James Wong explains how to make everyday foods healthier and tastier

06 Dec 2017 12:51:46.923

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James Wong, the ethnobotanist who describes himself as a plant scientist with a lifelong food fixation, will give a straight-talking guide to making everyday foods healthier and tastier when he visits the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington Campus on Wednesday 13 December 2017.

His lecture, which will take place in the Vet School Lecture Theatre at 6pm, is based on his latest book ‘How to Eat Better’. All proceeds from the event and royalties from sales of his book are going to UNICEF to help fight hunger.

James, a familiar face to television viewers, should feel right at home on the University’s Sutton Bonington Campus, where some of the country’s leading plant, food and animal experts are based in the Schools of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine and Science.

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After two years trawling through nearly 3000 research papers, translating dense academic speak into practical tips and tricks he describes how to shop, store and cook to turn any food into a ‘super food’.

How to Eat Better

James said: “’How to Eat Better’ strips away the fad diets, superfood fixations and Instagram hashtags to give you a scientist's guide to making everyday foods far healthier (and tastier) simply by changing the way you select, store and cook them. No diets, no obscure ingredients, no damn spiralizer, just real food made better, based on the latest scientific evidence from around the world.”

The event has been organised by Dr Sarah Ellis, who graduated from the University of Nottingham with a Master’s degree in Advanced Dietetic Practice. She also works within the NHS as a pediatric dietitian. The event is being coordinated by Dr Susannah Lydon, Outreach Officer and Admissions Tutor for the Plant Science BSc programme.

As part of the visit James will also be given a guided tour of some of Sutton Bonington’s key research facilities.

Dr Ellis said: "With so much nutrition misinformation around, it's vital to cut through it to reach the hard science that can truly benefit the public. James has done this brilliantly with his latest book and is a fantastic ambassador in his support for up-to-date evidence based nutrition advice from appropriately qualified professionals like dietitians or AfN registered nutritionists. We're incredibly excited to have him here to speak with us". 

Who is James Wong?

James (@botanygeek) is an Ethnobotanist – a scientist who studies how people use plants.

Half Malaysian and born in Singapore to an indigenous Iban father and English mother; he spent most of his childhood growing up in the jungles of Borneo and other parts of South East Asia where his Grandmother used to teach him about traditional medicines.

This is where James’s passion for plants began. He trained to Masters level at The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, and has travelled the world in search of new plants and their fascinating uses.

James is best known for his award-winning BBC Two television series ‘Grow your own drugs’. He’s a regular panelist on the BBC Radio Four’s ‘Gardeners’ Question Time’ and makes regular appearances on BBC One’s long running ‘Countryfile’ series.

Another of his talents is garden design. He co-designed his 5th RHS Flower Show garden at the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show winning a gold medal.

How to book your place for the lecture

James latest book ‘How to eat better’ will be on sale on the day. If you want to attend this ticket only event please go to this Eventbrite link. The event takes place in room A30, Vet School Lecture Theatre, Sutton Bonington Campus, LE12 5RD. Building No 27 on this map of Sutton Bonington Campus.

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Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

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Story credits

More information is available from Dr Susie Lydon in the School of Biosciences at the University of Nottingham on +44 (0) 0115 951 6289, susannah.lydon@nottingham.ac.uk or Dr Sarah Ellis in the School of Biosciences at the University of Nottingham, sarah.ellis1@nottingham.ac.uk
Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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