As researchers and industry representatives converged on Winnipeg for the 2017 Agricultural Bioscience International Conference (ABIC) this week, nearly 250 participants received a small cookbook that highlights how science reaches your dinner table.
The “Hot Elements” cookbook is a tasty fusion between science, health and recipe development, created in partnership between the Culinary Research & Innovation (CRI) team at Red River College, Genome Prairie and the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network (MAHRN).“This recipe book was a great way to engage the students with the science community through our industry partners. These types of research partnerships are important to our program,” said Mavis McRae, Research Professional with CRI.
The conference itself focused on the role of agricultural bioscience in addressing climate change, population growth, global hunger, and food waste, among other critical problems.
The College’s CRI team whipped up 10 delicious recipes, utilizing ingredients that are being studied by Genome Prairie partners to address global concerns.
“The positive reception for this cookbook among our research community and the Canadian Genomics Enterprise has opened our eyes to the possibility of more practical and applied collaborations of this kind among researchers across the country,” said Simon Potter, Director of Operations at Genome Prairie.
MAHRN provided a regional twist, as all of the recipes include ingredients identified in the Canadian Climate Advantaged Diet (CCAD), a diet being studied and developed by MAHRN that highlights the health benefits of prairie-based foods.
“What I love about the cookbook, beyond the creative presentation, is that tools like this make what we do—from lab, through scale-up and ultimately to improve quality of life—more accessible to a broad population,” said Lee Anne Murphy, Executive Director of MAHRN.
The cookbook was launched on Sunday, September 24, during an evening event as part of the conference.
The cookbook brings to life the importance of engaging all stakeholders in the food and agriculture system, including chefs, to provide solutions and new approaches to global challenges while keeping food tasty and fun.
The project allowed a College culinary co-op student to develop her culinary skills with recipe creation and plating, which is an important part of her training. A College Creative Communications student also tackled food photography—known to be a challenging subject.