My Week at Uni – Books

Uni has been a lot of waiting around and less learning this week. This has been mainly due to a 3-hour session to plan an experiment which only needed 1-hour and a 2-hour session on stress and time management of which I have enough knowledge from my previous career that I could write my own book! I’m not complaining; peaks and troughs happen in all areas of life and it has been useful allowing me to plan for next week which I know will be super busy!

I found myself feeling a bit low mid-week; I realised this was because the book I am currently reading had a big impact on me. Dead Zone: Where the Wild Things Were by Philip Lymbery is a book focusing on the impact of current animal agricultural practices on the world (on animals, on health, on the environment). There is hope and change is happening slowly but it’s quite bleak in places. I took some time to reflect on my worries and why I was taking it to heart so much. It’s an area I’m passionate about and with the more I learn the more I’m changing the impact I have to be a more positive one. There is always more we can all do but I need to be kind to myself in knowing I’m doing the best I can to help and that it is not my cross to bear alone!

On a more positive note, I’m also reading through Renourish by Rhiannon Lambert is a great book about nutrition, really clear, no-nonsense information with some brilliant recipes (I’ve not got around to making any yet but am looking forward to!)

It’s also been a week of a progress still managing to feel on top of the work I need to do and have coming up and also managing to look after my body with daily exercise and some intense but fun exercise classes.

Personal learning from this week: I cannot change the world but I can do my best to change a part of it!

Interesting things I’ve learnt this week:

  1. ‘Diet’ means way of life – The word diet comes from the Greek “diata” which means ‘way of life’… it doesn’t mean restriction, counting calories, tracking macros or eating disgusting foods. Let’s get back to basics, ‘diets’ as they are known today rarely work, eating well as a way of life – that’s sustainable.
  2. Too much ethanoic acid is a bad thing…for wine – Alcohol in wine is oxidised to form ethanoic acid (also known as acetic acid) this is what gives wine it’s flavour. Too much ethanoic acid and wine tastes vinegary.

Meet ethanoic acid:



H – C – C = O

|     |

H    OH

  1. Food waste is worse than I realised – The biggest area of food waste is the diversion of crops which are fit for human consumption to industrially-reared animals – this is enough to feed an extra 4bn people (more than enough for the 1bn who currently go hungry). 100 calories of grain fed to a cow only returns 3% of the calories in the resulting meat; this could go straight to humans. The worst part of all this is that “EU countries alone waste the meat equivalent of nearly 2 billion farm animals a year – reared, slaughtered and binned.” (Dead Zone – Philip Lymbery)

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