Social & Cultural

This theme covers social aspects of the food system, including consumer culture in relation to food, the history of food and the development of agriculture, interactions between food and other social issues, and the wider implications of food-related technologies.

An international research collaboration has shed light on the impact that grass-fed animals have on climate change. Its new study adds clarity to the debate around livestock farming and meat and dairy consumption.

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Have you ever found yourself preferring to eat with one spoon rather than another? Or maybe you’ve found yourself pondering which is the best set of cutlery to buy for your home, by judging how good it ‘looks’, or rather, how good it ‘feels’ in the hand? While the design (think shape, material, ergonomics) of the cutlery is what we all think that we are judging, maybe what drives our preference for one eating utensil over another is an often overlooked but substantial characteristic: Its weight.

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ITV's Tonight Programme this week looked at the Future of Food, considering what new foods we might be eating in the future, such as insects, and where we might be growing our food, such as urban farms and indoor aquapoonics.

Professor Charles Godfray provides commentary on the items discussed.

Watch the episode on the ITV Player here - available until the end of September 2014.

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The Environmental Change Institute (ECI) is beginning a new local knowledge exchange, impact, and engagement project called Agile-Ox (“Access to Global Environmental Change Insights for Local Enterprise in Oxfordshire”).

The ECI is appointing a Project Co-ordinator to be responsible for overseeing and implementing the day-to-day activities for Agile-Ox. The Project Co-ordinator will also be responsible with others for planning, implementing and monitoring overall strategy.

The post is funded through the UK Research Councils’ Impact Accelerator Funds which seek to increase the impact of the science funded by the Councils.

Agile-Ox aims to increase collaboration between the University and local organisations and individuals in relation to environmentally-related science, management and enterprise.

The Project Co-ordinator will work under the direction of the ECI Director and in collaboration with a variety of colleagues in ECI and across the University including the individual co-ordinators of the ONE environmental networks initiative on biodiversity, climate, energy, food and water.

For more information and how to apply, please see the job details on the Oxford University Recruitment website.

Deadline: 12 September 2014

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Anthesis, a sustainability consultancy with an Oxford office, has a number of job opportunities in food and agriculture at the moment. The job positions available are to support the work of one of the world’s leading retailers to achieve their ambitious supply chain sustainability strategy.

They are looking to recruit three strong consultants who can provide direct support to their client and its global supply base within one of specialist roles that they are recruiting for.

For more information, please visit the Anthesis website.

Jobs being advertised:

  • Community Manager – Supply Chain, UK
  • Community Manager – Analysis, UK
  • Community Manager – Agriculture, UK

With specialisations in:

  • Retail supply chain expertise
  • Agricultural expertise
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Employing unit: Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning

Start date: As soon as possible

Closing date: 19 June 2015

Reference number: SF07948

Post type: Full-time, Fixed-term until 30 September 2018

Payscale: £28,695 to £38,511 per annum – please note salary is dependent on location/institution. Please consult the salary range in the local job advert for each institution.

Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning

IFSTAL seeks to recruit a team of five full-time Coordinators for the ‘Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning’ (IFSTAL) Programme, one to be based in each of the consortium institutions. The positions are fixed-term contracts from mid-2015 until 30 September 2018.

The University of Reading is collecting applications for all five institutions, so to formally apply, please visit Jobs at the University of Reading – University of Reading or contact Human Resources, University of Reading, Whiteknights, PO Box 217, Reading RG6 6AH. Telephone +44(0)118 378 6771 (voicemail)

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Livestock, Environment and People (LEAP)

Call for job applicants

May 2017

Supported by the Wellcome Trust Our Planet Our Health Programme.

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The University of Oxford Environmental Change Institute's Food Systems Programme is looking to hire a Food Systems Programme Manager.

Location: School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford

Salary: Grade 6: £27,057 - £32,277 p.a.

Application deadline: 12.00 noon on Wednesday 8 April 2015

For more information, please visit the Oxford University Recruitment website or download the Job Description and Person Specification

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Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Conceptual Frameworks and Scenarios Analysis for the H2020 'SUStainable Food And Nutrition Security (SUSFANS)

Location: School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford

Salary: £38,511 - £45,954 p.a.

Application Deadline: 30 April 2015

The Environmental Change Institute's 'Food Systems Programme' is contributing to the University of Oxford's broad view of food systems by increasing understanding of the two-way interactions between food security and environmental change.

They are seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Assistant who will work as part of the Programme team with specific emphasis on helping to deliver the Horizon 2020 SUSFANS WP1 (Conceptual framework and FNS sustainability metrics) and the scenario review element of WP6. This will entail special emphasis on developing metrics for sustainable food systems and the use of foresight exercises in sustainable food and nutrition security in Europe. The post will involve limited travel within UK and Europe.

For more information, please visit the Oxford University Recruitment website or download the Job Description and Person Specification

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What makes for the perfect dining experience? New book reveals how there is so much more to eating out than the food on our plates.

The Perfect Meal - The Multisensory Science of Food and Dining

By Charles Spence and Betina Piqueras-Fiszman

Published: 18th September 2014

What exactly makes the act of eating out so enjoyable? For some, it’s the flavour of the food, for others, the people they are sharing it with. The reality, however, is far more multisensory. Delivering great food means understanding how one sense affects another and knowing exactly how to bring each of those components together. Welcome to ‘gastrophysics’, a revolutionary new approach to the science of the perfect meal. Providing the latest insights from a diverse range of fields, including experimental psychology, design, neuroscience, sensory marketing, behavioural economics and the culinary and sensory sciences, Charles Spence and Betina Piqueras-Fiszman draw on expert opinion, delve into the latest research and make reservations at some of the world’s most cutting-edge restaurants in order to investigate of all of the elements that contribute to a diner’s enjoyment of a meal.

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