The introduction and rapid growth of emerging technological disciplines such as big data, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, virtual or augmented reality and others has opened new and promising avenues for sustaining the world’s food and nutritional needs.
These are the topics on which the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition Hilton Chair committee has chosen to focus while putting together the 2017-2018 Helen LeBaron Hilton Endowed Chair Lecture Series. With the theme of “Disruptive Technologies: The Food of the Future,” the series will kick off next week and run through the fall of 2018.
Through this lecture series, the committee seeks to engage students, faculty and others through class visits, seminars, technology demonstrations, and public lectures. One-on-one meetings with faculty will stimulate sharing of ideas and promote the establishment of new research relationships. The committee has identified several key technologies that have the capacity to interface with (and potentially revolutionize) the human-food relationship.
“While the Hilton Chair has traditionally been occupied by a single person, the theme that we have selected is very broad, involving many different facets that cannot be embodied by one person,” said Byron Brehm-Stecher, FSHN Hilton Chair committee member. “By tapping into the expertise of a diverse group of influencers from industry (a mix of established multinationals and startups) and academia, our stakeholders will understand how a diverse set of very different technologies is being brought to bear on the key issues affecting our relationship with food and how these technologies can be used to effect change.”
All lectures in the series are open to the public and will take place from 4-5 p.m. in 2432 Food Sciences Building, unless otherwise noted.
Future of Grocery Shopping
The series will kick off Wednesday, Jan. 24, with Claire Brown and Joe Fassler of New Food Economy presenting a lecture on disruptive technology. This lecture will help set the stage for the Disruptive Technologies series by describing how “disruptive” technologies are changing the way we grocery shop – everything from the types of food sold, labeling trends and food distribution systems. Also, find out what has the potential to radically shift current food system paradigms.
Did you know 3-D printers can print edible food? Learn more about this technology February 21, from 4-5 p.m. as Hod Lipson, professor of mechanical engineering and data science at Columbia University, shares the technology of 3-D food printers. These devices can fabricate edible items through computer-guided software and cook edible pastes, gels, powders, and liquid ingredients – all in a prototype that looks like an elegant coffee machine.
Wasted: A Story of Food Waste
Grab some appetizers before watching the movie, “Wasted: A Story of Food Waste” in 1148 Gerdin on Tuesday, March 20. Appetizers will be served beginning at 6 p.m., with the movie beginning at 6:45 p.m. The movie shows how influential chefs from around the world transform scraps of food into savory dishes. Following the movie, Lynn Pritchard, co-owner of Table 128 Bistro & Bar, will give a brief talk about how his restaurant handles food waste.
Christine Moseley, founder of Full Harvest, the first business-to-business marketplace for ugly and surplus produce, will present a talk Wednesday, March 28, from 4-5 p.m. She’ll discuss the online marketplace connecting farms with food and beverage companies to buy and sell surplus and imperfect produce.
Internet of Food
On April 11, Matthew Lange, professional food and health informatician and research scientist at UC Davis, will give a presentation on the Internet of Food. Lange’s research program is helping to define and shape a new scientific discipline known as Food Informatics, while simultaneously enabling the engineering of a computable infrastructure for the burgeoning Internet of Food.
This closing lecture/interaction for the spring installment of the Hilton Chair lecture series, scheduled for Tuesday, April 24, in 2050 Agronomy, will feature Brian Green of Santa Clara University speaking about the potential ethical implications of emerging and disruptive food technologies. He’ll share what needs to be considered so people may use these technologies in ways that encourage the development of a healthy, fair and sustainable food system for the future.
Keep watching the FSHN news website for an announcement of the speaker line-up for the fall 2018 semester.
About the Hilton Chair
The Helen LeBaron Hilton Chair was established by Helen LeBaron Hilton, who served as dean of what was then the Iowa State University College of Home Economics from 1952 to 1975. LeBaron Hilton was an advocate of the status of women and the well-being of children.
In 1993, LeBaron Hilton bequeathed $1.4 million, establishing the largest fully endowed faculty chair fund at Iowa State University at the time. Hilton Chair funds enable the College of Human Sciences to bring visionary programming that exemplifies the College’s focus on advancing the well-being of children, families and consumers in Iowa and beyond.