Skip navigation

University College Dublin Logo

Advanced Search

UCD News

Nuacht UCD

Posted: 11 July 2012

Food and health: science v myth

In his latest book Something to Chew On, Professor Mike Gibney, Director of the UCD Institute for Food and Health, calls forward the scientific evidence like witnesses in a courtroom to challenge the many commonly held beliefs and misconceptions about food and health.

He deals with topics like organic food, GM foods, food additives, the integrity of food research, consumer perception of food-borne risk, and how nutrition during pregnancy influences the health of our children in later life.

“There is no scientific evidence of a difference in the nutritional quality between organic and conventionally produced foodstuffs,” says Professor Gibney.

In his book, he provides scientific evidence on some of the benefits of GM foods to argue that we should ‘cautiously embrace GM technology not shun it because of the pressure from anti-GM lobby groups who choose to be selective with the scientific facts’.

When discussing food additives, he explains that e-numbers are largely misunderstood and therefore feared.

“They [e-numbers] were assigned to food additives in the EU because of the multilingual nature of the region to help consumers avoid a particular additive. All synthetic chemicals are subjected to intensive testing. Natural plant chemicals are not. If they were, many would not pass the rigorous standards set for their synthetic counterparts,” he says.

Later in the book, Gibney urges readers when they see studies ‘linking meat with colon cancer, or almond with heart disease or whatever, to bear in mind ‘that upwards of 40% of people are not truthfully reporting their dietary intake’.

By the end of Something to Chew On (UCD Press 2012) the reader will be better able to separate the ‘scientific facts’ from the ‘man-made fictions’ and make more informed choices about their diet and lifestyle.

Professor Mike Gibney is Director of the Institute of Food and Health at University College Dublin. He has a global reputation for research on food and nutrition. He has served on all high-level advisory committees of national, EU and UN agencies. He is the author of a popular book Nutrition, Diet and Health (Cambridge University Press).


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


>> More News and Events
<< Back to Home

Food and health: science v myth