The Caroline Walker Trust (CWT) - Improving public health through good food
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- The CWT Annual Lectures - side menu
introduction to CWT lectures
lectures from 2000 - 2004
1999 - Future Food...
1998 -The Nanny State...
1997 - Nutrition in the future...
1996 - The making of malnutrition
1995 - Food and the public...
1994 - Food with a vegetable...
1993 - No nation can rise...
1992 - New concepts in human...
1991 - Intensive farming...
1990 - Labour's Healthy Food...
- Caroline Walker Trust lectures 1990 - 1999 - content

The Trust has been fortunate to have hosted a number of lectures since it began in 1988, all of which have been given by distinguished scientists and policy makers. Each lecture highlights a specific important aspect of the relationship between good food and public health. All of these lectures are now available as PDF downloads. Although the PDFs are free, donations can be made via PayPal and are much appreciated.

The text and tables contained in these lectures can be reproduced by anyone involved in providing food as long as an acknowledgement is made to the Caroline Walker Trust.

- 1999: Future Food: Two radical views of 21st century eating - PDF

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1999: Future Food: Two radical views of 21st Century Eating

Michael Heasman and Colin Tudge
Two lectures: The functional food revolution - a new nutrition agenda for a new century (Michael Heasman) and Functional foods and pharmacological impoverishment - and why 'nothing makes sense in biology except in the light of evolution'.
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- 1998: The Nanny State: what will Nanny do when we grow up? - PDF

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1998: The Nanny State: what will Nanny do when we grow up?

Sheila McKechnie

What role should the government take in protecting consumers and promoting public health? Discussions on this issue - and the appropriate role of the state in our daily lives - often turn to the concept of 'the nanny state'. Where does sensible public health policy end and nannying begin?

Sheila McKechnie's thought-provoking analysis explores the issues behind this explosive phrase. She argues that the debate around nannying has obscured some difficult issues and that we need to face up to the complexity of modern life and not run away from it.
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- 1997: Nutrition in the future: thinking the unthinkable - PDF

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1997: Nutrition in the future: thinking the unthinkable

Professor Philip James

Phillip James was the leading nutritionist in Britain prepared to speak out and say that as a nation we have a wonderful chance to improve our health by means of good food. In 1997 he produced the blueprint for a UK Food Standards Agency with powers to ensure that healthy food choices become increasingly easy choices. This was followed in 1998 by a White Paper, and it is this that provides a part of the theme for this lecture.

Professor James predicted that nutrition would be the centre of health in the new millennium. He told the audience that there was no pretending that nutrition wasn’t at the centre of every major public health problem, and anyone who says differently has something to hide or can’t see the public health wood from the toxicological trees.
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- 1996: The Making of Modern Malnutrition - PDF

Transcript of CWT 1996 lecture
£10 / €18 - Order
ISBN: 9781 897820 054

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1996: The Making of Modern Malnutrition

Suzi Leather

What is 'food poverty'? Are people really malnourished in 1990s Britain? Suzi Leather's clear-sighted analysis documents a new type of malnutrition, quite unlike the food shortages of previous centuries.

We do not have too little food; but we have too many people not getting decent food. She knows how, beginning in 1906 and increasingly from the 1930s, ground-breaking social and nutritional policies were designed to banish food poverty - and how that good work has all but been undone.

She examines the effect of a poor diet on parents and familities, quoting from her interviews with people who are, in their own words, 'eating shite'. And she provides ten recommendations: a constructive, co-operative approach to future policy-making that could banish food poverty from our country once again.

Intended for policy-makers in food, public health, local and national government, this report is also compulsive reading for anyone who cares about social justice in the UK.
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- 1995: Food and the public interest - PDF

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1995: Food and the public interest

Christopher Haskins

Christopher Haskins, Chairman of Northern Foods plc, told the CWT audience that Government needed new food policies and a judicious approach to food science, thanks to the massive food needs of the modern world. Food policy was becoming more important, because ‘during the next 35 year the world will have to produce twice as much food as in the previous 10,000 years.’

The contents of this lecture were: The public's excitement over food, When food means survival, Famine, food and political consequences - The Corn Laws, A return to protectionism, Rebuffing the Reverend Malthus, The costs of progress, Dangerous delusions about protectionism, organics and science, New priorities for a modern Government, Making good food affordable, The role of the manufacturer, The safety of food; Responsible production - a question of balance, Three areas where Government should intervene, Ensuring proper competition, Protecting workers against exploitation, Protecting the environment, The public interest in Britain today
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- 1994: Content with a Vegetable Love - PDF

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1994: Content with a Vegetable Love

Professor John Potter

We know that plant foods - vegetables and fruit in particular - have health benefits. There is more and more evidence that they protect against cancer.

But which foods offer most protection? Which types of cancer are prevented? And how do these protective mechanisms work?

John Potter is a US-based professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, and Head of the Cancer Research Prevention Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in the same city. He is a research scientist at the leading edge of diet and cancer.

But what marks him out is a special gift for communicating complex science to non-specialists. In this book he explains how cells become cancerous, and how chemicals in plants can slow the process down or stop it altogether.

He brings together dozen of studies which suggest that the effect of plant foods is to cut your cancer risk by half, at least. Better still, he tells you why!
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- 1993: No Nation can rise above the level of its Women - PDF

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1993: No Nation can rise above the level of its Women

Margaret & Arthur Wynn

Peggy Wynn has dedicated her life to protection of the health and welfare of mothers and children, in this country and worldwide. She is in the great tradition of social reformers, radical in her thought, tireless in her work, generous with her time.

Scientists now generally agree that childhood is the stage above all in life when a good diet is crucial. Margaret and Arthur knew this, and more, in the 1970s. their great book Prevention of Handicap and the Health of Women, was published in 1979. it includes the first warning that the diet of pregnant women who eat a high processed diet typical in Britain, is dangerously short of the B vitamin folic acid, found in green vegetables and other fresh food, lack of which can and does cause spina bifida and other neural tube defects.

Margaret and Arthur are still ahead of the nutritional establishment: because their message is that good food is vital not only in childhood, but before a child is conceived.
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- 1992: New Concepts in Human Nutrition in the Twentieth Century; The Special Role of Micronutrients - PDF

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1992: New Concepts in Human Nutrition in the Twentieth Century; The Special Role of Micronutrients

Sir Francis Avery Jones CBE MD FRCP

Sir Francis reviews important concepts in human nutrition and their protaganists in the twentieth century. He concludes that advice to the nation regarding nutrition should emphasise the positive rather than restrictive.
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- 1991: Intensive Farming, The Cap and GATT - PDF

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1991: Intensive farming, The Cap and GATT

James Goldsmith

"Gold turns to green". "The jolly green giant". "Goldsmith gave us business for nature". These headlines a year ago, reported Sir James Goldsmith’s decision to quit big business and to devote himself to environmental causes.

Sir James Goldsmith is well known in Europe as founder and owner of Cavenham Foods, which in the mid 1970s was the third biggest food company in Europe. In the late 1970’s he built the US food retail chain Grand Union into a coast to coast empire. Worldwide he has been feared and admired as an audacious financier. His interest in food and public health goes back many years: in his lecture Food Quantity and Quality given to the British Nutrition Foundation in 1976 he predicted ill-effects from factory farming of chickens.

His biography Billionaire by Ivan Fallon reports a speech he gave to the world Economics Forum in Davos. He believes that the welfare of humankind worldwide depends on the believes that free market policies now being promoted by the governments of rich countries have disastrous effects.

"Two dimensional accounting will indicate that mechanised food is cheaper. But three dimensional accounting will tell a different story." "To maximise production, you assemble larger farms, and reduce crop diversity to a minimum – monocultures are easier to mechanise. You intensify production using greater amounts of pesticides, chemical fertilisers, hormones and other devices and you create surpluses, the famous lakes and mountains … which when dumped on other nations, do terrible damage to their rural and social traditions".

Sir James, a man of unique vision, energy, and resource is now determined not just to observe global food and agriculture policy, but to change it

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- 1990: Labour's Healthy Food Policy - PDF

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1990: Labour's Healthy Food Policy

Dr David Clark MP, Shadow Minister for Food and Agriculture

Dr David Clark MP, Shadow Minister for Food and Agriculture, announced that Labour is placing healthy and safe food on the political agenda for the first time in Britain. He argued that there is now a world-wide consensus on the link between food and health, that Britain has the worst death rates from heart disease and certain cancers and that the Government is still refusing to act.

Giving his keynote address to the Caroline Walker Trust’s Second Annual Meeting at the Royal Society of Arts. Dr Clark claimed "Not eating fresh fruit and vegetables poses as great a risk of getting cancer as smoking."
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