Thursday, July 8, 2010

Public Lecture: Food and Farming in the Formerly Fertile Crescent

EcoGastronomy Scholar Addresses Food, Farming in Formerly Fertile Crescent July 13

By Beth Potier, Media Relations
July 7, 2010
Rami Zurayk, a visiting scholar teaching in the EcoGastronomy summer program, will present a lecture on the state of food and farming in the so-called Fertile Crescent of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. The lecture, free and open to the public, is Tuesday, July 13, 2010, in Pettee Hall Room G10.

Who: Rami Zurayk, associate dean at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and visiting scholar in UNH’s EcoGastronomy summer program

What: Free public lecture: “The Empty Breadbasket: Food and Farming in the (Formerly) Fertile Crescent”

When: Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 7 p.m.

Where: Pettee Hall G10

For information: Elisabeth Farrell in the University Office of Sustainability or 2-5040

Zurayk will present an overview of the state of food and farming and landscape in the Arab countries of the Fertile Crescent (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan), where about 80 percent of the food calories consumed are currently imported. He will give a brief historical overview of the evolution of food production in the region, followed by an analysis of the current trends and an identification of the driving forces, in their political, ecological and economic dimensions, focusing on the post-Ottoman period (colonial and post-colonial).

Zurayk, who is writing a book of the same name, will draw here on ongoing research that looks at the compounded effects of landscape fragmentation, politics, markets and environmental change on the livelihoods and food economy of the mobile pastoralists of the Arabian steppe, the Bedouins.

Zurayk’s lecture is sponsored by the dual major in EcoGastronomy, College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, NH Agricultural Experiment Station, Carsey Institute, and University Office of Sustainability.

UNH’s groundbreaking EcoGastronomy program, launched in 2008, takes students to the field, the kitchen, the lab and Italy to study the complexities of sustainable food systems. The EcoGastronomy dual major is the first such program at any U.S. university – a one-of-a-kind learning experience that links the fields of sustainable agriculture, hospitality, and nutrition – and is part of the university’s leadership in sustainability.
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