Food safety is one of several equally important factors for Europeans when buying food, and citizens have a high level of awareness of food safety topics. On the other hand, scientists are the most trusted sources on food risks.
Food safety and food authenticity problems are impacting society and business: companies are losing credibility and money, and consumers are losing trust.
Moreover, public participation for scientific research is very rarely used in food innovations and governance.
Citizen science is the involvement of the public in scientific experiments. It occurs when people generate science-based knowledge that contributes to understand and transform the system. It connects people and science, creating a new culture that humanizes science and turns to a more democratic research based on evidence provided by citizens, contributing, in this case, to build a safer, more transparent food system.
The CITIZEN SCIENCE project aims to increase consumer trust in the food system inspiring citizens to become change agents as amateur scientist, in the transition towards an inclusive and trusted food system based on science. This activity will address concerns regarding food integrity which includes food authenticity and safety issues, that are relevant to build consumer trust.
The project will develop gamification activities through challenges that address concerns regarding food integrity (including food authenticity and safety). This will allow people to participate and to be relevant actors in science, to contribute with data, and to work in a collaborative way with scientists to fight main challenges related to trust in the food system.
CITIZEN SCIENCE aims to develop an inspiring way to give citizens the opportunity to contribute to food research and knowledge production related to food safety and authenticity.
The conclusions obtained from this pilot will improve food chain decision-making processes and R&D solutions.
The project will generate knowledge and increase awareness and skills for a deeper understanding of the scientific work, encouraging society to move forward a better consumption and behaviour based on transparency and trust.
It will enforce citizens´ confidence in the European food system through evidence-based science.
AZTI (coordinator), Aarhus Univeristy, Be You App, Queen´s University – Belfast
January 2019 – December 2020