Have you ever found yourself preferring to eat with one spoon rather than another? Or maybe you’ve found yourself pondering which is the best set of cutlery to buy for your home, by judging how good it ‘looks’, or rather, how good it ‘feels’ in the hand? While the design (think shape, material, ergonomics) of the cutlery is what we all think that we are judging, maybe what drives our preference for one eating utensil over another is an often overlooked but substantial characteristic: Its weight.
A new issue of the Oxford Review of Economic Policy, edited by Christopher Adam and Doug Gollin, Department of International Development, discusses the economics and politics of the rapidly changing global food and agricultural system.
It tackles the big public policy questions associated with the huge, recent transformation of the food system from small scale and highly seasonal agricultural production to an industrialized food system in which farm-based production accounts for only a small fraction of gross spending on food in rich countries.
A study co-authored by Oxford researchers says spikes in food prices during the last global recession can be linked with the increase in malnutrition among children in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in 2009.
The Preventable Risk Integrated ModEl and Its Use to Estimate the Health Impact of Public Health Policy Scenarios
A new paper has been published this week by researchers in the British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches to Non-Communicable Disease Prevention, Nuffield Department of Population Health.
This paper describes the PRIME (Preventable Risk Integrated ModEl) model, an openly available non-communicable disease (NCD) scenario model that estimates the effect of population-level changes in diet, physical activity, and alcohol and tobacco consumption on NCD mortality.
What makes for the perfect dining experience? New book reveals how there is so much more to eating out than the food on our plates.
By Charles Spence and Betina Piqueras-Fiszman
Published: 18th September 2014
What exactly makes the act of eating out so enjoyable? For some, it’s the flavour of the food, for others, the people they are sharing it with. The reality, however, is far more multisensory. Delivering great food means understanding how one sense affects another and knowing exactly how to bring each of those components together. Welcome to ‘gastrophysics’, a revolutionary new approach to the science of the perfect meal. Providing the latest insights from a diverse range of fields, including experimental psychology, design, neuroscience, sensory marketing, behavioural economics and the culinary and sensory sciences, Charles Spence and Betina Piqueras-Fiszman draw on expert opinion, delve into the latest research and make reservations at some of the world’s most cutting-edge restaurants in order to investigate of all of the elements that contribute to a diner’s enjoyment of a meal.
Extreme weather events leave populations with not enough food both in the short- and the long-term. A new report by the Environmental Change Institute (ECI), at the School of Geography and the Environment, concludes that better governance could have lessened the impact on the poorest and most vulnerable, and affected populations have been let down by the authorities in past disasters.
Should you buy organic food? Is it just a status symbol, or is it really better for us? Is it really better for the environment? What about organic produce grown thousands of miles from our kitchens, or on massive corporately owned farms? Is “local” or “small-scale” better, even if it’s not organic? A lot of consumers who would like to do the right thing for their health and the environment are asking such questions.
Early maize farmers selected for genes that improved the harvesting of sunlight, a new detailed study of how plants use 'doubles' of their genomes reveals. The findings could help current efforts to improve existing crop varieties.
A report of the research is published this week in the journal Genome Research.
Researchers can, and are already, playing a major part in supporting leaders to create new policies that can help improve food security. A new article in Global Environmental Change provides valuable lessons that can be helpful in attempts to better connect food security science with policy-creation.
The Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) recently published an update of their Global Multidimensional Poverty Index. This is an international measure of acute poverty covering over 100 developing countries. It complements traditional income-based poverty measures by capturing the severe deprivations that each person faces at the same time with respect to education, health and living standards.