Issues 72
September 2005


Food and Drink: The Sustenance of Life
Barbara Santich, Program Manager, Graduate Program in Gastronomy, The University of Adelaide
Science has transformed the food we eat, but it has proved a mixed blessing with a range of new technologies possibly contributing to the obesity crisis. However, science can also provide us with answers to our increasing weight.

The Social Origins of Obesity
John Germov, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Newcastle, and Lauren Williams, Senior Lecturer in Nutrition & Dietetics, University of Newcastle
Rising obesity rates in developed countries like Australia have social origins that require social interventions.

Obesity: Why It’s a Health Crisis
Melanie McGrice, APD Centre for Obesity Research and Education
Obesity is costing lives, and quality of life, and it’s getting worse. There are multiple causes, and even more consequences, and we need a sophisticated health program to deal with the issue.

Casualties in the Obesity War
Lily O’Hara, Centre for Healthy Activities, Sport and Exercise, University of the Sunshine Coast
The media is full of reports about the “war on obesity”, but there is plenty of evidence that being fat is ok for your health as long as you are also fit, much better than being thin and unfit. In fact, the campaign against fat may be doing more harm to our health than it is curing.

Healthy Canteens
Rita Alvaro, Senior Nutritionist, Centre for Health Promotion, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide
Encouraging children to practise and enjoy healthy eating early in life can help them develop healthy eating habits they can maintain throughout life. As school canteens are a highly visible source of food in the school, they are often recognised as a good starting point within a school for promoting healthy eating among children.

Slow Food
Elena Aniere, Slow Food International
There is an alternative to the unhealthy, unsubtle, uncaring and unsustainable ways of eating food that are increasingly dominating our culture. The slow food movement is reclaiming this important aspect of our lives for the benefit of our taste buds and our planet.

Functional Foods
Food Science Australia
New technologies are being used to make healthy foods more attractive. If people can’t be persuaded to eat healthier foods, maybe the foods we already eat can be made healthier. The term “functional foods” is used to describe foods that include additives to make them particularly healthy.

We Are What We Eat - We Eat What We Know
Graham Peachey, CEO, Food Standards Australia New Zealand
It is the right of the public to know what they are eating, and what the likely health
implications are. Presenting this information in a way that is truthful and useful to the public is a challenge entrusted to Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

Unravelling the Mystery of Food Aroma
Dimitrios Zabaras, Research Scientist, Food Science Australia
Hundreds of different molecules produce the flavour and smell of food we value so much. In order to improve these with artificial flavours or better blending techniques we need to understand how these molecules interact with our sensor organs.

Tomorrow’s Agriculture: We Need to Work Things Out!
Jim Peacock, President, Australian Academy of Science
New farming technologies such as genetic modification have the potential to give us healthier foods grown in larger quantities in more environmental ways.

Poor Border Control on Genetically Engineered Food
Jeremy Tager, Greenpeace
Australia’s inadequate regulatory system is allowing genetically modified food into the Australian environment and food chain despite several serious contamination events this year.

The Case for Gene Technology
David Tribe, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne
Modern gene technology delivers safer and more nutritious food and deserves a fair hearing.

How Much Should You Drink?
Glenn Cardwell, Sports Dietician, Nutrition Impact Pty Ltd
There are plenty of popular beliefs about food, and many of them are false. Some of the most popular ones about drinking turn out to be wrong as well.

Meeting the Demands for Eco-Friendly Food Packaging
Michael J. Hubbert, Consultant, Packaging Experts
Most of our food today comes in packaging, usually plastic. Disposing of the packaging afterwards is creating a major headache, but new technologies are showing promise for reducing the problem.

The Truth About Chocolate
The Better Health Channel, Victorian Department of Human Services
Chocolate is not as bad for you as many people believe, but it’s not a “health food” either.

CSIRO’s Total Wellbeing Diet
Manny Noakes and Peter Clifton, CSIRO Human Nutrition
The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet has been a huge bestseller on Australian booklists, even knocking off The Da Vinci Code. Here is how the diet came about.

Total Wellbeing or Too Much Meat?
Rosemary Stanton, nutritionist, and Gyorgy Scrinis, Globalism Institute, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
The prestige of CSIRO’s name and the label “scientifically proven” are being used to hide the fact that The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet has not been compared with a genuine variety of alternatives. The Diet’s heavy promotion of meat consumption suits the interests of its sponsors, but ignores the damage to health and the environment associated with too much red meat.

Issues: Published by Control Publications, publishers of Australasian Science.
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