The Department of Asian and International Studies (AIS), with generous financial support from CLP and in cooperation with Hall 10, hosted three passionate speakers on the future of food on 21 September 2018 addressing the topic “What’s on Your Plate? Towards Sustainable Food Solutions”.
One of the key debates concerned whether human societies should move towards new forms of cellular and plant-based protein, or try their best to adopt veganism. Silicon Valley food entrepreneur Josh TETRICK made the former argument while Hong Kong Olympian Vivian KONG and chef Peggy CHAN made the latter.
Photo 2: Josh Tetrick demonstrates the similarity of his plant-based scrambled eggs to the real ones.
Tetrick, founder of the US$1 billion food company JUST, doubted that individuals would be prepared to adopt veganism in sufficiently large numbers to reshape food production. While acknowledging that the vegan lifestyle followed by Chan and Kong is better for human health, he contended that consumers will only make the necessary shift away from industrial grain-based meat if they are offered appealing substitutes.
Chan and Kong replied that a global movement now recognises that whole natural foods are the key to health and sustainability. They argued that the emphasis should be on disseminating the message that a plant-based diet will improve health and facilitate the transition to a low-carbon future. Kong also emphasised the growth in veganism among athletes and her belief that adopting a vegan diet enables a fast recovery from a major injury and subsequent high-level performance.
Photo 3: CityU Team won the championship of HK/Macau Sustainability Debating Competition.
In addition to inviting speakers to talk about sustainable food, AIS organised the first ever debating competition addressing sustainability among Hong Kong and Macau university students on 26 September 2018. The innovative format included training sessions led by debating experts, a keynote address by an outside judge and the use of the Asian Parliamentary method. Teams from four universities in Hong Kong and Macau participated in the debate. Three judges selected CityU as the top debating team, just nudging out the HKU team in a tightly contested championship debate. This twice-yearly competition aims not only to promote sustainability among university students, but also to nurture environmental leaders of the next generation in Hong Kong and the region.
AIS regularly organises sustainability-related activities to promote living a greener life. Recent activities include the organic market day, the local organic food carnival, the exhibition on sustainable agriculture, the sustainability lecture series, and more.
Cover: Hong Kong Olympian Vivian Kong prepares a salad for students under the guidance of chef Peggy Chan.