Food for Thought

September - November
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.*
Raymond Building R2-045*

Macdonald Campus
21,111 Lakeshore Road
Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, H9X 3V9
Free parking available
(Horticulture parking lot - directions)
For info: 514-398-7707


Our annual Food for Thought enters its 19th season of bringing timely science topics to the community: our neighbours, alumni, students, staff and faculty. 

Let us know if you would like to be added to our mailing list - fft.macdonald [at]

* Please check dates, times and locations as they vary for some of the lectures.

Tuesday, SEPTEMBER 11, 2018
Labeling GMO Foods - What do we Need to Know?

Food for Thought is joining forces with the A. Jean de Grandpré Distinguished Speaker Series to bring you our first public lecture for 2018.

Watch the entire panel discussion.


Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 26, 2018
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly-The Hidden World of Fungi and the Marvels of Mushrooms

Speaker:  Suha Jabaji, Professor, Plant Science, McGill University

So it goes, countless fungal forms – from microscopic to large forms recognized by the naked eye. Amazing shapes ranging from curly, knobby, slimy, smooth, fragile, tough, or eye-catching colors.  Found on decomposing logs, on the roots of giant trees, within piles of dead leaves, and on forest beds. Fungi and mushrooms contain more marvels than meets the eye. It is a whole new world of wonder once you have learned how to look and search for them.  Come and learn about them, their role in the environment, how they affect us and how science and biotechnology had exploited them.

As infatuated as Professor Jabaji is with the aroma, texture and taste, there is one thing that trumps them — they are the only vegan, unfortified food source of vitamin D. If you are already intrigued, do not miss this presentation and the exquisite taste of fresh wild mushrooms prepared in an authentic Italian dish.

Speaker Bio:  Suha Jabaji's research is focused on understanding how plant pathogens invade their hosts on one hand and on the other how they defend themselves when they are exposed to abiotic stress conditions such as oxidative stress. These interactions are interesting in terms of protein and metabolite richness and can serve as models for the development and standardization of high-throughput “omics” methods.  This new area of research involves bioinformatics, genomics, proteomics and metabolomics-based methods and is beginning to provide new insights into many fundamental research questions. The ultimate goal of her research program is to generate knowledge that will result in the deployment of improved approaches to reduce economic losses to plant disease while promoting increased productivity and sustainability.

Tuesday, OCTOBER 9, 2018
7:00 PM
Raymond Bldg R2-046

The Role of Animal- and Plant-based Protein Sources in a Sustainable Diet

Speaker:  Olivia Auclair, MSc candidate, Animal Science, McGill University
Supervisor:  Dr. Sergio Burgos, Assistant Professor - Animal Nutrition and Metabolism, Animal Science, McGill University

Nutrition is commonly approached through a perspective that centers solely on human health. However, the threat of anthropogenic climate change calls for a shift in attention to the environmental impacts of consumer food choices. Sustainable diets provide the singular, holistic lens through which the interdependence of environment and human nutrition may be addressed. Animal- and plant-based protein sources play distinguishable roles in the shaping of diets that are both nutritious and sustainable.

Speaker Bio:  Olivia Auclair recently completed her BSc. in Nutritional Science from McGill University. Her passion for health and the environment informed her Master’s research, which centers on sustainable diets.

Wednesday, OCTOBER 24, 2018
7:00 PM
Raymond Bldg R2-045

Closing the Poop Loop: Rethinking human excreta management

Speaker:  Michael Boh, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dept. of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University
Supervisor:  Dr. Grant Clark, Associate Professor, Dept. of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University

For millennia, human excreta often has been treated as a waste product to disposed of in spite of documented evidence of its value to improve soil health. Management systems are engineered to “flush and forget” human excreta through sewer systems. Then excreta eventually ends up in water bodies after undergoing varying degrees of processing. In this process organic matter and valuable plant nutrients are lost, in most cases causing eutrophication as seen in the rapid growth of algae in the receiving waters. Apart from the loss of aquatic ecosystem services, of growing concern is the loss of phosphorus which is derived non-renewable rock phosphates. This loss of non-renewable nutrient threatens the sustainability of our food production systems. Rapid population growth and urbanization demands that urgent solutions to this wasteful approach to human excreta management be developed. Is closing the loop on poop the way to go?

Speaker Bio:  Michael Boh is a postdoctoral research fellow at McGill University, Canada. He holds a BSc. in Geography, University of Buea (Cameroon), MSc. in Agricultural Science, Food Security and Natural Resource Management, University of Hohenheim (Germany) and a PhD in Agricultural Science (Agronomy) from the same university. His current research focuses on regional flows and management of organic residues and nutrient resources, and the implications on the sustainability of crop production landscapes, climate change and ecosystems services. Michael is Project Manager for an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada project under the Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Program (AGGP2 – 033) that investigates nutrient use efficiency and GHG emissions from agricultural use of biosolids in Canada.

Wednesday, NOVEMBER 7, 2018
7:00 PM
Raymond Bldg, R2-045

Is there plastic in your drinking water and other consumer products?

Speaker:  Nathalie Tufenkji, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Biocolloids and Surfaces, Department of Chemical Engineering, McGill University

 The presence of plastics in personal care products, foods and beverages is of growing concern. There are many reports on the occurrence and toxicity of microplastics in such products (~0.1-1 mm in size); however, due to methodological challenges, the presence and impact of nanoplastics (<0.001 mm in size) have been overlooked. I will describe recent work done by our team on the occurrence of microplastics and nanoplastics in different consumer products.

Speaker Bio: Nathalie Tufenkji earned the Ph.D. degree in Chemical and Environmental Engineering from Yale University in 2005. She is presently Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at McGill University where she holds the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Biocolloids and Surfaces. She works in the area of (bio)colloid-surface interactions with applications in protection of water resources, antimicrobial materials, and sustainable nanotechnologies for use in environmental remediation, agriculture and medicine.

Wednesday, NOVEMBER 21, 2018
7:00 PM
Raymond Bldg R2-045

MSEG: The Story

The story behind successful student enterprise, McGill Student-Run Ecological Gardens.