Conversations in Food Studies

Colin R. Anderson (Editor), Jennifer Brady (Editor), Charles Z. Levkoe (Editor), Mustafa Koç (Foreword), Mary A. Beckie (Contributor), Eva A. Bogdan (Contributor), Mark Bomford (Contributor), Jennifer A. Braun (Contributor), Samara Brock (Contributor), Robyn Bunn (Contributor), Kirsten Valentine Cadieux (Contributor), Chantal Clement (Contributor), Anais Detolle (Contributor), Arthur Green (Contributor), Ankit Gupta (Contributor), Robert Jennings (Contributor), Josee Johnson (Contributor), Huddart Kennedy (Contributor), Ahmed Khan (Contributor), Keith Lee (Contributor), Kristen Lowitt (Contributor), Wanda Martin (Contributor), Victoria Millious (Contributor), Phil Mount (Contributor), Erika Mundel (Contributor), Alan Nash (Contributor), Seriy Polyakov (Contributor), Keren Rideout (Contributor), Steffanie Scott (Contributor), Tammara Soma (Contributor), Cathryn Sprague (Contributor), Jennifer Sumner (Contributor), David Szanto (Contributor), Lani Trenouth (Contributor), Penny Van Esterik (Contributor), Matt Ventresca (Contributor), Cassie Wever (Contributor), Carmen Wong (Contributor), Konstantinos Zougris (Contributor)


Few things are as important as the food we eat. Conversations in Food Studies demonstrates the value of interdisciplinary research through the cross-pollination of disciplinary, epistemological, and methodological perspectives. Widely diverse essays, ranging from the meaning of milk, to the bring-your-own-wine movement, to urban household waste, are the product of collaborating teams of interdisciplinary authors. Readers are invited to engage and reflect on the theories and practices underlying some of the most important issues facing the emerging field of food studies today.

Conversations in Food Studies brings to the table thirteen original contributions organized around the themes of representation, governance, disciplinary boundaries, and, finally, learning through food. This collection offers an important and groundbreaking approach to food studies as it examines and reworks the boundaries that have traditionally structured the academy and that underlie much of food studies literature.


“I’d call this book an invitation—the need to come together and collaborate has never been more important—and is only now becoming widely recognized. The book is also about transgressions, about how food blurs boundaries and pushes conventions."

Michael Carolan, Professor, Department of Sociology, Colorado State University

“This lively collection of diverse food studies papers delivers on its promise of boundary-testing interdisciplinarity. The insights presented within its pages reflect an intellectually sophisticated dialogue on food studies in Canada, providing hope for equally sophisticated food system interventions.”

Keith Williams, Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development

About the Authors

Colin R. Anderson is a researcher at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience at Coventry University in the United Kingdom.

Jennifer Brady is an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Human Nutrition at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Charles Z. Levkoe is the Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Food Systems and an assistant professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Lakehead University.

Mustafa Koç is an associate professor at the Department of Sociology at Ryerson University.

Table of Contents


Part 1. Re-presenting Disciplinary Praxis

Ch. 1. Visual Methods for Collaborative Food System Work

Ch. 2. Stirring the Pot: The Performativities of Making Food Texts

Ch. 3. Problematizing Milk: Considering Production Beyond the Food System

Ch. 4. Food Talk: Composing the Agricultural Land Reserve

Part 2. Who, What and How: Governing Food Systems

Ch. 5. Governance Challenges for Local food systems: Emerging Lessons From Agriculture and Fisheries

Ch. 6. The Bottle at the Centre of a Changing Foodscape: “Bring Your Own Wine” in the Plateau-Mont-Royal, Montreal

Ch. 7. Finding Balance: Food Safety, Food Security, and Public Health

Part 3. “Un-doing” Food Studies: A Case for Flexible Fencing

Ch. 8. Evaluating the Cultural Politics of Alternative Food Movements: The Limitations of Cultivating Awareness

Ch. 9. Sustenance: Contested Definitions of the Sustainable Diet

Ch.10. From “Farm to Table” to “Farm to Dump”: Emerging Research on Urban Household Food Waste in the Global South

Ch.11. A Meta-Analysis on the Constitution and Configuration of Alternative Food Networks

Part 4. Scaling Learning in Agri-food Systems

Ch.12. Transitioning Towards Sustainable Food and Farming: Interactions Between Learning and Practice in Community Spaces

Ch.13. Pedagogical Encounters: Critical Food Pedagogy and Transformative Learning in the School and Community