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Do we know what we are eating?

Press release   •   Feb 15, 2013 00:00 GMT

The food industry will be placed under the spotlight when Northumbria University academics lead a mini lecture series at the Life Science Centre this Spring.

In the wake of recent food fraud scandals, the contents and processes that go into food products have been at the forefront of many consumers’ minds.

This bite-size series runs for seven weeks in April and May and will give insights about the modern food processing industry that will help attendees to make informed decisions about how they choose and combine the ingredients for their daily diets.

Eleven academics Northumbria University’s Food and Nutrition Research Group will present two-hour lectures sharing specialist knowledge on what food labels actually mean, how safe – or unsafe – food industry hygiene and manufacturing practices are, and how food affects our brains. Lecture topics covered in the programme include ‘Seducing the Senses – Beer and Chocolate’; ‘Food for the Body and Brain’; ‘Food – the hidden dangers’, and ‘How nutritious is our food?’

Dr John Lodge, Reader in Metabolic Nutrition and Head of the Food and Nutrition Research Group, said: “We’re all interested in our food as we spend so much of our time buying it, preparing it and eating it. This mini course will be as interesting to domestic gods and goddesses as well as those who are thinking of pursuing a career or further study in food science, nutrition or catering.”

The lecture mini-series, which starts on Tuesday 16 April, is in association with Life Science Centre, Newcastle, and is suitable for those aged 14 and above.

Ian Simmons, Science Communications Director at Life Science Centre, said: “Mini Food and Nutrition is the latest addition to a growing programme of activities specially developed for an older audience which includes ‘science through the medium of alcohol’ cocktail evenings and ‘Lates’, which allow adults to explore the Science Centre after dark.

The mini courses have proved to be particularly popular and are excellent for young people considering further study or career options, or adults just looking for an alternative and informative night out.”

The lecture series, which runs every Tuesday at 7pm-9pm from 16 April to 28 May and Saturday 11 May at 10.30am-1pm, is priced at £45 for the seven sessions. Lectures take place in the Science Theatre at Life Science Centre, Times Square, Newcastle NE1 4EP. To book, or for more information, call 0191 234 8223 or visit

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