Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Renaissance of the ancient world

The Eastern Mediterranean, comprising Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Lebanon and Turkey, is politically one of the most divisive regions in the world. Greece and Turkey have had their historical differences; the tiny island of Cyprus is still divided and Israel and Lebanon’s last altercation happened all too recently disrupting the harvest in the Galilee and Bekaa Valley respectively.

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Do you know your NYC food and drink?

Suffice to say that New York City has a smorgasbord of all types of food from all over the world. You want food from the southern coast of mainland China? Or maybe you’re feeling some British pub food? NYC’s got you covered.

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New York City: the gastronomic melting pot

My father was from New York City, and he made very sure that we were from New York City too. I was born in Queens, and no one in my family ever mentioned the possibility of living anywhere else. Although we were an African American family living in a largely African American neighborhood, when we were kids, we did not eat quite like other Americans.

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Wine and DNA profiling

In ampelographic collections, about ten living plants of each grape variety or clone are kept alive for future studies or plantings, which requires a large amount of time and money. Yet, in every collection we estimate an average of 5% of labelling errors. They can now be identified with DNA profiling and duplicates can be eliminated, thus saving time and money.

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Wine ‘made in China’

Wine ‘made in China’ has gained increased attention around world in recent years. Splitting my time as I do between Europe and China, I have the opportunity to assess the health and potential of the Chinese market with a good degree of objectivity.

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Does the meat industry harm animals?

Should we eat animals? Vegetarians often say “No, because the meat industry harms animals greatly.” They point to the appalling conditions in which animals are raised in factory farms, and the manner in which they are killed. Meat-eaters often reply that this objection is ill-founded because animals owe their very existence to the meat industry.

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To Savor Gotham: book launch

Food lovers with a soft spot for New York City gastronomy congregated to celebrate the upcoming book Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover’s Companion to New York City, edited by Andrew F. Smith.

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Wine and social media

Can Instagram really sell wine? The answer is, yes, though perhaps indirectly. In recent years the advent of social media, considered to be the second stage of the Internet’s evolution – the Web 2.0, has not only created an explosion of user-generated content but also the decline of expert run media. It’s a change that has led to the near demise of print media.

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Biodynamic wine

All vineyards and thus the wines they produce are not created equal. Two Chardonnays grown in neighbouring plots but with slightly differing soils, slopes and sun exposure will taste subtly different, even if both will still taste of Chardonnay too. This unique ‘somewhereness’ is what the French call terroir.

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Why you must stop for coffee and donuts this morning

Sometimes, what your brain wants is not always good for your body. Donuts are a good example. It’s early morning and you’re driving to work after a nice breakfast of black coffee and two eggs, easy-over, with bacon. Yet, you’re still hungry and having difficulty paying attention to the traffic. Why? Your brain is not cooperating because it is not satisfied with that breakfast because it lacked one critical ingredient that your brain urgently needs: sugar.

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The soda industry exposed [infographic]

Although soda companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are recognized around the world – the history, politics, and nutrition of these corporations are not as known. In her latest book, Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning), Marion Nestle exposes the truth behind this multi-billion dollar industry. Check out these hard hitting facts and see how much you actually know about the soda industry.

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On the unstoppable rise of vineyard geology

The relationship between wine and the vineyard earth has long been held as very special, especially in Europe. Tradition has it that back in the Middle Ages the Burgundian monks tasted the soils in order to gauge which ones would give the best tasting wine, and over the centuries this kind of thinking was to become entrenched. The vines were manifestly taking up water from the soil.

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How well do you know the soda industry? [quiz]

The history of soda is full of Norman Rockwell paintings, nostalgic Americana, athletes and other celebrities—so many familiar faces that soda companies seem like the industry next door. But these are the same companies that use municipal water supplies in drought-stricken areas and spend large amounts of money on lobbying. So how much do you actually know about the soda industry? Take the quiz and find out.

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Wine globalization set to continue

The past two decades have seen globalization of the world’s wine markets proceed like never before, in both speed and comprehensiveness. There was a degree of trade expansion in the five decades to World War I but, until the late 20th century, interactions across continents involved little more than the exporting of vine cuttings and traditional production expertise.

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Twelve important figures in the modern history of wine

Many people have influenced the world of wine over the course of the last 400 years. They have changed, developed, and perfected the winemaking process, introduced grapes and viticulture to different continents, and left their mark on an industry that has been with us since the dawn of civilization.

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Wine around the world [infographic]

It’s a multi-million dollar global industry. It’s been with us since the dawn of civilization. And it’s constantly developing. The wine business is an intriguing marker of human activity – economic changes, consumer fashions, globalization, social and technological developments.

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