Food in a Changing Climate

Thursday November 5, 3pm – 4.30pm, Online via Zoom

Today’s responsible, ethical eater is bombarded with multiple framings of healthier bodies, food justice, animal welfare, and climate-stable futures. Many of these focus on plant-based diets. Strong counter-narratives have emerged from the livestock sector across mainstream media, blogs, social media, and public campaigns, leading The Observer to declare diet as the “latest front in the culture wars” (Anthony, 2019).

These contestations came to a head in 2019 with the publication of the report Food in the Anthropocene: EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy and sustainable food systems (Willet et al., 2019). The “digital backlash” against this report includes a popular counter-movement promoting #yes2meat. The Lancet claims this “new skeptical online community” is responsible for “intentional dissemination of misleading content” and disinformation. It argues for proactive avoidance of “manipulation and misinformation about issues of fundamental importance for human health and the planet” (Garcia, 2019).

Most pertinent to this debate is whose knowledge counts in science communication on health and climate issues? This question is central to Alana Mann’s analysis of a global food system embedded in racialized land and labour relationships in her forthcoming book, Food in a Changing Climate.

Alana Mann is Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communications, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), University of Sydney, Australia, and a key researcher in the University’s Sydney Environment Institute. Her research focuses on the communicative dimensions of citizen engagement, participation, and collective action in food systems planning and governance.