Online course: Engaging with Controversies in the food system launches 6th April 2020.

Date: 2nd April 2020

The School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading, EIT Food, the foodcontroversiesrezised2University of Turin and the European Food Information Council (EUFIC) have pooled their expertise to create a FREE, online course called: "Engaging with Controversies in the Food System". The second run of the course starts on Monday 6th April 2020.

The three week course, led by Lead Educator, Andrew Ainslie, is designed to help citizens as consumers and those working in food industry to explore and understand the many different perspectives that form part of food controversies.

Talking about the course Andrew said: "by focusing on alternative proteins, palm oil and probiotics, our team of specialists aim to introduce learners to some important contemporary food controversies. We want to , provide them with insights that will challenge their current conceptions of what food is, where it comes from and the human and environmental costs and trade-offs of its production.

Over the three weeks, with an anticipated 3 hours of learning and online discussion per week, the topics covered are:

Week 1: Alternative proteins, including insects, algae, lab-grown, soya, with specialist input from Essento, an industry partner in Switzerland

Week 2: The widespread use of Palm Oil in both foods and related products

Week 3: Better understanding Probiotics

He continued: "We anticipate that having analysed these three controversies through balanced consideration from a range of perspectives, learners who complete the course will be better informed about the complex interconnectedness of the whole food system. "Ultimately, the course is designed to increase learners' ability to bring this new discernment to all the food they eat and hopefully become agents of change by better understanding the issues, arguing for or against certain practises, and perhaps using their new insights to help educate family, friends and even work colleagues on the issues covered in the course."

The University of Reading has extensive experience of designing, developing and producing successful Open Online Courses (OOC) with a dedicated Online Courses team that has created more than 20 OOCs for the FutureLearn Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Since starting with a handful of courses in 2013, courses developed at the University of Reading have attracted more than one million learners from 190 different countries, and we continue to undertake high quality research across the food chain from primary production, processing, food nutrition through to consumer behaviour and marketing sectors. Many of these research outputs provide case studies and other specialist educational materials for the Open Online Courses (OOC).

"Engaging with Controversies in the Food System" is funded by EIT Food ( and forms part of their range of novel educational activities including workshops, summer schools and online educational programmes for a wide audience including students, entrepreneurs and food professionals. See more here:

Click here for further information and to register for the course:

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