IFST Jubilee conference

Food industry branded as ‘stock villain’ by media

By Laurence Gibbons contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food industry, Technology

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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1 comment

Spot on from Tevor

Posted by Jim Flynn,

Trevor hits the nail on the head here - people are too far from their food these days and don't understand where their food comes from, how its made and what makes it safe. Thats not their fault, its the industry's fault for not telling them.

Food Science and Technology is important but as Trevor says communication is key.

And as far as the public not understanding whats going on I think you'll find people are very savvy these days. when they need to find out - they hit up Google wherever they are!

Start telling the story to inspire confidence in our food. Do it with video media (like this article) and you'll get the engagement you need.

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