CoE Articles

Centre launches new book club on food systems and food security

Published June 30, 2021, by Morgan Morris

FoodFacts Books plans to bring together scholars and others with an interest in books on food systems and food security; and expect some intense discussions.

Professor Lise Korsten imagines FoodFacts Books as an “alternative book club”.

Forget the red wine and members just skimming the books. Instead, FoodFacts Books will allow readers to “scientifically dissect books related to food systems and food security”, explains Professor Korsten, co-director of the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security.

“It enables readers to discuss its complexities and political tensions and to provide a Think Tank platform that can virtually host scientific discussions.”

FoodFacts plans to bring a new dimension to book clubs.

More than that, the readings and discussions will form the foundation of a series of opinion pieces to be published in top-tier journals like Springer Food Security.


For more information on how FoodFacts will work and how to join, see below:

FoodFacts Books will provide a critical transdisciplinary thinking platform and a downstream scientific assessment pipeline published as an opinion piece in a top-rated journal.

The FoodFacts book club is an open platform and only require registration on the Bookt platform.

Once registered, a hard copy (or electronic copy) should be obtained of the selected book through one of the suppliers listed on the site or from a nearby bookstore. The members will have a maximum of six weeks to read the book and engage with others in the on-line chat group.

Once completed, a test must be written to access the meeting room in Google Meets where members will engage to discuss the book and if possible engage with the author.

The book test will be set by an invited, well-known expert from an academic institution. The experts setting the tests will not be known to the book club members during the six-week reading period. Annually these experts will be recognised for their contribution to the Book Club.

Fact Sheets will be prepared and more recent data or statistics can be added to provide a more in-depth discussion around Facts and Fiction. One of the experts who participated in the discussions and who opt to take the lead, will be the first author. Participants in the discussion platform can opt to be co-authors based on their input.

An opinion paper will be prepared and submitted to the Springer Journal, ‘Food Security’. The editors of Food Security will consider publishing the paper of a full review.

The FoodFacts book club hosted on the Bookt platform is based on the concept to profile book knowledge. It thus provides an excellent vehicle to virtually engage in a scientific transdisciplinary manner and be recognised for it. The Platform allows members to build their CV and profile reflecting their book reading status.


How it works

  • Click “Get Started!” below and sign up, your signup code will be automatically populated.
  • You will be directed to your home page after you have signed up, here you can edit your profile, view all the identified books, and take different quizzes.
  • Head through to the book club section via the drop-down menu and join FoodFacts Books.
  • The Bookt platform is always available via the chat functions (bottom right) should you have any questions and have a support section for FAQ’s.
  • The platform is constantly evolving and will provide members with up-to-date announcements.

“It enables readers to discuss its complexities and political tensions and to provide a Think Tank platform that can virtually host scientific discussions.”

Prof Lise Korsten

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