Science - January 27, 2011

New chair planned: the Peas Professor of Meat Substitutes

The Peas Foundation wants to fund a chair of Meat Substitutes at Wageningen University. The organization’s donors aim to raise funds for the chair using ‘crowd funding’.

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The Dutch Peas foundation's mission is to find ways to replace meat with plant-based alternatives. On its advisory board are Professor Roos Vink (who initiated a petition against intensive livestock farming), Erik Smaling (professor of Sustainable Agriculture at ITC) and Dutch TV presenter Jort Kelder. The animal rights party is strongly represented on its executive board.
Peas stands for Protein Exploring And Structuring. Wageningen University and the Peas Foundation are already collaborating in this area, on a 3m euro research project to develop meat substitutes and replace animal proteins and fats with vegetable ones. About ten Wageningen and Delft researchers are working on this project led by Wageningen process technologist Atze Jan van der Goot. The project is financed by the ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation (ELI).
The Peas foundation wants to go a step further by 'adopting' a Wageningen chair. The donors plan to approach their online network for contributions: crowd funding. It would take at least 100,000 euros per year to finance the endowed chair, which chair would come under the Food Process Engineering group at Wageningen, led by Professor Remco Boom.
The initiators will present their plans on Thursday 27 January in Hoekelum House in Bennekom, and Van der Goot and Boom will provide more details about the proposal.

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