Lunch Time Lecture Dr. Gyorgy Scrinis on ‘Big Food Corporations’ Nutritional Strategies in Response to Under- and Over- Nutrition’

NutritionismEveryone is welcome to an open lecture by Dr. Gyorgy Scrinis.

Monday June 29, 2015
12:30 – 13:30
Room C71   (Leeuwenborch)
Bring your lunch

The world’s largest food and beverage manufacturing corporations (i.e. Big Food) have responded to recent health concerns associated with their processed foods by developing and marketing a range of ‘healthy’ or ‘healthier’ products. In this lecture, Dr Gyorgy Scrinis identifies three nutritional strategies that define these corporations’ nutritional engineering and marketing strategies:

  • the micronutrient fortification of foods to address nutrient deficiencies, particularly targeted at developing countries;
  • the reformulation of products to reduce harmful food components; and
  • the ‘functionalisation’ of foods marketed as providing optimal nutrition through addition of functional nutrients.

These nutritional strategies draw their scientific legitimacy from what Dr Scrinis calls the ideology of nutritionism – the reductive focus on and interpretation of nutrients. In this lecture he will examine the ways in which Big Food corporations have captured or appropriated these nutritional strategies and discourses as a means of growing the market for their products, as well as to avoid more restrictive government regulations.

Dr Gyorgy Scrinis is a Lecturer in Food and Nutrition Politics and Policy in the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of Nutritionism: The Science and Politics of Dietary Advice (Columbia University Press, 2013). More information:

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About foodgovernance

Jessica Duncan is Assistant Professor in the Rural Sociology Group at Wageningen University. Originally from Canada, she lived in France, Spain and the UK before coming to the Netherlands. She holds a PhD in Food Policy from City University London and is the author of the book Global Food Security Governance: Civil society engagement in the reformed Committee on World Food Security (Routledge, 2015, ). Her research areas include: food policy; food security; global governance; environmental policy; participation; rural sociology. She is particularly interested in transitions towards environmentally sustainable food security governance.