In my Research Institute days I once entertained a visitor (urban media type, skinny mocha latte – you get the idea) who came out with the amazing statement: I don’t believe in agriculture. Goodness knows where she thought her woolly jumper and breakfast muesli came from.
Well, I do believe in agriculture. I’m old enough to remember post-WW2 food rationing and have no desire to go back there, thank you very much. Even at its most academic and impractical, I’ve always thought of my research in relation to the real world of food, feed and the countryside.
Food is where my interests in senescence and literature come together. The food chain is more than just the route by which photon energy enters and pervades the biosphere. It has deep cultural and political significance – in every sense, you are what you eat.