Food@Sydney Seminar Series - Acting for People and for the Planet


A series of panel discussions hosted by Sydney Ideas and Sydney Environment Institute at the University of Sydney.

2014 Program

PAST EVENTS

7 August - Tackling Food Waste

Too much of the world’s food goes to waste. Wasted food represents a burden on our scarce environmental resources that we can scarcely afford, and loss of product that could (indeed, should) be made available for those in need. The three panellists presented different and distinctive perspectives on why we should treat this issue with the seriousness it deserves.

PANELLISTS:
Associate Professor Bill Pritchard (Chair), Human Geographer, School of Geosciences;
Dr Brian Jones, Senior Lecturer in horticulture and plant science,Faculty of Agriculture and Environment;
Alexandra Iljadica, Founding director of Youth Food Movement, an organisation with the goal of bringing together young people around food, and thereby building understanding about the values of the foods we eat;
Ronni Kahn, CEO and founder OzHarvest, a non-profit organisation which in the year to June 2013, rescued 1,691 tonnes of food, redistributing this to 5.07 million meals to people in need across Australia.

21 August - Obesity in its Social Context

The world is in the midst of a spiralling obesity problem, but how do we frame this issue? How does lifestyle interact with diets and environments to produce health obesogenic populations? Prof David Raubenheimer, a nutrition ecologist and Jane Dixon, a sociologist engage with these questions.

PANELLISTS:
Associate Professor Robyn Alders (panel chair), Faculty of Veterinary Science and the Charles Perkins Centre and a Director of the KYEEMA Foundation;
Professor David Raubenheimer, Professor of Nutritional Ecology and Nutrition Theme Leader in the Charles Perkins Centre, and Professor of Nutritional Ecology in the Faculty of Veterinary Science and School of Biological Sciences at the University of Sydney;
Dr Jane Dixon, Senior Fellow at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University and an Associate Fellow of the Food Policy Centre, City University, London.

4 September - Why Don’t we Eat Enough Fruit and Vegetables?

This seminar will address the question of why Australians are eating too few fruits and vegetables. National and State governments and NGOs have invested in health promotion programs to increase fruit and vegetable intake over the past couple of decades. However, the most recent national survey shows about half of the Australian population eats their 2 serves of fruit daily but vegetable consumption of 5 serves per day is met by less than 10%.

PANELLISTS:
Dr Brian Jones, Dept of Plant and Food Science, Faculty of Agriculture and the Environment. Brian is a molecular biologist with an interest in the developmental biology of food plants and wood production;
Associate Professor Margaret Allman-Farinelli, School of Molecular Bioscience, Faculty of Science;
Associate Professor Robyn McConchie, Head of Department, Plant and Food Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment.

25 September - The One That Got Away: the world’s oceans and the future of food

In a 2009 article in BioScience, Carlos Duarte et al asked ‘Will the oceans help feed humanity?’ Their response is positive but entails large-scale changes to how we conceive of our food systems. It will mean shifting from a reliance on land-based systems to ways of farming for marine protein through massive integrated marine trophic aquaculture systems (IMTA) that incorporate algae, mollusks, and fish. Four panellists look at how do we maintain the nutrient cycles of our oceans at a time when fisheries are under more threat of exploitation than ever before?

PANELLISTS:
Dr Pia Winberg from the University of Wollongong has been the Director of the Shoalhaven Marine and Freshwater Centre at the University of Wollongong from 2008-2013, and is now CEO of Venus Shell Systems Pty. Ltd;
Dr Kate Barclay from the University of Technology, Sydney researches the social aspects of production and trade in seafood in the Asia Pacific region;
Professor Elspeth Probyn, Professor of Gender & Cultural Studies, as well as adjunct Professor of Cultural Geography at the University of Western Australia, and adjunct Research Professor at the University of South Australia.

9 October - Smallholder Agriculture and the Future of Global Food and Nutrition Security

At a global level, the people who produce most of the world’s food – smallholder farmers – are also the people who suffer the most food and nutrition insecurity. Why is this so? And what needs to happen to make smallholder agriculture more nutrition-sensitive? In this seminar, three University of Sydney experts from different areas – public health, veterinary science and human geography – review the problem of food and nutrition insecurity among smallholder communities of the developing world.

PANELLISTS:
Dr Alana Mann (panel chair), a senior lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications;
Associate Professor Robyn Alders, Faculty of Veterinary Science and the Charles Perkins Centre and a Director of the KYEEMA Foundation;
Fyfe Strachan, Food Justice Program Coordinator at Oxfam Australia.

6 November - Food Sovereignty

Can we make food systems that are underpinned by principles of democracy, social justice and inclusivity? What needs to happen?
Based on principles of democracy, social justice and inclusivity, the concept of food sovereignty has become strongly associated with a progressive agenda on food and agricultural issues. It is, in its purest form, a proposal for a radical social transformation. How viable is this proposal in challenging an increasingly industrialised food system controlled by agribusiness companies and driven by global trade agreements?

PANELLISTS:
Dr Alana Mann (panel chair), a senior lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications;
Michael Croft, a director of several industry organisations, a leader in the Slow Food movement, national spokesperson for the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, and author;
Amory Starr, an alter-globalisation scholar. Her dissertation, Naming the Enemy: Anti-Corporate Movements Confront Globalization was completed in 1998, more than a year before the Seattle WTO protests which brought Global Days of Action and anti-corporate/anti-Free Trade activism to international recognition.

24 November - Global Food, Nutrition Security and Climate Change

How will a changing climate affect global food production and global hunger? What do we know and what needs to be done?

In March 2014, the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change released the 5th Assessment Report of Working Group II, responsible for considering human adaptation to climate change. The Report presented a sobering, state-of-the-art assessment of how forecasts of climate change might affect global food systems. This is a complex area for future-gazing. Key assumptions about the interactions between climate change, agricultural production and the broader food system remain subject to considerable doubt. The three speakers will address this important set of issues.

PANELLISTS:
Professor Elspeth Probyn, Professor of Gender & Cultural Studies, as well as adjunct Professor of Cultural Geography at the University of Western Australia, and adjunct Research Professor at the University of South Australia;
Associate Professor Bill Pritchard, Associate Professor in Human Geography specialising in agriculture, food and rural places;
Dr John Ingram from University of Oxford, gained extensive experience during the 1980s working in East and Southern Africa, and South Asia in agriculture, forestry and agroecology research projects;
Debbie Hunt, NSW & ACT State Campaign and Engagement Coordinator for Oxfam Australia.