Canadians benefit from rigorous regulations around food processing, the result of work by researchers and students in food science and nutrition laboratories. This connection between discoveries in our laboratories and the safety and quality of our food supply is something for all of us to celebrate.
While researchers and students in the UBC Food, Nutrition, and Health Program dedicate themselves to discovering, understanding, and advancing the relationship between food and our physical and social wellbeing, they need new resources to raise their work to new levels.
The existing laboratories were built 35 years ago as small stand-alone labs when questions around food safety and nutrition used different tools and methodologies. In the decades since, technologies and paradigms for conducting research on food science, safety, and processing have changed at exponential rates.
To keep up with the demand for rigorous, advanced analysis, we need to transform our laboratories to meet the needs of people in the 21st century. To build cutting-edge labs, we have put aside half the funds needed for these renovations, and we seek partners to achieve the remaining $1.5 million.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food-borne illness is on the rise across America. The importance of laboratory-based testing of food’s safety was recently highlighted with the announcement that the Pew Charitable Trusts had provided Consumer Reports with a $2 million grant for a two-year study of the safety of meat, poultry, and other food items.
To ensure the quality and excellence of our own food supply in Canada, we need to provide our own researchers with the facilities and tools to do their best work.
This will ensure our food supply is nutritious and safe, so we can continue to enjoy the high quality of food that will enrich our lives for many generations to come.