“Professor of Food Safety” might first come across as a joke of a job title, but there it is, printed in black ink — right smack on the business card of Chris Elliott of Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. And the fact of the matter is that his occupation is of the utmost necessity and importance to people all around the world.
There seems to be at least one major story each year concerning the mislabeling or misrepresentation of food. There was the startling discovery that our beloved Ikea meatballs contained significant percentages of horse meat. Over the past couple of years, Food Republic’s own Food Crimes video series has chronicled the copious amounts of fraud present in the worlds of fish, wine and cheese, among others. The series and subsequent follow-up columns were conceived with the idea of shining light on the ways in which those in the food and beverage industry — sometimes all the way up the company ladder — seek to profit from intentionally misleading the public into consuming their potentially hazardous products.
This video below, sent to us from our friends at Great Big Story, gives a glimpse into the life (and laboratory) of Professor Elliott and his team. “We like to think of ourselves as the food detectives,” says Elliott. Suffice it to say, we all are thankful for their invaluable efforts as we navigate our way through toxic raw fish and cardboard-filler Parmesan cheese.