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.

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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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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