Student - October 8, 2012

Pleased with rainy Food4You

It was rainy and chilly. Even so, the organizers and visitors were pleased with the sixth Food4You general public day. 'Good to see that it's about the content again. But I won't say no if someone offers me a bite to eat.'

Bystanders could use this little cart to write texts on the road in salt.
Julia gazes in amazement at a picture of a big, scary bacterium. 'So which do you think has the most bacteria?' asks Food Microbiology PhD student Karin Metselaar. Julia, who is about ten, carefully examines the words 'mince' and 'chicken'. She doesn't know and her mother is not sure either. 'Chicken,' guesses her mum Greetje Meijer. A brief silence follows. 'No, mince,' replies Metselaar patiently. 'But it is true that if chicken does have bacteria, they are often more dangerous.' Julia is clearly enjoying the quiz. 'Will you have the same questions next year?' she asks enthusiastically. 'I hope so because then I'll really know everything.'
Avoiding the street-party image
Further along there is a stall with alternatives to salt. Two students demonstrate how much salt is added to food on average and promote the use of herbs as an alternative. 'Surprising,' says Jannie Pastoors from Ede, who has been attending the event for years. 'At first I though I didn't have to worry about salt because my blood pressure's normal, but now I have this information I will definitely be changing the way I cook.'
This focus on the content and a personal approach was precisely the idea behind the sixth Food4You. 'Good to see it hasn't turned into a street party,' says visitor Judie Boekwijt. 'Sometimes you are inundated with bites to eat and folders, and in my opinion you end up missing the point.  But I won't say no if someone offers me a snack, though.'
There was quite a discussion beforehand about the setup. The organizers wanted to move the festival to the campus this year to put an end to the street-party image - much to the annoyance of local businesses. In the end they settled on a compromise: staying in the town centre but much more concentrated and with more focus on the content and the theme of 'salt'. 'It needs to be infotainment,' says Human Nutrition professor Frans Kok. He is satisfied with the new approach, except for the weather. For Food4You attracted seven thousand visitors, three thousand less than last year - probably due to the rain.