Building sustainable food systems for the 21st century

Tue, Aug 4, 2015

Vancouver, B.C. – We’re applying 20th century food systems to 21st century living, and it just isn’t working.

According to Dr. Kent Mullinix, director of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), a truly sustainable food system for today needs to be rooted in the right context: a social, economic and environmental context very different from the one in which our contemporary industrial food system came to dominate.

Two competing paradigms claim the sustainability high ground when it comes to establishing such a system: life-science intensive and ecologically intensive theories. An analysis of both, as well as a vision for advancing sustainable 21st century agri-food systems, are the focus of the latest KPU-Science World speaker series event.

"Sustainability is imperative, and is humanity’s single greatest challenge. Our agriculture and food system will be the foundation of our sustainable future. While the challenge is clear, the path to a sustainable food system future is not, but we all play a part and must make informed decisions and take appropriate action,” said Dr. Mullinix.

The event is the second of a six-installment collaborative speaker series between KPU and Science World that aims to engage, entertain and educate guests with fascinating insights into the world of science. The first talk featured the internationally acclaimed Borealis String Quartet on music and science.

Dr. Mullinix oversees research and education projects at KPU that develop and advance sustainable agriculture and food systems. Before joining KPU, he held the Endowed Joint Chair in Pomology at Washington State University, where he was also an association professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture.

KPU’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems is an applied research and extension group that focuses on bio-regional food systems projects, and municipally supported agriculture projects. For more information, visit

For more on the KPU-Science World speaker series, visit

WHEN: Wednesday, August 12 at 7 p.m. Doors at 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: TELUS World of Science. 1455 Quebec St. Vancouver
INFO: The event is free and open to the public. Guests must register in advance at

Science World British Columbia is a charitable organization that engages British Columbians in science and inspires future science and technology leadership throughout the province.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 124 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at

Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

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