The Department of Food and Nutrition held its 28th symposium from September 23 to 29. This year’s theme was “The Era of Replacement Protein is Coming!” Replacement protein is a generic term for replacing animal protein with substitutes such as plant protein, insect protein, cultured meat, and protein from seaweed. This academic festival introduced replacement protein and related products that are on the market, as well as their advantages and disadvantages. The Campus Journal interviewed Seo Sung-jin, a sophomore, Baek Ye-ji, a junior, and Ahn Jae-hee, a president of the Department of Food and Nutrition to find out the story behind the symposium.\
▲ Replacement Protein Symposium held by the Department of Food and Nutrition. (Source: Department of Food Nutrition)
Q : Why did you select the replacement protein as the theme for the symposium, and what did you learn while preparing for the symposium?
Seo : I learned so much about replacement proteins available to us. I am reluctant to try pupate, one of the insect proteins, because I have insect related trauma from when I was young. So I feel that there will have to be many changes in public perception for replacement proteins to become as popular as animal protein.
Baek : Eggs were expensive in 2017 because of the avian flu, and the popularity of pork products declined in 2019 because of swine fever. There are always limits on the amount of meat products available because of various viruses and the production capacity of the meat industry. In the future, it is likely that more people will consume replacement protein, so we wanted to give good information to students to help them become more familiar with the topic.
Q : Did you have any difficulty while preparing for the symposium?
Seo : I was in charge of the presentation. I felt a little bummed after the presentation, but I also could learn lessons by myself. While preparing my presentation, I could learn how to make speech more clear and entertaining as part of the presentation.
Baek : We didn’t have problems with understanding the academic aspects since we have learned about protein in our courses. But this was the first time any of us had worked on an online symposium, we faced technical difficulties. But it turned out to be easier than we thought because we were able to rent a studio in the school.
Q : What did the student attendees think about the online symposium?
Ahn : This year, we surveyed the viewers of the symposium. Around 80 people participated in this symposium. According to the outcome, 95% of students responded that this symposium was helpful. 13.8% of students responded that they were knowledgeable about replacement protein before attending the symposium, and 78.8% of students expressed that they intended to try replacement protein after participating in the symposium. In addition, I want to say thank you to all of the school students who participated in our symposium.
The response from students who watched the symposium was very positive. An anonymous student from the department of math said, “I was so surprised that there are 1.2 billion cattle in the world and that they use 24% of the world’s land surface. I think it would be fine to try alternative meat.”
Food trends are changing since the effects of the meat industry on the environment and society are becoming more apparent. Professor Kim Min-jung from the Department of Food and Nutrition said, “The replacement meat market will continue to grow. This market is growing even now because of climate change and COVID-19. Furthermore, I hope that students will have the attitude of facing challenges in life head on, as well as the challenges that come with replacement protein.” The 28th Symposium of the Department of Food and Nutrition can still be found on their website. (http://www.changwon.ac.kr/food/cm/cntnts/cntntsView.do?mi=12960&cntntsId=4879)
By Choi Yu-ri, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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