The New Optimists Blog

Mez Packer – The Hand That Feeds – IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD

IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD…

Mez PackerIt was back in spring, 2015, when Kate Cooper asked if I’d like to be involved in a “mad food crime opera”. The challenge, she said, was to turn facts about food crime into an entertaining and accessible story. I was dubious, I mean what was food crime? But Kate’s passion about raising awareness about food adulteration and food fraud was infectious, and I was hooked.

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Sara Colman – The Hand That Feeds – Why a Musical?

Sara in rehearsal

Why a Musical?

musical (noun): a stage, television or film production utilizing popular-style songs – dialogue optional – to tell a story

Blog Post By Sara Colman

I’ve had a secret love of musicals since I was a kid. Instead of doing my overdue homework, Fred and Ginger would fuel my procrastination by singing and dancing their way through my Sunday afternoons.

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The #StopFoodCrime THTF team – part one – Creatives

Who’s who in the team?

Production Day

From left to right (below): Kate Cooper, Al Gurr, Sam Fox, Chris Cuthbert, Anthony Miles, Xhosa Cole, Sara Colman (on keyboard) Mez Packer, Graeme Rose, Charlotte Gregory.

 

By Kate Cooper

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Time to make a song and dance and #StopFoodCrime

We have the songs, the music, a choir, the performers… now all we need is you and your family and friends.

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Birmingham helping lead the way in tackling food crime.

What is Food Crime?

By Kate Cooper

photo of Kate Cooper

photo by Graeme Braidwood

The first time I ever heard the phrase ‘food crime’ was from Professor Chris Elliott. He’d been commissioned by the Government to investigate our food supply network after the ‘Horsegate’ scandal, and he’d asked to see me because of The New Optimists work with scientists.

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Pan narrans? . . . are we the storytelling ape?

image credit - Narrativium - transmedialab.org

A musical about food crime? …of all things!

The New Optimists is a forum of regional scientists from lots of disciplines, keen as anyone to make our world a better place — but with a perspective informed by their day job. 

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#StopFoodCrime . . . Food Crime: The Musical! . . . 14th May . . .

FoodCrime_TheMusicalMidday or 2:30pm on 14th May outside St Martin’s in the Bull Ring is a date for your diary.

Two public performances of Food Crime: The Musical! right slap bang in Birmingham city centre.

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Global food security: Shifting through the crap, crud and crucial

paulbradshaw_amsterdamPaul Bradshaw asked me to advise a postgrad journalism student with his chosen topic, global food security. Getting my head round that was a great exercise in shifting through the crap, the crud and the crucial.

The crucial: Stuff from Achim Dobermann et al at the Warwick Climate Change Forum 2015, from the Warwick GRP Food programme (incl John Ingram and Molly Jahn’s stuff here) — plus info in What it takes to feed the city (pp 15-26).

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Sustainable Food for Cities? It’s a numbers game, not community food growing game

Lincolnshire_croppedWe’re facing urgent challenges with regard to sustainable food supplies, the stuff people were talking about at the Warwick Climate Forum earlier in the month.

The Sustainable Food Cities Conference I went to in Bristol last week was a stark contrast to the Warwick gathering. 

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Narrativium III: A theatrical song cycle on food crime

SaraColmanYes, Narrativium III is off the mark! We have enough funding to begin this brilliant project to devise and perform a theatrical song cycle on food crime.

Singer and composer Sara Colman will be the creative drive behind it all, ably assisted by our literary advisor, novelist Mez Packer who, in an earlier life, toured Europe as a jazz singer.

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