Jill Griffiths


What’s for dinner?

An exploration of the food on the table and the farming that puts it there and what it all means for people who grow food and those who eat it.

Styled photo of the front cover of What's for Dinner? Our food, our choices, our planet. A book by Jill Griffiths.

When my kids ask what’s for dinner, the range of dishes may be different from those that I ate as a child, but not hugely so. It’s a selection that reflects our heritage, influenced by society, by my education and by my own thoughts about food. Humbly, I eat. But still I question. I question the food I choose to put on the table. I question the food system that makes that food available. I question the messages from the health authorities who say eat less fat and the diet books that shout out against carbs. I question the rise of veganism and what it means for farming. I question what it means when we get told to ‘eat less meat’ and whether it really would be better for the planet. I question what it means to have food traded internationally as a commodity, and what ‘food miles’ really mean for food and eating and the planet. I question the use of synthetic chemicals in growing food and whether we would be better off without them or not. I question and question and question. And in so doing, I go looking for deeper, more satisfying answers to the question of what’s for dinner.

Working on this book was an absolute joy. It enabled me to draw upon decades of researching and writing on environmental and agricultural topics, while seeking to make sense of much of the confusing modern discourse about food in our society. I got to travel around and talk to fabulous farmers and researchers to delve into some deep questions about our food and the farming that produces it for us.

This creative non-fiction book is published by Thames and Hudson Australia. Available now through all good book stores or online

Jill-Griffiths-a few acres

Jill Griffiths a few acres 2

Jill Griffiths a few acres 3

Choosing a Place

‘Mountain Magic’ the For Sale ad calls it: ‘Seven pastured acres on the side of a mountain. A passive-solar, rammed-earth and glass house with views over the inlet, the karri forest and to the mountains in the distance. A dam full of marron and trout. An orchard full of fruit; a veggie garden bursting with goodness. Room for a pony or two. Birdsong by day, frog chorus by night.’ It sounds like paradise. Following the long tree-lined drive up to the house, it looks like paradise. It’s just the sort of place I would love; the answer to that long-cherished dream of a few acres in the country. The catch is, this time it’s me selling.

Set in the south-west of Western Australia, Choosing a Place tells a personal story about my longing to live in close contact with the land and nature. In tracing my family’s journey to-ing and fro-ing between city and country, Choosing a Place explores what binds us to a place and how that plays out in daily life. It looks at the interplay of personal desire and family commitment, and the space between dreams and reality, while bringing in elements of a bigger story, the story of the Australian experience of interacting with the land.

This book is a work in progress.

"Jill Griffiths has written specialist science-based articles for our national monthly magazine Farming Ahead for the past five years. Bringing together the unique talents of a trained scientist with superb journalism skills, the work Jill does for us is first-class. Jill manages the hectic timelines of a monthly publication with a calm focus, delivering work without fuss, on time, and manages our clients and collaborators with respect and professionalism."

Ben WhiteEditor, Farming Ahead Magazine

“Jill Griffiths is one of the finest writers I know. Her work is intelligent and philosophical, as well as lyrical. It is infused with the precision that comes from her training as a science writer.”

Rashida MurphyAuthor, The Historian's Daughter, UWA Press

“I have had the pleasure of working with Jill since 2016. Her professionalism and exceptional skills at writing in different styles and bridging the gap between science and practice certainly helped my publication, Horses and People magazine, step up to a higher level.”

Cristina WilkinsEditor, Horses and People magazine
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