Foodtopia showcases cutting-edge food innovations

Algae on your plate, in vitro burgers and a field of fish. These and other cutting-edge food innovations will be on show from 11 April 2016 as part of the Foodtopia exhibition in the Rabo Inspiration Zone at the Rabobank office in Utrecht.

Guest curator Louise Fresco put together the exhibition. She is President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research Centre and a former member of the Rabobank Supervisory Board. The bank will also be presenting the latest trends in payments at Foodtopia.

Louise Fresco’s choices

'Louise Fresco's Table' is the heart of the exhibition. It is laid out with eleven of Louise Fresco’s favourite cutting-edge food innovations. Each innovation is accompanied by an explanatory video. These innovations hold the key to preventing a global food crisis in the future. Louise Fresco has also curated a selection of artworks from the Rabo Art Collection to be given pride of place on the . Each work has been selected because Fresco believes it has a clear link to how people shape their environment. The artworks reveal the ecological interconnection in society. "Ecology is matter and matter is the basis of everything," says Fresco.

Taste bud-tickling insects and algae

Insects as a snack or animal feed and algae as a meat substitute are two of the eleven innovations. While insects and algae might seem a little creepy, Louise Fresco is convinced they’ll play a key role in the food chain of the future. 'People have been eating insects for centuries. And with good reason because they’re a great source of protein. They’re even called 'prawns of the sky' in Arabic. I see us eating less meat and more insects in the future. But the potential role insects can play as animal feed is even more important. They’re perfect for livestock that need a protein-rich diet.' The food expert doesn’t envision us eating algae soup: 'I don’t see people yearning to tuck into algae in the form of a bowl of green slop.' But she is convinced algae will be used as an ingredient in salads, bread and pancakes and as meat substitutes within a decade. 'These algae already exist and you'll all be eating them just like I do within ten years.'

Rabobank's role

Rabobank Executive Board Member Berry Marttin explains why Rabobank is involved in food innovation: 'The bank has a clear vision of its role with respect to the global food supply. We provide food producers with access to our knowledge and international networks and in doing so we connect innovative entrepreneurs around the world. This exchange of knowledge brings about an array of benefits, including ensuring that innovations take root more quickly within the sector and making chains operate more effectively.'

RaboExperience

In conjunction with the Foodtopia exhibition, Rabobank is exhibiting its innovations in the field of payments in the RaboExperience. Marttin: 'Innovative financial services are extremely important to our business customers. It gives them insight into their company’s financial stability. As a result they can focus fully on their operations and strengthening their companies.'

Safe, affordable, sustainable and healthy

The world population will grow from approximately 7 billion today to 9.7 billion in 2050. Ensuring everyone will have enough to eat is one of the greatest challenges arising from this growth. The answer does not lie in simply producing more, because at the same time we have to conserve raw materials and the environment. This challenge calls for groundbreaking innovations. Innovating and improving food and food production will ensure that future generations will also have enough safe, affordable, sustainable and healthy food.

Foodtopia is a partnership between Rabobank and Museum Boerhaave (the Dutch National Museum for the History and Science of Medicine). Parts of the exhibition have previously been on display in Museum Boerhaave.

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