EATology – the science of eating

canenviro 18 September 2014

Canberran’s are some pretty savvy eaters. With the establishment of Lonsdale Street and New Acton on top of the already vibrant culinary oasis of Kingston and Manuka, it is clear that Canberran’s appreciate good eats.

Our taste for food does not stop at Aubergine in Griffith or Temporada in the City. We’re also interested in local food and urban gardening. The proliferation of groups such as Canberra City Farm, Lyneham Commons, Slow Food Canberra and the Canberra Organic Growers Society reflects an environmental consciousness behind our food choices.

The Canberra Environment Centre’s ‘EATology – The Science of Eating’ forum this September offers a different perspective for the common foodie, emphasising a deep link between food and the environment; the main focus of the event is soil.

Soil health as a determinant of food quality and therefore human health should be obvious, but I’ll be the first to say that I don’t often think about the nitrogen cycle when I bite into a salad sandwich. Walter Jehne from Healthy Soils Australia, John Champagne of Brogo Permaculture Gardens and Robert Gourley of Phi’on, a soil health product and consultancy provider, will sit on the panel to elucidate issues around soil health to the layman.

“This forum will highlight for the Canberra community that healthy eating starts with healthy soil”, states Ryan Lungu, Director of the Environment Centre. This sounding familiar to Franklin Roosevelt’s 1937 letter to State Governors on the need for the Uniform Soil Conservation Law, “The nation that destroys its soils destroys itself.”

The forum will operate in a Q&A style with questions sent in from the community, and the audience on the night. Tony Jones might not be hosting, but we will most likely be in for a few odd-ball comments from a crowd interested in permaculture and alternative food and agriculture.

The event is part of the Centre’s ‘sustainability network’ events which aim to educate and bring the community together on the environment. It fits into the Centre’s packed calendar of other events, including an annual Harvest Festival, Spring Swap, fundraiser, Eco Night Market and weekly workshops.

The event is on at 6-8pm on Thursday 25th September held at Manning Clark Theatre at the Australian National University. Entry is free. RSVP at


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