SDG2 Zero Hunger
Around forty percent of Hong Kong’s municipal solid waste is food waste, while some residents still struggle to meet basic nutritional needs. At HKU, various courses and research initiatives help equip students with the necessary knowledge and experience to tackle the challenges related to food nutrition and the global food crisis. The Bachelor in Food and Nutritional Science programme provides students with knowledge in food science, technology and nutrition, and their relationships to human health. It also provides a critical understanding of the relationships between food safety and social, legal, technological and environmental factors. The Human Nutrition Laboratory of the School of Biological Sciences researches how food interacts with the human body and the implications of food choices in modern society. In collaboration with the George Institute of Global Health, HKU has been developing a mobile app to help consumers make healthier food choices by providing nutritional values of nearly 13,000 products sold in major supermarkets. The Common Core Course “Feeding the World” also aims at helping students to gain a holistic understanding of the global food supply crisis and potential solutions. In face of climate change and a global food crisis, the University has been actively exploring the potential of urban agriculture through the HKU Rooftop Farming Project.
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of courses and research.
papers (in 2017)
Given Hong Kong’s high population density and high reliance on food imports, it is important to explore alternative agricultural practices to identify new sources of healthy and sustainable food. The HKU Rooftop Farming Project makes use of idle rooftop space to practise and promote organic urban farming. Workshops are offered to student and staff volunteers who help with the upkeep of the farm. Monthly gatherings and harvest lunches are organised to promote organic farming, farm-to-table and sustainable living. The HKU Rooftop Farming Project is also part of a research project conducted by the Faculty of Architecture, titled “The Edible Roof Initiative”, which explores the unique conditions involved in productive farming on building structures and aims at finding out best urban farming practices that can be applied across the city to maximise benefits to health, environment and society. Apart from fresh produce, the farm also generates many social benefits to the community through communal farming.
In order to provide access to safe and healthy food options on campus, the HKU catering team adheres to various best practices. Regular hygiene audits and microbe testing are conducted by independent auditors, and any suspected food-borne illnesses on campus are promptly reported to the Safety Office and University Health Service through an online reporting system. In addition, all frontline food handlers receive regular training on operational safety and hygiene. On-campus food outlets encourages a well-balanced diet with a menu of nutritious items such as wholemeal sandwiches, salads and fruit juices at discounted prices. Professional nutritionists are also available for complimentary consultation on achieving a healthy diet. To promote a more plant-based diet, vegetarian options are available in all catering outlets and there is also a dedicated vegetarian restaurant. Halal Food is also available to serve the needs of the Muslim community on campus.
HKU also aims to reduce food waste in its daily operations by optimising daily production planning, enhancing efficiency, and providing flexible food portion upon customer request. HKU has signed the Hong Kong government's Food Wise Charter initiative, and some campus operators attained Gold and Silver Class under the Food Wise Eateries Scheme.