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Next Birmingham Salon Meeting

Are you what you eat? Is our obsession

with what we eat healthy?

Introduced by

Rob Lyons is deputy editor of spiked, the online current affairs magazine that takes the attitude that Humanity is Underrated. He writes on a wide range of issues, but takes a particular interest in the issues of environment, food, energy and risk.
Rob's book, Panic on a Plate: how society developed an eating disorder, was published by Societas in October 2011. He blogs about food
He is a frequent commentator on TV and radio.
Over the last few years the smorgasbord of panics over food have included: bacon and bladder cancer, beef and breast cancer, canned fish and premature birth, trans fats and heart disease, breakfast cereals and high blood pressure, processed foods and mental illness, mad cow disease, GM, saturated fat, and salt.
Rob Lyons's intention in this book is to investigate food scares, both on their own merits and from an historical perspective, in order to understand our essential but often shaky relationship with what we eat. Today this means confronting and assessing the worth of a lot of government advice and challenging popular perceptions of modern mass-catering practices. As he explains:
"One consequence of the fact that more of our food is pre-prepared by others is that there is a greater space opened up for us to be fearful about food. If food is something we consume but don't prepare, then we have to have faith that those who are cooking the takeaway or manufacturing that ready meal are doing so to a high standard. It is this gap between creator and consumer that helps to increase the possibility for food panics".
Rob argues that Jamie Oliver is a classic example of someone who has taken a mish-mash of relatively small problems - like obesity and classroom discipline - mixed them together and heated them up in the name of promoting his ideas about how we should be fed. But it’s not just campaigners who are at fault here. Successive governments have used health issues in particular as a way of micromanaging people’s lives.
All Welcome
£5 on the door (waged) or a donation of your choice if you're not.


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