University students put food first for European challenge
Release Date 10 June 2011
Three students from the University of Reading are hoping to win a European challenge designed to generate new ideas for tackling the world's escalating food issues.
Catarina Rendeiro and Katy Hopkins, both PhD students, and Adrienne Attorp, studying for a Masters degree, are up against nine other universities across the UK and on the Continent to come up with the best creative idea for raising awareness and problem-solving in the local community.
Thought for Food (TFF) is a unique initiative to leave a lasting legacy for the planet by thinking outside of the box to help overcome issues such as global hunger, food waste and climate change.
The Reading group, who come from the Departments of Agriculture, Psychology and Food and Nutritional Sciences, have been working with Year 10 pupils at Desborough School in Maidenhead, teaching them about nutrition and the importance of food that boosts brain function, such as blueberries and dark chocolate. And that was how the Reading Team turned the global "Thought for Food" Challenge into a local "Food for Thought" challenge.
Catarina said: "We're trying to change people's bad food habits and kids can be a big influence on their parents - and they are the adults of tomorrow. We set the children a challenge to eat as much brain foods as they could and the group that ate the most subsequently performed better on a cognitive puzzle than their peers. The great thing though is that the majority enjoyed trying new foods and said they would continue to eat them."
After one week eating foods for the brain, the schoolchildren were also challenged to come up with innovative ways to solve issues such as food and water waste. Suggestions included a desalination plant for sea water using waves to power the equipment, and installing loud speakers in streets to encourage neighbours to take part in community early morning exercise sessions.
Catarina added: "At the end of the day we need healthy brains to help to solve the enormous world challenges that our generation faces."
The University students have just submitted their finished video. Two winning teams will attend One Young World in Zurich, in September, the premier global forum for young people of leadership calibre.
The video can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/tffchallenge#p/u/1/K0c4V-uYRjI
Part of the judging process will include viewers' votes. Katy urged: "If you like the video, please click the ‘like' button and vote for us!"
For more information, please call Rona Cheeseman, press officer, on 0118 378 7388 or email email@example.com
Notes to editors
TFF is sponsored by Syngenta, with the support of Sandbox - the foremost global community of extraordinary young achievers aged between 20 and 30.
One Young World is the premier global forum for young people of leadership. The brainchild of Euro RSCG Worldwide, OYW will involve three days of talks by young ambassadors and Bob Geldof, Muhammad Yunus and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.