78 Middle Street
Brighton, England BN1 1AL

Brighton and Hove's public forum - all very welcome, 7.00 - 9.30pm - downstairs at The Globe, 78 Middle St, Brighton. £donation.

Nigel Winter, Chief Executive of the Vegan Society, will discuss research into the environmental impacts of various diet choices and ask: are your meals costing the earth?
Bryn Thomas, teacher for Brighton Permaculture Trust, will explore ways that we can produce great food, strengthen communities and improve the health of the planet at the same time.
Prodigal Foods serving up delicious fayre plus local ale
Greenspeak, Brighton & Hove’s discussion forum for green issues, is back, with a launch event planned for Tuesday 13th May.

'The Earth Plan Diet' will kick-start the series, offering a fun, relaxed and sociable way to find out how we can better feed the planet and also our great grandchildren, with opportunities to answer your questions and a bit of socialising afterwards at the venue. 'The Earth Plan Diet' will be downstairs at The Globe, 78 Middle Street, Brighton, from 7.00-9.30pm. Entry is free / donation, everyone is welcome, caterers Prodigal Foods will be offering delicious meals throughout the event.

Speakers at the event are: Nigel Winter, Chief Executive of the Vegan Society, who will discuss research into the environmental impacts of diet choices; and Bryn Thomas, teacher for Brighton Permaculture Trust, who will explore ways in which we can produce great food, strengthen communities and improve the health of the planet.

What we eat and where it comes from has become the subject of endless debate. Recent months have seen export bans and riots worldwide as the prices of staple foods have rocketed, with the UN increasingly concerned about the threat of increasing unrest.1 In Britain pig farmers are 'going out of business as fast as you can fry bacon',2 and Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall have famously highlighted how we have turned animals into mass produced junk food.3 Meanwhile, people are becoming more interested in fair trade, food miles, organic food, and many are trying to reduce their carbon footprint.

Increased global appetite for meat and dairy products in particular, is putting enormous pressure on water supplies, land use, ecosystems and energy supplies, at a time when malnutrition affects one third of the world's population.4 Globally, sixty per cent of arable land is used to grow animal feed, while normal farming practices lead to deteriorating soil fertility and rely on an endless supply of oil based synthetic fertilisers.5

Rising population is certainly a factor, but livestock now outnumber humans by three to one and livestock production is responsible for almost a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than cars, planes, all forms of transport put together6. In other words, re-thinking our diet choices will play a significant part in reducing carbon emissions7.

Or as Caroline Lucas MEP puts it, "A vegan in a 4x4 has lower carbon emissions than a meat eater on a bicycle" 8.

Martin Grimshaw, creator of Greenspeak, said, “Greenspeak is a fun, relaxed and sociable way to find out how we can enhance, rather than destroy our planet. The Greenspeak team is very excited to be re-launching, and we have put together a new series of regular talks, with expert speakers searching for solutions to the big issues. Everyone is welcome to come and join the debate.”

What's your gut reaction?

Greenspeak will shortly be launching it’s newly revamped website. Coming up: Tue 10th June 'Whose Land Is it Anyway', Tue 8th July 'The DIY Guide to Change', Tue 9th September 'Taking Liberties and Thieving Identity', Thur 16 Oct 'Climate Change and Well Being'.

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1. More info: www.vegansociety.com / www.brightonpermaculture.co.uk
Prodigal Foods specialise in local, organic, vegan catering for all events: [email protected] / 07515 910675

2. For further information about Greenspeak, contact Martin Grimshaw 01273 202339 / 07891 571739
[email protected]

Greenspeak is organised by Martin Grimshaw & team in association with Brighton & Hove Green Party, aiming to be welcoming to all and focussed on the issues.
(www.brightonandhovegreenparty.org.uk or call 01273 766670 - promoted by Nigel Tart on behalf of B&H Green Party, 39-41 Surrey St, Brighton).

3. The Globe is available for functions and serves up a mean Sunday roast: 01273 770685
4. References
1) David Adam (2008). Food price rises threaten global security - UN. The Guardian, 9 April 2008. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/apr/09/food.unitednations. Accessed 22 April 2008.
2) Rosie Boycott (2008). Only a radical change of diet can halt looming food crises. The Guardian, 28 March 2008. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/mar/28/food.ethicalliving. Accessed 22 April 2008.

3) Animal Aid (2008). Animal Aid challenges Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to take the veggie pledge. Animal Aid press release (on-line), 20 February 2008. http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/NEWS/news_veggie/ALL/1738//. Accessed 22 April 2008.

4) L Baroni, L Cenci, M Tettamanti and M Berati (2006). Evaluating the environmental impact of various dietary patterns combined with different food production systems. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2006), p.1–8.

5) E.V. Elferink, S. Nonhebel (2007). Variations in land requirements for meat production. Journal of Cleaner Production 15 (2007), p.1778-1786.

6) Schnews (2007). Sense of Hummus - why being vegan is part of the solution. Schnews, 26th October 2007, Issue 608. http://www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news608.htm. Accessed 22 April 2008.

7) H. Risku-Norjaa,I. Mäenpääb (2007). MFA model to assess economic and environmental consequences of food production and consumption. Ecological Economics, Volume 60, Issue 4 , p. 700 - 711 .

8) Dr Caroline Lucas, MEP (2007). Quote taken from her speech at the Demonstration against Climate Change, London, 8 December 2007.- around 4 min 30 seconds in. Accessed 22 April 2007.

Added by JaneDallaway on May 8, 2008

Interested 2