Dr. Keri Matwick is a linguist by training and conducts research on food, language, and culture. She is currently studying the discourse of the media and public perception of novel foods in the Singapore context. Keri's broad research interests include storytelling, identity construction, food media, and culinary diplomacy. These interests are reflected in her publications, including articles and a book on celebrity chefs, cooking shows, cookbooks, as well as Singapore food and culture. Her work is also evident in her TEDTalk on humour and public communication through Singapore poster comics, her television appearances on A & E History Channel’s “The Food that Built Asia,” and in podcast and radio interviews, such as BBC Food Chain, Asia First CNA 938, and New Books Network.
Alternative protein diets are considered the future of food and a solution to an increasingly environmentally threatened and food-insecure world. These diets encompass plant-based proteins, algae and fungi-based proteins, insect proteins, and cultured meat. Alternative proteins have become a focal point of media coverage and research discussions, with topics ranging from their taste, cost, innovation, and safety. These discussions are part of larger narratives that frame our understanding of how and what we eat, essentially defining who we are, both individually and as a society. Yet, alternative proteins have not always been understood as ‘alternative.’ Historically, they have been an important part of our diets. Focusing on Asia, this talk will provide a broader understanding of the history of alternative proteins and how this history informs our current and future perceptions and consumption patterns of alternative proteins.