What is animal studies?

Last week I was lucky enough to be able to attend a BIRTHA funded symposium at the University of Bristol Department of Historical Studies on the subject of 'Animals and Empire' - involving a cross disciplinary approach to research in the form of animal studies. The day included papers on subjects as diverse as 'Mules … Continue reading What is animal studies?


Food, Waste, Change

One of the most pressing issues we face regarding food policy, food wastage needs to be taken seriously by all. Partly down to education and partly down to corporate and social responsibility. We need to make the small changes first, on an individual level, to convince those with power to do the same.

La Paz Group

While we are on the subject of looking at food differently, as well as depending on others for new perspective, we can wrap all that around last week’s emphasis on food waste.  We will not let that topic go until we see the dial turning. We will keep a spotlight on the need for change, and share whatever we find from our good neighbors on this topic. WRI shares a thorough examination that is worth a click and read:

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that 32 percent of all food produced in the world was lost or wasted in 2009. This estimate is based on weight. When converted into calories, global food loss and waste amounts to approximately 24 percent of all food produced. Essentially, one out of every four food calories intended for people is not ultimately consumed by…

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Agroecology – a third way?

In farming, as in every other way of life, we have made a critical mistake. It is a mistake of language, assigning linguistic labels to denote ‘methods’ of agriculture and thus discouraging innovation and radical thinking. We can point to and fairly accurately describe ‘conventional’, ‘organic’, ‘biodynamic’, ‘integrated’, ‘intensive’ or ‘extensive’ ‘types’ of farming along … Continue reading Agroecology – a third way?

Species in the Spotlight: Red and White Clover

If you are talking to an organic farmer and the subject of clover comes up in conversation, prepare to be there for a while. Why are farmers (and especially organic farmers) so interested in clover? Well, both red (trifolium pratense) and white (trifolium repens) varieties (there are about 300 species of clover or trefoil in … Continue reading Species in the Spotlight: Red and White Clover

Bill Cronon on Environmental History

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=lGAtus2iA7c Whenever anyone asks me about what era or 'typology' of history I most enjoy studying I generally respond with two small words: 'environmental history'. Those of you who regularly read my posts will know that environmental history forms a profound base in my interests and my study and indeed I hope to write many … Continue reading Bill Cronon on Environmental History

Update on Bovine TB and the UK Badger Cull

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson (shown above) has described Bovine TB as 'the most pressing animal health problem facing this country’. It has led to the slaughter of more than 28,000 cattle in England in the last year at a cost to the taxpayer of nearly £100 million and it will cost an estimated £1 billion … Continue reading Update on Bovine TB and the UK Badger Cull

Summer time is when to spot diseases such as ash dieback

Summer time is when to spot diseases such as ash dieback. Please take a look at this post. One doesn't have to be an expert to spot a diseased tree but it is vitally important that we all do our bit to report disease cases to allow us to mitigate the problem as much as … Continue reading Summer time is when to spot diseases such as ash dieback

How We Can Eat Our Landscapes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4KmKoj4RSZw&list=PLa5_CCZ0k9jHQtKYDl1c1vmhRaKP15dDE Pam Warhurst is a very inspirational speaker in this, a TED talk on possible ways for communities to make use of land. I would certainly recommend you spare ten minutes or so to watch this and think again about how we can structure our communities,using food production as a common purpose.

Dry Stone Walling – the world’s most difficult jigsaw puzzle

Earlier today I traveled to Dolebury Warren in North Somerset with Bristol University Conservation Group. The purpose of the trip (the group's final trip of the academic year) was to rebuild a section of wall to provide habitat for various plants and invertebrate species as well as create a new boundary wall for an incoming … Continue reading Dry Stone Walling – the world’s most difficult jigsaw puzzle