Platter of cheese and crackers

For our July seminar, the Food Values Research Group is pleased to present:

Reading (Not-)Eating in the works of Emily and Charlotte Brontë

Ms Sarah Pearce, Doctoral Candidate in English, Flinders University

Ms Sarah PearceThis seminar offers a contemporary feminist reading of the cluster of themes surrounding consumption and food in Jane Eyre (1847) and Villette (1853) by Charlotte Brontë, and Wuthering Heights (1847) by Emily Brontë. I explore key textual episodes of (not-)eating in light of contemporary feminist theory on women, food, the body, eating disorders and food refusal throughout history. In order to explore issues surrounding female food refusal, I look to those periods of history in which female fasting (or anorexia) was particularly prevalent, such as the early medieval period and the nineteenth-, twentieth- and twenty-first-centuries. In so doing, I highlight an array of significant issues relating to women and food: the pervasive and to some extent a-historical cultural perception of female appetite as ‘bad’ and dangerous; adherence to nineteenth century codes of femininity; the attempt to gain control through food refusal; the physical expression of psychic states in the absence of a heard voice; and the potentially subversive or rebellious nature of female starvation and wasting. In much the same way that nineteenth century conceptions of femininity were partly defined by the paradox of the angel and the monster or whore, the act of food refusal is also defined by paradoxical gestures toward both acquiescence and rebellion.

Sarah Peace is a final year doctoral candidate at Flinders University in the English department. Her research focuses on the suffering female body in the literature of Emily and Charlotte Brontë, and lies at the intersection of Gothic studies, Victorian studies, and feminist and gender studies.

When: Wednesday, 5th of July, 1-2 PM

Where: Ira Raymond Room, Barr Smith Library, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide (click here for campus map)

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For our June seminar, the Food Values Research Group is pleased to present:

Do Healthy Diets Differ in Their Sensory Characteristics?

Dr David Cox, Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences

The relationship between sensory characteristics of foods, healthy diets and weight status is not well established (Cox et al, 2016); however, knowledge could assist in better understanding food choices and identifying strategies for modifying diets. The objectives of this study were to understand the sensory characteristics of core and discretionary foods and beverages that form the basis of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (AGHE) and to explore differences by demographics, weight status and diet quality (diet score).

Data were captured using a freely available online validated CSIRO Diet Score (Diet Score) tool (www.csirodietscore.com; Hendrie et al, 2017) from 145,975 Australian consumers recruited through media releases in partnership with a private healthcare provider (SP Health).  Participants answered 38 questions on frequency and quantity of foods consumed. Sensory characteristics of 105 foods and beverages representative of 27 food groups in the AGHE were described (using a trained sensory panel) in terms of basic tastes, flavour strength and four textures, including fatty mouthfeel (fatty), derived from the validated Sensory-Diet tool (Lease et al, 2016).  Average sensory scores (weighted by frequency of consumption) were calculated for each food group question.

Higher Diet Score was associated with greater sweet and bitter taste.  There were no clear differences in fatty mouthfeel but salty taste tended to be lower with higher Diet Score.  Overall flavour intensity increased with diet score suggesting healthy diets, contrary to popular beliefs, are not bland.  For the first time the sensory characteristics of foods pertaining to recommended healthy diets can be described.  Consumers, industry and public health could utilise such knowledge to help facilitate diets associated with reduced risk of chronic disease.

David Cox is a senior research scientist and Group Leader of the Sensory and Behavioural Sciences at CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences, Adelaide, Australia. He is also a project leader with the CSIRO Preventative Health Flagship, Obesity Theme with a focus upon the determinants of obesity. Since obtaining a PhD in the Faculty of Medicine (Human Nutrition) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London, he has focused upon food choice and acceptance (Behavioural Nutrition) both in terms of product choice and dietary choice. As a Post-Doc at the Institute of Food Research, UK he focused upon psycho-social predictors of fruit & vegetable consumption and undertook clinical trials focused at changing consumption. Later he looked at sensory drivers of food choice and the implications for weight status. During his current appointment at CSIRO, Australia he has undertaken research work in Asia and published numerous articles on cross-cultural methodology. Other work includes risk perception applied to acceptance of novel food technologies. He has published more 60 papers in peer reviewed journals and three book chapters (Food Choice; Understanding Asian consumers and Meal patterns of Australian women). His Group is strongly involved with cross-disciplinary Obesity and Metabolic Health projects including understanding the determinants of obesity and designing effective interventions. Personal interests include sensory and contextual drivers of dietary choice and the acquisition of liking of vegetables (nutrient rich, low energy dense foods). He is in demand as a reviewer for journals including Appetite, Food Quality and Preference (Editorial Board member); Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (Editorial Board member), International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical activity and many others.

When: Wednesday, 14th of June, 1-2 PM

Where: Ira Raymond Room, Barr Smith Library, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide (click here for campus map)

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Dr Susie Chant

Dr Susie Chant

Dr Susie Chant, a recent Food Values Research Group Phd graduate, was involved in the South Australian local foods phenomenon long before she decided to research and write about the topic. She ran several award-winning restaurants before earning a Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence for her dissertation, A History of Local Foods in Australia 1788 – 2015. Read more about Susie’s work in a feature in Lumen, The University of Adelaide Magazine.

The Food Values Research Group is also part of a new research cluster in Food Innovation, also featured in this month’s issue of Lumen.

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For our May seminar, the Food Values Research Group is pleased to present: Mindless Meat Eating: The Role of Cognitive Dissonance and Negative Emotions in the Consumption of Animals Dr Carolyn Semmler, Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, University of Adelaide We consume animals and yet also state that we love, respect and care for them. […]

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For the second Food Values Research Group Seminar of 2017, we are pleased to present two talks from the leaders of our research group: Designer babies, human-pig chimeras, and mosquitos: How gene editing is being made public in Australia Dr Heather Bray, Senior Research Fellow, School of Humanities, University of Adelaide Gene editing is a term […]

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For the first Food Values Research Group Seminar of 2017, we are pleased to present: Selective Eating and (Dis)Trust in Food Professor Claude Fischler, Senior Investigator, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Claude Fischler is a French social scientist (sociology, anthropology) senior investigator with CNRS, the French National Science Center and a former director of the […]

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This article originally appeared in The Conversation and describes work featured in a paper entitled “Not just about “the science”: science education and attitudes to genetically modified foods among women in Australia” that was recently published online by New Genetics and Society http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14636778.2017.1287561. We also prepared a short You Tube video summary. Perceptions of genetically modified […]

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For the November Food Values Research Group Seminar, we are pleased to present: Agricultural Trade, Policy Reforms, and Global Food Security Professor Kym Anderson, University of Adelaide and Australian National University If global food production is to keep up with the growth in food demand, the productivity of resources employed in agriculture needs to increase. That […]

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Ahead of a new documentary series on SBS about meat, Rachel and I were invited to write a piece for The Conversation, which is reproduced here (without the embedded videos).   It’s complicated: Australia’s relationship with eating meat Heather Bray, University of Adelaide and Rachel A. Ankeny, University of Adelaide Australia has a long-standing history […]

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For the October Food Values Research Group Seminar, we are pleased to present: What if Ennis and Jack had fished? Brokeback Mountain revisited for commensality, companionship and conviviality. Professor John Coveney, Flinders University The book and movie, Brokeback Mountain, provides readers and viewers with the development of a love story between two men, Ennis del […]

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