Some people say the food system right now is broken. I don’t believe it is, but we will certainly be breaking it if we just continue doing things the way they were done in the 20th Century.
Food is essential for life, but the global systems we rely on to feed us have become increasingly complex and industrialised. Sometimes it’s hard to know where our food comes from, what’s in it and how healthy or ethically produced it is.
Paradoxically, as a global community we face major challenges based on both too much food, causing obesity and waste, and too little food, resulting in hunger and malnutrition. Adding to this are long-term questions about the impact of our diets on both human and planetary health. Not to mention the issues surrounding the treatment, transport and slaughter of animals.
In this talk, food and health expert Johannes le Coutre joins journalist Joanna Savill as they explore the future of food. As we take our first tentative steps into the paradigm shifting world of lab-grown and no-kill meat, will 21st century science save the day, or are the solutions to our biggest problems a combination of the old and the new?
Dr Johannes le Coutre joined UNSW Sydney in 2019 as Professor – Food & Health, where he is responsible for the UNSW food program. He has worked at Universities in Europe, the USA, Japan and the UK and also at the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne. Le Coutre is noted for his work on molecular taste physiology, nutrition science and food innovation. At UNSW, to strengthen food security and to alleviate the agricultural burden on the environment, he is developing a broad research agenda on cellular agriculture.
Joanna Savill has had a long career in the food world – as a journalist, TV presenter, restaurant reviewer and events director. (You might have seen her, forever young, on repeat episodes of the SBS TV classic – The Food Lovers’ Guide to Australia.) Her food explorations have taken her to many corners of the world, including Australia, and she relishes the inspiring connections and conversations she has had along the way. Her mission is to support great food producers everywhere and to encourage everyone to eat – and cook – well.