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Celebrity foodie crusading for health of NZ soils

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Good food begins with good soils, and that’s why celebrity Kiwi cook Annabel Langbein is on a mission to preserve the quality of New Zealand soils for future generations.

"Celebrating the food we grow is central to everything I do," says Annabel, who has written and self-published 27 cookbooks and presented her own TV show, The Free Range Cook.

"The chain of goodness begins with healthy soil and finishes with healthy animals, healthy people and healthy environments."

Annabel will share her passionate perspective as one of the keynote speakers at the biannual NZ Society of Soil Science Conference in Napier next week, where the theme is diverse soils - productive landscapes’.

With soil health increasingly at risk in the modern world, the popular foodie says she has learnt through her own experiences just how important it is to be informed and involved.

"I started making my own compost when I was fourteen, and I also studied horticulture at Lincoln University, but for all this, it’s only in recent years that I have started to understand that creating healthy strong soils that will enable the uptake of important nutrients takes a lot more than compost."

"The health of our soils is at the heart of our continued prosperity as a species."

The soil science conference - which runs from December 3 to 6 - will also feature presentations from a range of key researchers, industry leaders, consultants, regulators and land managers on all things soil related.

Society of Soil Science president Dr Dave Houlbrooke says the challenges for food production in New Zealand are greater than ever, and therefore the need for quality soil science has never been greater.

"I think what we will see from this upcoming conference is some fascinating insights into the state of the soils that our food production relies so heavily on, the connection between our soils, farming systems and the products that they deliver, as well as a sense of some the exciting research that will help shape the future of our soil and landscape management."

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