Speaker(s): Claude Fischler, Matthew Fort, Katie Miller, Carl Warner
Chair: James Thornton
Recorded on 2 March 2013 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building.
Food is something of an obsession in contemporary culture, with 'celebrity' chefs topping the bestseller lists and pop-up restaurants and foodie blogs the height of cool. But are we thinking about food in the right way? Food shortages are predicted to be the next major world crisis, and obesity and eating disorders increasingly test our health services. Do campaigns to encourage sustainable healthy eating make any difference? This panel will explore international attitudes to food.
Claude Fischler is director of Research at CNRS, the national research agency of France, and heads the Interdisciplinary Institute for Contemporary Anthropology, a research and graduate studies unit of Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. His main area of research is a comparative, social science perspective on food and nutrition, their role and determinants in societies and cultures. His work covers the structure and function of cuisines, taste and preferences, body image and their evolution and change over time and space. He has published numerous articles on these issues, as well as books including L'Homnivore, Du Vin and Manger. His latest book Les Alimentations particulières on special dietary requirements and the issues they involve will be published in 2013.
Matthew Fort was Food and Drink editor of the Guardian from 1989- 2006. He has written for a wide variety of British, American and French publications. In 1992 he won the title of Glenfiddich Food Writer of the Year and, in 1993, Glenfiddich Restaurant Writer of the Year, as well as The Restaurateurs' Association Food Writer of the Year. He was Glenfiddich Cookery Writer of the Year in 2005. He has written three books on food, the third of which, Eating Up Italy, was the Guild of Food Writers Book of the Year in 2005, and his fifth, Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons, a food portrait of Sicily, won the Premio Sicilia Madre Mediterranea in 2009. Recent television series include Greatest Dishes in the World (Sky; 2005); The Forager's Field Guide (ITV; 2005). He co-presented Market Kitchen (UKTVFood) with Tom Parker Bowles until 2010. Currently he's a judge on The Great British Menu (BBC2; 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011,2012, 2013).
Katie Miller is Sustainable Seafood Coalition advisor at ClientEarth. Prior to joining ClientEarth, Katie coordinated events for environmental NGO Green Alliance and worked on both fisheries and coral reefs in marine and freshwater conservation programmes at the Zoological Society of London.
Carl Warner is a professional still life photographer with a studio in London, and has worked in the advertising industry for more than 20 years. Over the past ten years he has been developing a body of work making landscapes out of food. This work has been featured in magazines and newspapers all over the world, as well as advertising campaigns and commissions from some of the biggest brand names in the food industry. His book Carl Warner's Food Landscapes is published by Abrams Image.
James Thornton is an environmental lawyer, social entrepreneur, and the founding CEO of ClientEarth. James founded ClientEarth - Europe's first public interest environmental law organisation - in 2007. Now operating globally, it uses advocacy, litigation and research to address the greatest challenges of our time - including biodiversity loss, climate change, and toxic chemicals. The New Statesman has named him as one of 10 people who could change the world.
This event forms part of LSE's 5th Space for Thought Literary Festival, taking place from Tuesday 26 February - Saturday 2 March 2013, with the theme 'Branching Out'.