Intensive programme for Wageningen students

Are you a student of Wageningen University and interested in food? Then, you might be eligible for a new Intensive Programme in which the Rural Sociology Group participates. During two intensive weeks in Cluj (Rumania) you will be introduced to traditional foods in a multidisciplinary setting. Students and lecturers from various European countries (France, Greece, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Rumania, Belgium, Slovenia, Poland) will discuss in an inspiring setting the relationship between microorganisms and traditional food; are they partners or competitors? The background of the students and staff varies from economy to food microbiology, geography, agro-forestry, food safety, animal product processing and of course rural sociology. For more information, please contact Els Hegger.

Summary of the IP

Microbes and Traditional Foods aims to provide students with a clear vision of the contributions and challenges that microorganisms present to the production and consumption of typical regional food products. Previously produced and consumed in the small-scale, they have become a big business in Europe, but not without controversy. Though microorganisms are needed to make milk into cheese and pork into salami, the conditions that favor the good may also permit the presence of the bad. Thus producers, consumers, and even policymakers have ambivalent feelings about microbes, those invisible things credited with bringing flavor, belonging, conservation, authenticity, illness, distinction, or health to the plate.

Through course work and field visits students studying food technology, rural development, and the consumption of typical foods will be exposed to a wide range of academic and practical approaches to the life of microbes in our traditional foods, and how our societies perceive them. The presence of students from all corners of Europe favors an exchange of points of view, a revision of dusty stereotypes, and an examination of a challenging and sometimes polemical issue with new eyes, giving awareness that should serve them well on the job market.