Mid last month, the Food Values Research group was pleased to host Rebecca Paxton, a doctoral candidate from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. Rebecca presented some of the data she has gathered during her PhD project, looking at holistic/systemic models of health and how Austrian organic farmers incorporate health promotion into their practices.

She took us through her data gathering process, with some background on the region and the impacts this context has on the forms that organic farming takes there. She talked about different aspects of health that these farmers highlighted – from the personal to the systemic – and the importance that the concept of “healthy soil” plays in the ways they talk about the overall health of their farm system and produce. She also discussed some of the paradoxes and difficulties that emerge in organic farming practice around health, and how the philosophical commitments health beliefs frame and constrain solutions to these. She focussed in on several case studies to highlight the creative ways that farmers and communities work around stressors, including changes to the scope of their practices and produce and widening their networks. Finally, she shared some of her recent research on the potential and difficulties involved in building more resilient and expansive support and information-sharing Austrian organic farming communities.

You can find out more about her research here and see the abstract for her talk here. Thank you once again Rebecca for such a thought-provoking seminar.


Rebecca presenting with slide summarising findingsRebecca presenting with slide on holistic model of health

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organically farmed food

For the Food Values Research Group’s June 2019 seminar, we are pleased to welcome Rebecca Paxton:

Austrian organic farmers as health promoters

Rebecca Paxton, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna

This presentation explores health promotion as a function of organic agriculture, with a focus on the perceptions and practices of Austrian organic farmers. It identifies health concerns that are considered relevant to farming practice and ways in which these are incorporated in farmers’ decision making. Drawing on selected examples, it asks how the pursuit of health shapes farmers’ relationships with involved and affected stakeholders and integrates diverse knowledge and resources. Throughout the presentation the practical and value judgements of organic farmers are emphasized, including who or what are considered relevant targets of health promotion and why; what are desirable health outcomes, and how they ought to be achieved.

The holistic model of health put forth by the organic movement strongly influences Austrian organic farmers’ approaches to health promotion. The presentation explains how organic farmers form, shape, and dissolve relationships between stakeholders as key strategies to manage potentially conflicting health goals. In particular, it argues that organic farmers’ judgements concerning relevant sources of expertise and control affect their pursuit and assessment of health promotion. This analysis of the integration of health promotion as a function of organic agriculture thereby highlights many of the challenges of multifunctional agricultural development.

Rebecca Paxton is a doctoral candidate with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a Bachelor of Science in Geography at Victoria University of Wellington in 2007, a BSc Honors degree in Hazard and Disaster Management at Canterbury University in 2008, and a Master of International Relations from Victoria University of Wellington in 2009. This presentation covers part of her doctoral research on health as a function of Austrian organic agriculture.

When: Tuesday 18th June, 12-1 PM

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

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Global wine

For the Food Values Research Group’s April 2019 seminar, we are pleased to welcome Chelsea Davis:

Cultivating Imperial Networks: British Colonial Wine Production at the Cape of Good Hope and South Australia, 1838-1910

Chelsea Davis, George Washington University, Washington D.C.

This presentation will focus on the British Empire’s colonial wine industries at the Cape of Good Hope and South Australia from 1838-1910. The wine industries in South Africa and Australia are today some of the most well-known and profitable in the world, yet their integration into the global market was a slow, stuttering process, one that started on British colonial foundations during the long 19th century. I seek to investigate how the wine industries in the British colonies at the Cape of Good Hope and South Australia needed to invest in global networks of knowledge, communication, trade, and transport in order to transform into successful global enterprises.

In a way, the history of Britain’s colonial wine industries is a microcosm of the story of globalization. The need for an export market and a creation of ‘taste’ for wine ultimately required making connections to the outside world. I intend to use this commodity history to argue that a colonial industry can only succeed when it becomes tied to global trade and invests in networks of knowledge. This comparative history will provide more than dollars and cents to understanding colonial wine; it will show how commodities have social lives of their own.

Chelsea DavisChelsea Davis is a History PhD Candidate at George Washington University in Washington D.C., USA. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in History and English at the University of Delaware in 2014 and her Master of Arts in Global, Imperial, and Postcolonial History from Queen Mary University of London in 2015. Her dissertation studies the British Empire’s colonial wine industry in the colonies of South Australia and the Cape of Good Hope in the nineteenth century.

When: Monday 15th April, 12-1 PM

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

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reducetarian meal

Few divides seem as unbridgeable as that between vegans and meat-eaters. However, a recent movement known as the “reducetarian” diet aims to do precisely this. GoodFood’s Paula Goodyer recently spoke to Brian Kateman, who spearheads this movement, and Food Values Research Group’s Dr Heather Bray, on how we might begin to build bridges and reduce […]

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Last year, members of the Food Values Research Group team published a wonderful article exploring the “Meat Paradox,” a term coined to describe the apparent disconnection between people not wanting animals to suffer, yet killing them for food. This paper explored how cognitive dissonance and inconsistencies are rationalised by meat consumers. This research was featured […]

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Food Values Research Group graduate researcher Emily Buddle was invited to give a presentation at the Australian White Suffolk Conference in Robe, SA on 11th February 2019. Her presentation “Consumers, community and farm animal welfare” discussed many of her PhD results including how Australian meat consumers understand farm animal welfare and the role of farm […]

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For the Food Values Research Group’s first seminar of 2019, we are pleased to welcome Jocelyn Bosse: Appropriation and Reclamation of the Kakadu Plum Jocelyn Bosse, TH Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland The presentation on the access and benefit sharing regimes in Australia focuses on the Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana), a fruit with the highest […]

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“More and more, people are being encouraged to take part in ethical eating not only in their own homes but also when they eat out.  But what is ethical eating and how are more and more restaurants implementing this process. Professor Rachel Ankeny from the University of Adelaide joined Nick and Ian on Breakfast recently to discuss […]

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maca root and powder

Recent research by Adelaide food Values Research Group’s Dr Jessica Loyer and University of Edinbugh’s Dr Christine Knight looks at the role of “nutritional primitivism” in selling “superfoods” such as Andean maca. In their article, published in Food, Culture, and Society, they investigate roles of nutritional primitivism both as a marketing tool and as a popular social-environmental […]

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Paula Zito

For the Food Values Research Group’s October seminar, we are pleased to welcome Dr Paula Zito. Dr Paula Caroline Zito, Associate Teacher, Adelaide Law School, The University of Adelaide Regional branding of food products and food Geographical Indications This presentation analyses the current laws and regulations in Australia that regulate the usage of Australian regional names on […]

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