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On the 24th of May we are hosting an exciting evening focused on the future of food. We’ll hear from scientists working on improving crop yield, increasing our understanding of how conservation can manage the effects of agriculture and whether insects could be a potential food source. As well as these exciting talks you will have the chance to taste some INSECTS and view some bees up close! All ages welcome. Event Sponsored by The Royal Society of Biology
Enhancing plant defences with UV light
Just like us, plants can become defensive when stressed! UV light is one type of plant stress. Interestingly, when exposed to a certain type of UV light, multiple defence systems are activated which makes them less prone to grey mould infection. Food spoilage and waste is a major problem in today’s world. We are working on trying to better understand this UV response, for example in tomatoes, so that it can be used to reduce food spoilage.
Getting creative about conservation
How do we make space for biodiversity in a world in which a growing human population places ever greater demands on natural habitats? The answer may be to create artificial habitats which simultaneously provide humans with services AND contribute to conservation. This talk will explore the impact of traditional gardens and artificial wetlands on humans and wildlife in some of the poorest and wealthiest parts of the world. The results of our research give us surprising grounds for optimism about how effective humans can be in shaping their environment for the better!
Food sources for an increasing global population
In 2012 the world produced about 3 times as many chickens and twice as many pigs as in 1992. With global population and life expectancy predicted to rise substantially, where is the food that we, and the livestock we produce, going to come from? Apart from winning the prize for "most weird thing ever eaten", does using insects as a food source make sense? Their value is dependent on whether they contain appropriate nutrients that can be utilised by us or livestock. In this talk we’ll consider what is meant by protein quality, its impact on food, and the feed we use for livestock.