This Friday sees the launch of a series of lunchtime webinars about a topic that affects all of us: sustainable food systems. From farm to fork, what does it mean for our food to be sustainably produced, processed, distributed and consumed? As consumers, what kinds of products and ingredients are most sustainable, from what parts of the world, and produced by what sorts of farming systems? Lots of people are thinking about these questions, and we’ve invited eight Christian scholars to help us explore some of them. These researchers are among those writing papers for a special collection in the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, and we’ll be hearing from them about different aspects of sustainability.

Even before detailed questions of sustainable food systems can be answered, we should ask: what does “sustainable” mean in this context? As we look forward to the return of Jesus Christ to inaugurate the age to come, is it “business as usual” for eating and drinking? How do we relate to the climate emergency being declared, the biodiversity losses being documented and the crises in animal welfare that are sometimes decried? Does sustainability mean anything different for those who acknowledge their sin before God and long for the Kingdom of God to be revealed, compared to those who do not?

Our Friday webinars will address some of the more scientific and technical issues. Other issues are being explored here at FiSch (e.g. here and forthcoming) – and we welcome comments from you, our readers! Details of the forthcoming webinar talks are available at thinkfaith.net/feedingtheearth/, where you can book to receive the Zoom link and join us online.

Here is the planned schedule of talks:

  • 20 May:
    • 12:00: Yoseph Araya (The Open University): Climate-smart agroforestry in Malawi 
    • 13:00: Richard Gunton (University of Winchester): How broad is sustainable intensification?
  • 27 May:
    • 12:00: Jan van der Stoep (Wageningen University): Eating as a normative practice
    • 13:00: Philip Sampson (Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics):  Whose world, whose sustainability? Recovering the interests of the planet
  • 3 June: 
    • 12:00: Plamen Ivanov (University of Winchester): The economics of food security
    • 13:00: speaker t.b.c. 
  • 10 June: 
    • 12:00: Maarten Verkerk (Eindhoven University; Maastricht University): The many faces of sustainable home cooking
    • 13:00: Franck Meijboom (Wageningen University; Utrecht University): on the role of animals in transitions towards sustainability

We look forward to seeing you!

Richard Gunton
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Richard Gunton

Richard is the Director of Faith-in-Scholarship at Thinking Faith Network. His current passions include Reformational philosophy, Portchester (where he lives), ordination (the statistical sort), gardening for wildlife... and two beautiful women (one aged 4).