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The protein transition: Diverse perspectives

  • 21 - 26 May 2023
  • Ede
  • Environmental (Bio)Technology
  • 1.5 ECTS

Humans can’t survive without proteins. Proteins are the building blocks for life because they build bones and body tissues, such as muscles. However, the way how we produce and consume proteins is no longer sustainable. Protein-rich foods are the major contributor to environmental burdens of food production such as global climate change. We, therefore, need a transition towards a sustainable protein system: the protein transition. For some, this means we need to reduce meat consumption, while others think we should focus on more sustainable animal farming, food equity, and cultured meat. The aim of this course is to present multiple and diverging perspectives on the protein transition to stimulate an open dialogue.

The course will provide lectures on:

  • State of the art scientific knowledge of diverse protein sources
  • Future visions and transition pathways to more sustainable food systems
  • Commercial examples of the protein transition

Course setup

The course is composed of a poster carousel, a series of lectures by lead scientists world-wide, a series of practicals, excursions, informal activities, and group work. The lectures and discussions will give insight in the different perspectives and technical aspects of a protein transition from various scientific and industrial experts in the field. Prior to the course participants will be given reading material from the book “The protein transition: diverse perspectives” (launched in March), to prepare themselves for the post-lecture discussions. Groupwork involves a cooking competition where each group will make a sustainable menu (appetizer, main course, and dessert) for 6 people. To this end, groups will first be introduced to how food processing works and you will visit two contrasting companies that contribute to the protein transition. Accordingly, groups start thinking of the menu, taking various sustainability and nutritional indicators into consideration. Each group gets € 50,- to do shopping. The actual meal will be cooked and consumed Thursday afternoon where on Friday morning groups present the actual recipes:

  • How they came to the menu and the specific recipes
  • The nutritional value
  • The sustainability value
  • Challenges during cooking or buying of ingredients
  • Appreciation of the menu by those who had the menu the evening before
  • PE&RC, Wageningen University
  • Every three years
  • 20-30 participants