A Garden Series

Food for Thought

8 talksWhy is food so important to us? Beyond its nutritional benefits, food connects people. This series explores how our relationship with food has evolved over time and the meanings that different cultures ascribe to food.
8 talks in this Garden Series
Why do humans have such a unique relationship with food?

Dr. John S Allen

Not even our closest primate relatives think about food in the way humans do. What does the food we eat tell us about our own evolutionary history?

How do our genes control our response to what we eat?

Dr. Vimal Karani

Not only does DNA control physical characteristics like height, but it also shapes how our bodies react to food. Is it true that you are what you eat?

What can the recipes of the past tell us about the society they came from?

Prof. Rebecca Earle

Old cookery books can tell us a lot more than just how to cook a meal. What do they reveal about topics as diverse as access to technology and the concept of truth?

Why are allergies on the rise?

Dr. R. Sharon Chinthrajah

1 in 15 people globally has a food allergy - a rate that's more than doubled since 1960. What's behind this soaring increase?

Do we eat with our ears?

Prof. Charles Spence

Besides taste, there are other senses at work when we eat. How much of an influence does the environment have over our food behaviour?

Food Futures: Could new plants solve a food crisis?

Dr Jordan Dowell

Agriculture has been at the centre of civilisation for thousands of years. However, when we shop for our food, have you wondered about what developments have led to the food getting on our plates.

Is obesity a choice?

Prof. Giles Yeo

According to the World Obesity Federation it is estimated that over 1 billion will be affected by obesity by 2025. Does obesity lie within our control? What impact do genes have on our appetite and body weight?

What can animals teach us about eating disorders?

B. Natterson-Horowitz, MD

How we eat and the impact it has on our bodies, from weight loss and weight gain to eating disorders, is complex and a key facet of human health. But most of these behaviours and conditions aren't unique to our species. What can the animal world teach us?