Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from June, 2018

Food Connections

Last week the Bristol Food Connections festival explored “all that is GREAT about food in Bristol (and beyond)” [1]. This made me realise that what I am exploring are the separations in our global food system. While so much of food in Bristol is ‘GREAT’ there is still much work to do about what is NOT SO GREAT. In the global food system, the separations between those who produce and those who consume what is transported around the world are many: income, origin, lifestyle, language, history, opportunities, culture, diet, microbiome – you name it there are separations in the way we eat and live.

This weekend I co-facilitated an event, Philosophy Breakfast: The ethics of global food production, with Julian Baggini, philosopher and author of the book, Virtues of the table: How to eat and think, [2]. Julian focused our thoughts on ethics and justice, and I grounded us with a case study, on tomatoes produced in Morocco, based on my recent fieldwork. We were treated, literally, to food for…

Pollination and International Development: How bees can help us fight poverty and feed the world

Animal pollinators are the industrious workers in the factory of life – transporting pollen from one flower to another to ensure successful fertilisation. 75% of our crop plants benefit from this free service which can increase the yield, quality and even shelf-life of their products. This translates to a US$235-577bn value to global agriculture each year. Many of our favourite foods – strawberries, coffee and cocoa – can end up shrivelled and tasteless without pollination. This ecosystem service is under increasing threat however, as pollinators face the potent cocktail of pressures we have laid upon them, declining in numbers across various parts of the world.

But what has all this got to do with international development? From what we can tell, communities in developing countries [1] are more reliant on pollinators than almost anyone, standing to lose important income, livelihoods, nutrition and cultural traditions if pollinators decline. And yet, although a number of researchers …

Water City Bristol!

If you don’t fix things in words, they might float away. So, briefly, a skeletal accounting —

3 open-water swims2 workshops in maritime writing1 public lecture1 trip up the canal locks to Saltford2 days at #MT2018 (Marine Transgressions Conference)2 keynotes~ 12 panels1 Blue Humanities roundtable2 receptions[a poetry reading that I missed]And many half-garbled memories, starting in the middle —Toxicity, the Ocean, and Urban Space (Wednesday) I was trying some new things for this public lecture, knowing that the audience would swirl together academics with non-academics, be mostly composed of city-dwellers, and further include mostly those with a particular interest in the sea. Unpicking the knots of writing and thinking I’ve been chasing down in the wake of Oceanic New York, my talk splashed through some recent watery adventures, included images of Thanos the purple God of demonic Malthusianism, strayed into verse in three of my own poems, and — maybe? — crossed wild water to make lan…