TFIC Research Affiliate and Professor Ben Senauer shares his food industry expertise in this MPR story on the gluten-free food market.
Recently by Lisa Jore
The Forum's panel discussion presented an insightful cross-stakeholder discussion from the consumer, producer, manufacturer, and government perspectives. The speakers provided clarity on their food safety responsibilities within the often siloed safety system, as well as their vulnerabilities when problems (sometimes tragic) occur. The Forum audience agreed the panelists represented the key participants necessary in keeping people safe from food-borne illness.
Throughout the day, several common themes came out of speaker and audience discussions. Specifically recognized, was a need for more coordination between the separate government agencies, who share responsibilities for food inspection and safety. Participants were also in consensus on the necessity to remove political motives from establishing safety policy. Further food safety education was also advocated at both the consumer and producer levels. Finally, participants also agreed there are actions that can be taken that don't have to cost a lot of money, but can go a long way to ensuring a safer food supply.
For more information on the Forum's food safety discussions, an executive summary is available on the Center for Integrative Leadership's web site.
The Food Industry Center is a University of Minnesota Supporting Center of the Food Policy Research Center.
TFIC and Department of Applied Economics alum Dr. Andrea Carlson authored this study published by the Economics Research Service.
TFIC Research Affiliate and former Director Robert King shares his expertise on farmer's markets in this Pioneer Press article.
TFIC Research Affiliate and Professor Ben Senauer contributes to this story on the recession's impact on the National School Lunch Program in Minnesota.
Former TFIC directors comment on this Pioneer Press article about the Fare For All Express grocery model.
On March 29th, Darrin Peterson, Assistant Vice President and Product Line Leader for Corn Sweeteners in Cargill's Corn Milling division, visited campus and offered his perspective on the food industry from the point of view of sweetener products. Interestingly, he and our student participants spent the majority of their conversation discussing how the sweetening of food and beverages has evolved over the last 30 years. Of particular interest was Cargill's involvement in both sides of the sweetener business, both natural and artificial. Students were especially curious in the newest sweetener product Stevia and how it works, which Cargill sells under the name Truvia. The discussion moved into a conversation about the participants' own sweetening preferences and how they have changed over time, most commonly due to calorie consciousness and personal values around food products. Darrin also presented a quiz for the students in which he provided fructose information for unnamed products such as honey, maple syrup, high fructose corn sweetener, pear juice and other juices, and similar products. Products that students thought would be 'healthier' based on fructose content, were not necessarily the case based on this attribute.
With questions ranging from production, to consumer trends, to nutritional research of sweetener products, it's clear this is a food discussion about which students have spent a lot of time thinking.
Check out yesterday's StarTribune article featuring the UMN Meat Lab and its students.
Brian Buhr, Applied Economics Department Head and TFIC Research Affiliate, discusses how the recent dry weather may impact future food prices.
The discussion on the cost of hunger continues in this MinnPost article - What's the cost of letting the poor go hungry?