Food Politics: From the Margins to the Mainstream

The Food Politics: from the Margins to the Mainstream conference was held in Hobart on 30 June – 1 July 2016. This 2-day symposium brought together delegates from across Australia and from a range of disciplines (from the creative arts to the food sciences) to discuss the challenges facing our food systems and food futures. Papers canvassed a variety of issues: raw milk debates, consumer-driven changes to food packaging, food television, restaurant reviews, health and sustainability initiatives, food labelling, and the new identities and practices associated with farming and food production.

Keynote speakers Prof Mike Goodman (University of Reading) and A/Prof Tania Lewis (RMIT University), who also hosted masterclasses for postgraduate students and early career researchers, highlighted some of the challenges our disciplines face when studying contemporary food politics and offered some new ways forward to thinking about the interconnectedness of food practices, media representations, and research protocols.

Follow the links below for media coverage of key debates:

Interview with Michelle Phillipov on ABC Radio (scroll through to 19:20)

  • MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules have become staples on the TV menu. But academics are keen to know how the media’s portrayal of food and the way it’s farmed is shaping public opinion. This week the University of Tasmania is hosting a conference titled Food Politics: From the Margins to the Mainstream. Conference organiser Michelle Phillipov says in the end, community’s attitude will play a role in designing our future food systems.

Interview with Maarten Stapper on ABC Radio (scroll through to 17:20)

  • A conference looking at the politics of food has been told that Australia’s farming systems need to be better connected with the science of nutrition and health. Academics, nutritionists and ethicists are debating the politics of food at the Food Politics: from the Margins to the Mainstream conference in Hobart. Maarten Stapper, a former CSIRO scientist and now BioLogic AgFood consultant in Canberra presented in one of the sessions on ‘Re-imagining Food Production’.

Interview with Tania Lewis on ABC Radio (scroll through to 40:20)

  • Once the air waves and TV shows were the sole domain of professionals and celebrities. But YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have created a space for individuals to enter the space and share their opinion, reviews or commentary on a range of issues, including food. Associate Professor Tania Lewis from RMIT has been studying the digital food space.
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