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As part of the European Green Deal, the Farm to Fork Strategy sets out a vision to change the way Europeans value food sustainability and to position Europe as the first climate neutral continent by 2050.
As the Earth’s population rises and the need for sustainable food production continues to grow, farmers and policymakers are taking an increasing interest in regenerative agriculture as a positive, adaptable approach to sustainable farming.
More than ever, there is a growing awareness of the impact of food poverty, unequal access to nutritious food, and the vital role that delivery, factory and retail workers play in keeping people fed, healthy and safe. It is clear that our food system, currently designed to maximise output and profits, is not fit for purpose within a landscape of increasing shocks, disruption and challenges.
COVID-19 has exposed the fragility of a global agrifood system that many of us have come to take for granted. Cracks that existed all along have now been revealed at both an industry and consumer level.
How do we transform Europe’s food system to improve the future of food? This was the key question discussed at EIT Food’s first EU conference on “The Future of Food”, organised in partnership with Friends of Europe on 20 November 2019.
Behind Delicious Data stand the two founders Jakob Breuninger (l.) and Valentin Belser (r.). Valentin has a master's degree in aerospace engineering and is responsible for sales and operations. He explained how their start-up increases the sustainability along the food value chain.
https://www.climate-kic.org/community/water-scarcity-in-southern-europe-manufacturing-expert-insights/Today a selection of food experts from the cross-KIC initiative "Finding innovative solutions for water scarcity in Southern Europe" share their thoughts with us. The objective of this programme is to enhance knowledge and overcome current barriers to tackle water scarcity in Southern Europe. To achieve this a group of 16 experts from different backgrounds—climate, food, manufacturing and raw materials—has identified the key 6 challenges affecting water scarcity that 30 startups will apply to solve. The initiative will conclude with capacity-building for professionals from diverse sectors working on water scarcity.
A conversation with the Expert Community: Giuseppe Scionti shares his view on plant based protein and the impact of COVID-19
Food Tank President, Dani Nierenberg, sat down with Giuseppe Scionti, Novameat CEO and animal tissue engineering expert, to talk about the post-pandemic future of alternative meat.
Do you know what is the oldest and most natural process to preserve food? Fermentation. Not only does it maintain the nutritional value from fresh vegetables, it also creates probiotic bacteria, which adds to a balanced microbiome of the human body. This process, which has been forgotten in the last hundred years, is the key to success for the Munich start-up Completeorganics.
Battle of the Labels: How should the EU update food packaging labels to encourage healthier choices?
Nutrition labels on pre-packaged foods can be an effective way to educate and communicate with the public about food and health. By law, nutrition labels in the European Union must include the rates of a variety of components, including calories, protein, fat, and salt, in a data table on the back of a food package. In addition, companies may voluntarily choose to disclose other data such as fibre, vitamins, and minerals, or to display nutrition information on the front of a food package as well.
In these challenging times brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, when more and more of us are self-isolating and working from home, if we’re not careful life might become boring and monotonous. But just because we are facing physical restrictions, that doesn’t mean that we have to constrain our minds at the same time.
Research has proven the positive role that experiential learning plays in the career outcomes of graduates, with business internships undertaken whilst at university helping to improve students’ chances of finding employment upon graduation. The remarkable success of EIT Food RIS Fellowships interns also explicitly demonstrates that internships greatly enhance career prospects in the food sector for those who decide to challenge themselves in a business environment and expose themselves to real job tasks.
We are in the midst of a sustainability crisis: it is well recognised that the social and environmental impacts of today’s food production are unsustainable. We need to change the way we do things, creating sustainable, healthy food systems. But who will lead this revolution? The answer does not lie in the tried and tested systems of the past - it lies in a more disruptive, entrepreneurial approach, led by a more diverse cast of actors.
From scientist to entrepreneur: How EIT FAN accelerates innovations out of the lab and into to the market
In 2017 Yoav Politi, Idan Alyagor and Yuval Gilad were researchers at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, exploring molecular genetics and developmental biology. The same year, Monika Tomecka, who holds a PhD in biomedical science, and Brian Miller, who specialises in Microfluidics and Biosensors, met in the UK, where Brian was doing advanced research in the field of drinking water monitoring.
Becoming a mentor for the Seedbed programme - which ensures you can make a big impact in a relatively small amount of time - helps to support the industry through the times ahead, championing not only the best ideas, but the best minds.
The need for sustainable innovations in the agri-food industry is vital. EIT Food’s innovation projects aim to address sustainability challenges by providing solutions across the food system. Find out more about the projects that are making innovation happen in the post below.
As consumers, we rely on the food industry to provide us with the foods we want and need. Is the food industry doing a good job at this? We ask consumers whether they trust the industry to do the right thing.
As applications open for EIT Food’s Seedbed 2020 Programme, Kerri Crossey shares some of the key challenges and innovation areas that Seedbed wants to support this year, along with pointers on what makes a good team
In a food system where produce travels across national borders to supermarkets and hypermarkets, many eaters are losing their connection with food—they don’t often know where it comes from or who grew, harvested, or processed the products they consume every day. But a 2015 Eurobarometer survey showed nearly 9 out of 10 Europeans believe that “strengthening the farmer’s role in the food chain” was important
Improving the food system requires innovative solutions that have real impact. However, achieving impact is challenging because the best ideas and talent often struggle to reach the open market and achieve impact at scale. At EIT Food, we are overcoming these obstacles by providing opportunities for students and entrepreneurs to learn the skills needed to transform the food system, develop scalable solutions with experts in the food industry, and ultimately have a positive impact in society.
Do you have a winning idea for how to improve food safety? Amid concern over shrinking food safety resources in some EU member states, the European Commission recently announced a call for proposed research and innovation platforms. The Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme is set to grant EUR 3 million in project funding to the top applicant.
In 2015, 322 million tonnes of plastic were produced worldwide, but only 30 percent of plastic waste in the European Union was ever collected for recycling. The rest was either sent to landfill (31 percent) or incinerated (39 percent). This global production and destruction cycle of plastic emits 400 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.
Chef on Tour: A big thank you to the local food heroes across Europe making the food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted
Roundup Edition - To conclude his Chef On Tour series for EIT Food, Josh gives us the highlights of his travels across Europe meeting inspiring agrifood entrepreneurs.
Iceland Edition - For the last edition of the Chef on Tour series Josh is in Iceland exploring MATIS’ futuristic kitchen with local food innovators involved in everything from 3D printing, to botanical gin and to unexpected local delicacies.
We often face challenges when buying food. This is because ideally, we should able to enjoy food that is tasty and nutritious, easy-to-make and environmentally sustainable. However, identifying products that meet all of these requirements can be difficult.
Our global population is increasing and is expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050. Higher quantities of food, particularly those rich in protein, will need to be produced to feed the growing population. However, producing higher quantities of food alone isn’t enough. Instead, food needs to be produced sustainably, including protein, to reduce its negative impact on the environment.
Riga Edition: For this edition of the Chef on Tour series Josh is in Riga, exploring Europe’s largest bazaar with Latvia’s inspiring food entrepreneurs involved in everything from cheese, to beer, to cooking in the great outdoors.
The scale of food waste in the European Union is staggering — every year about 88 million tonnes of food are wasted across Europe, at a cost of €143 billion. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), this means that about a third of all food is wasted globally.
There’s no question that the climate crisis is having an impact across the globe. The planet’s average temperature has risen about 0.9ºC since the late 1800s, driven primarily by human industrial activity. Five of the hottest years on record have taken place since 2010, and of the 12 months in 2016 - the warmest year on record - heat records were broken in eight. All this poses a significant challenge for those working to manage the food system.
Roberta Iley, Principal Change Designer at Forum for the Future and keynote speaker for EIT Food’s Change Maker event on food and sustainability, shares her thoughts on the power of food entrepreneurs ahead of the Change Makers Startup Weekend, led by EIT Food, YSYS and King’s Cross Impact Hub.
At the Change Makers Startup Weekend, 4-6th October, entrepreneurs can learn more about food system issues, develop viable business ideas, find potential co-founders and pitch for €10,000 worth of support. The application deadline is 1st September 2019.
Feeding the world in 2050 will be challenging. With increasing numbers of mouths to feed, overstretched land resources and the threats to our food system posed by climate change; could efficiency and equity be the key to sustainably feeding the planet?
For this edition of our Chef on Tour series, Josh is in Bucharest enjoying a delicious local Romanian dinner with local food hero Bogdan Iordache, whose beekeeping app is improving the livelihood of bees.
Bee populations in Europe are tumbling — and it could prove devastating for the safety of the food system. The decline in bee colony numbers began nearly half a century ago. Between 1970 and 2007, Europe lost 5.5 million managed honeybee hives, over a quarter of its total, with the decline becoming more intense over the past few decades. Some EU countries have seen bee populations drop by more than half, according to the European Parliament. What can be done to reduce this drop?
Josh Harte, Ed Sheeran’s personal chef, explores his passion for food sustainability and innovation as he tours Europe with the music icon. This week: Lisbon!
Josh Harte explores his passion for food sustainability and innovation as he tours Europe with the music icon, meeting local food heroes working towards a more sustainable food future.
Food Safety Eurobarometer: 50% of Europeans rank food safety among their top three food-buying priorities
Food safety is an increasingly international concern. Notably, more than 23 million people per year become ill from foodborne contamination in Europe and about 4,700 of those cases annually are fatal. So, which should be the next steps to increase Europeans’ confidence in their food?
Recently UN Secretary-General António Guterres issued a call reminding humanity of “the battle of our lives” on World Environment Day: a battle to limit environmental damage and pollution, which causes global warming and the climate crisis. Agriculture is one of the major contributors of air pollution. Therefore, we need a change towards promoting sustainable practices to protect the planet and help future generations to feed rising populations.
With new cautionary guidelines and calls for change about what to eat, nutrition is much more than food —it is also about the health of the planet. Now, governments and experts in nutrition are creating new models and tools to help consumers understand food’s role in their health and the planet’s health.
The agrifood industry has created many problems, but these challenges also come with many opportunities for innovation and change. The global community is working towards improving the food system, but different actors have to be involved: farmers, governments, private companies, chefs...you. How can you get involved in building a better agrifood system?
https://www.eitfood.eu/blog/post/the-women-innovators-transforming-the-food-systemWhen we look at the number of women entrepreneurs that receive funding in Europe, it's still less than 6-7% says Severine Balick, food and agtech VC at Matador Ventures. But she is optimistic: We'll soon have lots of amazing women entrepreneur role models to show the next generation that they can do it. In this video, she tells us who her top 3 women entrepreneurs in the agrifood space are.
Food is the planet’s oldest form of medicine, and in the face of this dilemma, nutritionists and healthcare professionals are suggesting adding functional ingredients to form part of a regular diet to help prevent some diseases.
Shockingly, we dispose of a third of all the food we produce and a lot of food waste is linked to 'date marking'. Maria Hidalgo, Co-Founder and CEO ColorSensing, is on a mission to change this with her startup ColorSensing. Discover how her technology can tell you the truth about what is happening inside the food package.
The industrialisation of the agricultural sector has brought with it a large increase in the number of pesticides we use to protect plants and humans from various diseases. However, these same pesticides can also have a large number of negative health and environmental effects. In this video, entrepreneur Luca Speziga explains how his new technology can produce a completely natural fertiliser that is just as powerful as a chemical fertiliser.
It is clear that we need to provide alternatives to the current meat production system. In this video, researcher Giuseppe Scionti, Founder and CEO of NovaMeat takes you on a visit to his workplace where his new food technology first came to life.
It’s not just the food in our food system that needs to change, it’s also how we package it. The plastic problem is damaging ecosystems on land and at sea. Sensing both the need to tackle the problem and seeing the opportunity, Işınsu Kaya launched Mumo Wrap. In this video, she takes us through Istanbul on a journey to discover this new technology.
In 2017, the United Nations (UN) Department of Economic and Social Affairs reviewed global demographic trends and concluded a forecast of the world population to reach 9.8 billion in 2050. The outlook on an increase in population of approximately 2.2 billion in 13 years has, together with sustainability concerns on our global food system, opened up many discussions on food security. Food security is defined as a state “when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (FAO, 1996). In this context, the prevalent food system, criticized for its damaging impact on the environment and high energy consumption, is increasingly put into question for being capable of addressing contemporary challenges of climate change and population growth.
The term novel food may sound simple, but it’s much more than that. Chia seeds were once isolated to impoverished regions of Central and South America, and milk once only had a shelf life of 12 days. But thanks to the power of the novel food label, chia seeds are now a common healthy addition to diets around the world, and milk treated with UV light is not just safe, but extends milk shelf life to 21 days and increases concentration of vitamin D3. Along with countless other foods introduced to market, they must be proven safe for human consumption. The novel food label helps members of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approve new products and get them to the public quickly.
On Friday October 5th, sixteen young professionals and students from several Dutch (applied) universities came together at the Design Museum in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, to think of their own food concept for vertically farmed produce. It was our very first Mini-Makeathon event, just in time for the Design Museum’s Food is Fiction exhibition and the 2018 Dutch Agricultural Food Week!
As part of the EU project, “Cultivating Engagement”, we would like to partner together with you to revision the concept of vertical farming! We would love to see and hear what you personally think of as vertical farming, and what images you associate with it. If you haven’t heard of vertical farming, that’s completely fine! We still value your opinion. Let us know what you think at our interactive survey http://revisionvf.org!
On October 5th, students and young professionals will come together at the Design Museum in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands to develop a new food concept for vertically farmed lettuce. The Mini-Makeathon is from 9.00 to 17.00. Registration is open until October 1st.
Since May 2017, the Cultivating Engagement team have been collecting tweets about vertical farming using some software specifically designed for Twitter research (Borra & Rieder 2014). Our Twitter dataset currently comprises over 50,000 tweets about vertical farming.
Though it officially kicked off at the beginning of the year, the Vertical Farming project began to really ‘cultivate engagement’ at the start of July when it made its way to the Deutsches Museum in Munich for a three-day citizen participation forum.
Vertical farming uses empty buildings to renew neglected neighborhoods, it uses less water than traditional agriculture, but how else can it be sustainable? Here are some advantages and limitations to vertical farming
Do you know how your food produce was cultivated historically?
Join us in this three-day citizen participation forum, as we invite you to share your vision of vertical farming through images, and to discuss with us the future of local and sustainable food systems. July 5th - 7th 2018 ∣ Deutsches Museum, Ehrensaal. Share with us your vision of vertical farming – an upcoming trend in urban food production!
What exactly is vertical farming? I know that I picture stacked layers of plants sprouting in organised rows inside some big, bright warehouse. This isn’t quite wrong. Columbia emeritus professor Dickson Despommier is credited for making the term mainstream.
The word farming evokes a range of sentiments. For me, I see images of the sun shining on green, open fields with animals grazing about. Depending where you’re from, this scene may vary, but more or less, we probaby have a similar feel. Can the same be said when you instead hear vertical farming?