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IFST Jubilee conference

Food industry branded as ‘stock villain’ by media

By Laurence Gibbons+

21-May-2014
Last updated on 21-May-2014 at 13:32 GMT

The food industry is branded as a “stock villain” in the media, resulting in food science and technology being feared and misunderstood by consumers.

That’s the view of Trevor Butterworth, editor-at-large for statistic checking firm STATS.org at George Mason University, in this exclusive video for FoodManufacture.co.uk.

“The real problem with food science and technology is it sounds scary,” he claimed. “Food is something natural that we are supposed to consume, so why are we applying science to it? Why are we applying technology to it?”

“As a result the food industry becomes a black box for society’s fears about modernity and health and politics and profit – they just place those fears in that black box.” 

Positive messages

In this video, Butterworth also explained why food scientists needed to become better storytellers and communicate the positive messages of the food industry to the public.

Watch this video, to find out what other ways the food industry could change the opinion of consumers and educate them on the benefits of food science.

Butterworth gave the Binsted lecture on this subject, along with Cardiff University’s director of the Centre for the Study of Knowledge Expertise and Science, professor Harry Collins, at the Institute of Food Science and Technology’s (ISFT) Jubilee conference last week.

The Binsted Lecture is held annually by the British Section of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). The lecture is so called in honour of the late Raymond Binsted, a founder of the IFT, who formed the UK chapter of the Institute – the IFST.

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