Biofach: award of Organic Food Industry Research Prize
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Four female researchers received the Organic Food Industry Research Prize at BioFach. In their dissertations the winners addressed the consequential costs of conventional fertilising, superfoods, organic agriculture at vocational colleges and rearing chickens for both eggs and meat, the so-called dual-purpose “ei care”.
The prize this year of 10,000 euros was awarded for the fifth time for Bachelor's and Master's dissertations. “We created this research prize in order to bring together companies and students. We want to motivate young people to make the organic food industry the subject of dissertations,” says Maren Walter from Ulrich Walter GmbH. “Since the prize was first awarded five years ago 88 dissertations have been submitted,” says Petra Wolf from Nürnbergmesse. “Our prize winners have demonstrated impressive scientific commitment. To you, the organic industry: come and hire these excellent specialists!”
What conventional fertilising is really costing us
This year's prize winners addressed important issues. Bachelor student Amelie Michalke at the University of Augsburg revealed in her dissertation the costs we all have to bear as a consequence of fertilising agricultural land. Surplus nitrogen generates costs further down the line that are not attributed to the person who caused the problem and have to be borne by other people. “The external effects of conventionally produced food are greater by a factor of four than the effects of organically produced food,” says Michalke.
The consequences of alleged superfoods
In her Bachelor's dissertation at the Technical University of Munich Michaela Kuhn analysed the superfood trend. She demonstrates that, although the increased demand for quinoa in high-income countries has led to higher incomes for small farmers in Bolivia, expansion of the land area devoted to producing quinoa has been in part at the expense of ecological sustainability and the food security of the farmers and their families.
Call for better teaching of organic agriculture at vocational colleges
Julia Stark from the University of Kassel writes in her Master's dissertation that organic agriculture should be promoted much more vigorously at state vocational colleges. Her research led to the conclusion that organic agriculture is mainly a component of other subjects and that, as such, the content falls short of the specialist preparation required for people to work in organic agriculture. Stark identifies the most important measures and makes recommendations to remedy this situation, an example being further training for vocational college teachers in the subject of organic agriculture.
Ei care – how this dual-purpose poultry initiative could function
By analysing the literature and interviewing experts, Magdalena Gutendorf from the Eberswalde University for Sustainable |Development examines the possibilities and limitations of marketing so-called “ei care' meat” to high-end gastronomy in Berlin. With her recommendations on marketability she makes a contribution to the further development of organic poultry rearing and thus adds significantly to the credibility of organic animal husbandry.