U of G Webinar Series Focuses on Impact of Pandemic on Food


The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to our food systems are the focus of a new webinar series hosted by the University of Guelph’s Arrell Food Institute and Food from Thought.

Leading U of G experts are offering their research-based perspectives on a variety of issues currently facing all things food.

The first episode in the series was entitled “COVID19 + Lessons for Food Systems” and featured a panel of U of G experts discussing the challenges currently facing Canada’s food supply and the restaurant industry.

They explored what aspects of the food system have shown the most vulnerabilities and strains while trying to adjust to changing buying and food consumption patterns. They also turned an eye to the future, examining what needs to change in order to ensure better sustainability and food accessibility.

The panelists also examined the kind of entrepreneurship and product development adjustments that will need to be made going forward.

Moderated by Ontario Agricultural College dean Rene Van Acker, the panel included:

  • Prof. Mike von Massow, food economist with U of G’s Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics;
  • Prof. Jess Haines, Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition;
  • Prof. Lawrence Goodridge, Department of Food Science;
  • and Dana McCauley, Research Innovation Office.

As Canada’s food system continues to adjust to changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, both the Arrell Food Institute and Food from Thought will continue to gather insight and share expertise on our food systems in future webinar installments.

Those who would like to submit questions or topics for the panelists to explore in future webinar episodes can submit their questions online.

Watch the first episode below.