Trust and the Food Safety Challenge
Interview with Robert van Gorcom from Wageningen University & Research, about the role of trust in preserving food safety.
Role of Food Science
Food safety is one of several equally important factors for people when buying food. Citizens have a high level of awareness of food safety topics. On the other hand, scientists are the most trusted sources on food risks. Robert says about that:
Science can show possible choices. We have to deepen our knowledge on the problems we face and the alternatives we can develop. And science has to deliver the innovations that are necessary for this food problem of the world, the sustainability problem of the world. And we really have to do that without out-of-the-box thinking to get the real breakthroughs because that is essential to do. But it’s only part of the solution.
We have to redesign our thinking of food production and what we as consumers pay for our food because there is also an essential point. The question is, do we really pay enough at the moment.
Do consumers accept the fact that there is not a guranteed 100% safety in food?
We all expected our food is 100 percent safe and then with 100 percent, I mean, I don’t mean 99.99. No, as a consumer, we expect that it is 100 percent safe and well, we know that the food production is also the work of humans and is so safety issues also will occur there. And you see already that the transparency that we give nowadays here in Europe with the recalls where it shows that the system works because the recall means the product has been found that it’s not safe and that has been that’s now taken from the market, that that actually causes a decrease of trust instead of an increase of trust.
We like some cheeses which are made from raw milk because they have a better taste. But raw milk cheese has, of course, more safety issues than if you use milk that is pasteurized or sterilized. Since we like that cheese better or we take it, we don’t accept the fact that that is riskier than using the cheese, which comes from a factory where it’s all sterilized and no bacterial problems in it.
Here is the full transcript of the interview
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