Zoë chats with Frédéric Leroy about the global demonisation of livestock farming
Frédéric Leroy graduated as a Bioengineer (Ghent University, 1998) and obtained a PhD in Applied Biological Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (2002), where he now holds a professorship in food science and (bio)technology. His research deals with bacterial communities in (fermented) foods, human and animal health, food studies, and 'food traditions'. He is a member of academic non-profit societies, such as the Belgian Association of Meat Science and Technology (president), Belgian Society for Food Microbiology (secretary), and Belgian Nutrition Society (member). On a non-remunerated basis, he serves on the Scientific Board of the World Farmers Organization and Danone Institute Belgium.
In essence, Frédéric is a unique expert in being able to discuss the food supply from a global perspective – considering both human health and planet health. He understands the role that ruminants play from in factors from nutrition to topsoil. He has written academic papers and researched extensively in this field. Frédéric’s understanding of the big food companies and other major organisations trying to influence what we eat, is second to none.
In this 45-minute conversation, Frédéric covers the following aspects of this fascinating topic:
- How did you get into this arena and when did you first realise that something was going on with our food supply?
- We have both concluded that humans and the planet need ruminants. Why isn’t this accepted generally?
- People seem to be completely unaware of the attempts being made to control the food supply. Is that your experience?
- We see the global drive towards a plant-based diet (the EAT Lancet diet) and yet my butcher is doing as well as ever. Will these global policies make a difference? Or will they just sit on the shelf and we carry on as we are?
- How are they trying to influence our children?
- Who are the major players trying to introduce a plant-based diet? How long have they been trying?
- Are they trying to impact supply as well as demand? What are the ‘land grabs’ about?
- Why are they doing this?
- If we don’t want this to happen, what can we do? You can find more about Frédéric at his website (https://aleph-2020.blogspot.com/) and/or follow him on Twitter @fleroy1974
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