Monthly Archives: March 2016

Food, Climate and Society Seminar Series Returns on 7th April

There will be no Food, Climate and Society seminar today because it is reading week. The seminar series will now break for the Spring vaccation period and will return in April.

The next seminar will be given by Professor Tim Benton on the 7th of April 2016, 12:30-14:00 in Arts C Global Studies Resource Centre, University of Sussex. Prof. Benton will be talking about ‘What is a Sustainable Food System?’

Other seminars to follow during April include Naomi Hossain, Tara Garnett, and Jorn Scharlemann.


Take part in our 2016 symposium

A row of cookery books

Cookery books. Image by Sunchild57, under a CC licence.

Brighton and Sussex Universities Food Network Annual Symposium 2016, 16th June 2016 

The symposium is free to attend. Please put the date in your diaries and we’d also like to hear from you if you’d like to present this year:

Call for papers on this year’s theme: ‘Contemporary Food Issues’

The annual symposium has become the highlight of BSUFN year, showcasing the diversity of food-related research at Brighton and Sussex Universities as well as non-academic and community-based initiatives in East Sussex and beyond.

In recent years, food and related topics have received an increasing profile in the media, in policy debates, and in research and theoretical discourse. Food has become a pressing issue of our time, seen from political, economic, health, social, cultural and environmental perspectives: key to thinking on sustainability, environmental and climate change, and the food-water-energy nexus.

The 2016 annual symposium will reflect this agenda. Within the broad theme of ‘Contemporary Food Issues’ the format for contributions to the mind_mapsymposium is open. BSUFN invites the submission of abstracts for presentations, posters, panel sessions, discussions or interactive sessions according to the format you consider to be most appropriate for your topic.

Submissions are invited from researchers, undergraduate and postgraduate students, non-academic organisations, community groups, practitioners, policy-makers, and other interested parties or individuals. Submissions from any disciplinary background are welcomed.

If you’re not sure whether your project is relevant, or you’re not sure what format to present it in, we’d be happy to hear your ideas and advise.

Please submit an abstract of no more than 350 words in length, along with a brief description of the research and subject area. Abstracts should provide contact details for you and others who are collaborating with the symposium presentation, as well as the format of the presentation or other contribution you’d like to make. Abstracts should be submitted via e-mail to by 17:00 on Friday the 29th of April 2016. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their submission no later than Friday the 6th of May 2016.

The BSUFN Symposium will be from 9:00 until 17:30 on the 16th of June 2016 and will be held at the University of Brighton Falmer campus. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Registration to attend the BSUFN Symposium is free of charge. You can register to attend by going to

Details for the symposium will be made available online as they are updated. Please check the website for updates at

The Brighton and Sussex Universities Food Network Annual Symposium 2016 is kindly supported by: SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit) and the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex, and COSTALS (Centre of Sport, Tourism and Leisure Studies), University of Brighton.



Novel foods and sustainable consumption

The Department of Geography in collaboration with the Brighton and Sussex Universities Food Network (BSUFN) and the Sussex Sustainability Research Programme (SSRP) are organising a weekly seminar series on “Food, Climate and Society”. This series will explore the multiple challenges that the global food system is facing: feeding more people healthy food while limiting environmental and social impacts.

This week’s seminar will be given by Dominic Glover, Institute for Development Studies. The seminar will be held on Thursday the 10th of March from 12:30 to 14:00 in Arts C, Global Studies Resource Centre, University of Sussex.

Some experts and entrepreneurs think that edible insects could form a significant part of the human diet in the future.  Freeze-dried insects might be cooked and eaten whole or ground up into insect ‘meal’ or ‘flour’ and incorporated, invisibly, into breads, cakes, pies, croquettes and other prepared foods.  This could be a healthy and more sustainable source of protein than conventional meat, which has a big physical and environmental footprint.  Rearing livestock for food takes allocations of land and water for feed production that might be dedicated to food crops instead.  Not only that, but cows also produce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, which fuels climate change.  But, meanwhile, meat remains a highly desired status food; as people get richer, they often tend to consume more meat.  Insect-based animal and fish feeds are already on the market, which might reduce the environmental footprint of conventional meat.  But will consumers choose to eat insect-based foods instead?  The answer probably depends not only on ethical and environmental considerations but also basic issues such as cost, flavour and texture.  Also, edible insects are not the only protein alternative under development, so future insect-based foods might have to compete in the market place with other protein alternatives based on algae or fungi, or even synthetic meat.  This lecture will introduce some major issues and discuss a recent foresight project that considered the future of edible insects in the global food system.

Using the Arts to Improve Research and Dialogue on Food – Workshop

In May BSUFN will be co-hosting a workshop with the Food Research Collaboration, CIty University London, and People’s Knowledge, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University. This workshop will explore the use of arts-based methods for research and dialogue on food-related topics.

The arts could be central to a more participatory approach to researching a healthier and more sustainable food system. That is the premise of this wide-ranging workshop, which addresses a need expressed by researchers on food and farming. It will present a diverse range of arts-based approaches to dialogue with communities, and methods for thinking more creatively about how to create change.

Photograph taken by research participants depiciting collaborative working in farming activities in Northern Ghana

Photograph taken by research participants depiciting collaborative working in farming activities in Northern Ghana

Some members of BSUFN have expereince and expertise in using arts and creative methods for research and public engagement activities. These methods include the use of collage, sculpture, installation, photography, film, and sound. Some of BSUFN’s members will co-convene this workshop along with colleagues from People’s Knowledge, a cross-theme group working at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University.

Collage and mapping being used at the launch of Hastings Bites Back at Hastings Herring Fair 2015

Collage and mapping being used at the launch of Hastings Bites Back at Hastings Herring Fair 2015

Full details of the workshop are avilable on the Food Research Collaboration website which includes a link for registration for the workshop. The event will be held in London and will be free to attend.

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