How research affects food and farming

RURAL researchers will visit two farmers' markets to talk about food and farming – and how their work affects the products we buy.

The researchers, from the Countryside and Community Research Institute at the University of Gloucestershire, will be setting up stalls at farmers' markets in Cheltenham (10 November) and Cirencester (11 November).

The idea is part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, which is taking place across the UK from 4-11 November.

The events, which will be streamed on social media, are aimed at the general public.

Themes such as cheese, milk, beer, fish, water and the environment will be up for lively and friendly discussion.

People will have the unique opportunity of seeing a demonstration of a local food smartphone app, which is being developed by the researchers to help people access local food.

Matt Reed, a senior research fellow at Gloucestershire university, is leading the event.

"He said: "We are delighted to take part in the ESRC Festival, which provides us with an opportunity to share some of our research with the public and demonstrate how it can affect their everyday lives.

"We will be running stalls at both Cheltenham and Cirencester farmers’ markets with a different range of themes available each day.

"The events are free and aimed at all ages, with a life-sized cardboard cow and balloons to keep the younger ones interested."

Other topics up for discussion will include how to use natural flood management to reduce the risk of flooding in the local area.

Dr Reed said how products travel from farm to table, and the importance of soil for healthy food production, will also be discussed.

The ESRC Festival of Social Science 2017 aims to offer an insight into some of the country's social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives - both now and in the future.

There are over 300 free events to attend - via public debates, conferences, workshops, interactive seminars, film screenings, exhibitions and much more.


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