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.

A consortium brought together by the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food has received a major award from the Wellcome Trust as part of their 'Our Planet, Our Health' programme.

The project will look at the consequences of the global increase in the consumption of meat, dairy and other animal-sourced foods and how it affects the environment and human health.  It will focus on how to achieve changes towards more sustainable and healthy diets.

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A review on Meat consumption, health, and the environment was published in Science on the 20th July by the Livestock, Environment and People (LEAP) team, highlighting the growing annual consumption of meat and its consequences. The review states that changing meat consumption habits is a challenge that requires identifying the complex social factors associated with meat eating and developing policies for effective interventions.

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The Environmental Change Institute is pleased to announce a new internship available to any currently matriculated Oxford students with Good Food Oxford, a Sustainable Food Cities initiative that aims to identify and catalyse actions by individuals and organisations that will promote a healthy, fair, ethical and environmentally sustainable food system in and around Oxford.

Good Food Oxford is offering a placement for an intern to help develop monitoring and evaluation modeling to measure the impact of their work. The intern will be required to compile background data and statistics on their three strategy areas in order to form a baseline from which to establish measurable deliverables. They will then have the opportunity to work closely with the team to establish monitoring and evaluation models, and feed into their policy and strategy work.

To find out more, please read the Good Food Oxford Specification or contact Emma Weisbord, the Sustainability Internship Programme Coordinator.

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Our researchers' reactions to George Obsorne's inclusion of a sugar tax in the latest governmental budget:

Professor Susan Jebb:

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A global shift towards healthy and more plant-based diets, halving food loss and waste, and improving farming practices and technologies are required to feed 10 billion people sustainably by 2050, a new study finds. Adopting these options reduces the risk of crossing global environmental limits related to climate change, the use of agricultural land, the extraction of freshwater resources, and the pollution of ecosystems through overapplication of fertilizers, according to the researchers.

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On 2nd March 2017 the BBC World Service and Wellcome Collection hosted a panel discussion exploring whether vegetarianism is a sustainable option globally. The event was recorded in front of a live audience and will be broadcast on the World Service in April.

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The mass expansion of food banks across the United Kingdom is associated with cuts in spending on local services, welfare benefits and higher unemployment rates, a study has found.

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Good Food Oxford has launched an Oxford Good Food Charter, a vision for a healthy, fair and sustainable food system in Oxford City.

The first page lays out nine points for a better food system, and the second page lists five simple things you or your organisation can do to help achieve the vision - read the Oxford Good Food Charter.

Good Food Oxford is a new network for a better food system in Oxford City, working together for healthy, fair, sustainable and tasty food.

The Charter will be publicly launched during the Good Food Oxford Launch Fest in Bonn Square from 10am-2pm on Saturday 14th June.

If you are interested in getting involved in this initiative, visit the Good Food Oxford website.

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Earlier this year, the Environmental Change Institute’s (ECI’s) food systems group held the First Oxford Meeting on Food System Impact Valuation. The Meeting, on the 11 and 12 of April 2017, brought together representatives from some of the world’s largest food companies, civil society, and academia, to discuss standardised and pre-competitive measurement and monetary valuation of environmental, social and health impacts from food systems.
 
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The Global Food Security Programme, working with Cambridge University, recently completed a project to identify priority research questions for the UK food system. The full results are published online in the journal Food Security.

In a blog post on the Global Food Security Programme website, John Ingram explains the process they went through to establish these research priorities, and summarises the outcomes.

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