI) Sustainable livestock systems
15:00 Break
15:30 Martin Kropff (CIMMYT) From research to global impact
16:00 All speakers House of Commons debate
17:00-18:00 Drinks

The lonely fisherman in his boat at sea at sunrise is a romantic anachronism. Food production surmounts country and climate borders, and definitely goes off-shore. Our real world becomes increasingly smaller, that is our feeling. Our world’s climate is changing continuously as a result of many interacting causes, that is our reality. Think big, think global, think circular. Global food security and global sustainable livestock systems are the aims now and will be discussed in the afternoon of 22nd of June.

The second day revolves around the consumer as a key player in the production and consumption chain. In the morning new research on nutrition, health and novel food, is discussed. The afternoon session focuses on consumer behaviour and perception of food. The symposium is closed on the 23rd with an interactive session by Anneke Ammerlaan, trend watcher on food innovation.

Saturday morning: nutrition, health and novel food

9:00 Baukje de Roos (University of Aberdeen) A healthy diet - but what works for me personally?
9:30 Clare Mills (Manchester Institute of Biotechnology) Food allergy in the 21st century
10:00 Gerda Feunekes (Voedingscentrum Nederland) Key transitions in nutrition communication
10:30 Rachelle de Vries (WUR) Evoluntionary tendencies: the potential role of a high-calorie bias in food spatial memory on eating behaviour
10:45 Break
11:15 Loes Moor-Hulshoff (De Vegetarische Slager) & Atze Jan van der Goot (WUR) From science to application: the next generation meat analogue
11:45 Koen van Swam (Stichting Noordzeeboerderij) An insight into seaweed production on the Dutch North Sea: sustainable large scale and multifunctional
12:15 Kjeld van Bommel (TNO) 3D food printing
12:35-13:45 Lunch

A healthy long life is the resultant of personal genetics and life style including daily exercise and balanced nutrition. Dietary guidelines are useful, but apparently hardly improve the average food consumption patterns that increasingly lead to a wide range of chronic and immune-related diseases, with a strongly reduced quality of life, and high health care costs, at the end. Are the challenges in the supermarket too much tempting or the societal food and drink habits too much fixed? Before the break in the morning of 23rd of June we will reflect on this.

Food is in motion; food is emotion. Look at social media and visit the book (cook) shops. Should we stop to eat meat and cheat ourselves with structured and processed plant-derived look-alikes? Or should we change to well-recognizable seaweed as the highly nutritious alternative novel food? In this era of 3D printing, man can design and produce healthy food to any desired ‘image and likeness’. Food for thought at the end of the session in the morning, right before lunch on the 23rd of June.

Saturday afternoon: consumer behaviour

13:45 Michel Nielen (WUR) Towards citizen science approach in food quality and safety testing
14:15 Gert Spaargaren (WUR) On Farms and Forks
14:45 Rosanne Hertzberger (authour) Consumer behaviour versus consumer knowledge
15:15 Break
15:45 Anneke Ammerlaan (trendwatcher) Future food trends
16:45 Closing by Esther van Rijswijk
17:00-18:00 Drinks

Are you eating what you expect to eat? Verification of the composition, the processing or the origin of our foods is a job in its own right: food forensics. It serves to uphold the law. It helps the consumer in his choices regarding lifestyle and consumption behaviour. It supports the food industry to move on the right track in its use of ingredients and supplements. Chemistry in our food production and in our foods: should we take care, or will it take care of us?

Both days are chaired by Esther van Rijswijk. All presentations and debates are in English. Breaks and lunches offer opportunities to exchange thoughts and suggestions for each other’s field of work.