Cows eat grass, don’t they?

15 Jun 2021, 18:30 – 19:30
Venue: The British Academy on Zoom Webinar
Event series: The British Academy Summer Showcase
Price: Free

As a society, we may have been losing touch with how our food is produced, but one thing we all know is that milk comes from cows and cows eat grass, don’t they? In reality, around 20% of herds in the UK are now kept indoors and fed on a diet of grains.

With the dairy industry in flux and indoor farming controversial in the eyes of the public, we draw on farmer interviews to understand how agriculture is changing and what this means for consumers, farmers and cows.

In this event, consider your own views on modern dairy farming, explore the effect different feeds have on the flavour of our milk and cheese, and discover the material culture of a changing industry through the unique collections at the Museum of English Rural Life.

This event will feature a virtual cheese tasting. To join in at home attendees can order the featured cheeses straight to their door from The Courtyard Dairy. Further information will be sent to those who book.

Sign up to watch the event live and have the opportunity to submit your question during the audience Q&A. Join the conversation online too, using the hashtag #ForCuriousMinds.

Dr Ollie Douglas, Museum of English Rural Life
Ned Palmer, The Cheese Tasting Co.
Dr Orla Shortall, Agricultural social scientist, James Hutton Institute
Adam Stead, independent artist; art technician, University of Reading

Orla Shortall is a recipient of a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Award 2017.

Free, booking required

This event will have live subtitles provided by StageTEXT, delivered by MyClearText

This event will take place on Zoom Webinar. The link to join the event will be sent to you in a confirmation email. A recording of this event will be added to our YouTube channel after the event has taken place. If you have any questions about this event please refer to our Public Events FAQsIf your question is not answered, please email

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