What’s Cooking, July 2022

What’s Cooking is an update on all things related to CHEFS: the Culture, Health, Environment, Food and Society research cluster at Sheffield Hallam University. What’s been cooking since our last edition?

Check out our most recent blogs, featuring Megan Flint’s prize-winning e-poster, outlining her PhD research on Plant-based convenience foods: Consumer perceptions, nutrient profile and satiety, and Jennifer Smith Maguire’s account of a recent trip to South Africa as part of research on wine farmworker heritage stories.

The latest instalment of our online research talk series was just yesterday, with ‘paired papers’ focused on craft drink and food. Thomas Thurnell-Read shared his research on craft gin distillers and the themes of biography and kinship and craft gin, and Belinda Zakrzewska presented her co-authored work on authenticity, coloniality and Peruvian cuisine. A recording of the session is now available on our ‘past talks’ webpage. Looking ahead, the next ‘paired papers’ session will be in October (date TBC) on ‘Children’s Food, Feeding and Inequalities’ featuring research presentations from Irmak Karademir Hazir and Filippo Oncini. Full details (including full abstracts and the Zoom joining link) are available on our Online Research Talks page. The online talks are open to all, both local and global, students and staff, practitioners and public. Please feel free to share with your networks—all welcome!

If you’re around Sheffield, it’s not too late to register to attend the Nutrition Society summer conference, which Sheffield Hallam University and University of Sheffield are delighted to be hosting 12-15 July, with support from Sheffield City Council. The conference theme is Pathways to Sustainability. Registration deadline is 5 July. Conference information and registration link available here.

Below, we have:

  • updates on recent CHEFS members’ activities (a bumper crop of updates!);
  • resources/calls for papers/conference announcements (including a call for papers for a special issue on food and sustainability);
  • the usual call for contributions and content for the September 2022 edition of What’s Cooking.



Recent CHEFS Activities

Sheffield Business School and the Business, Technology, and Engineering College of Sheffield Hallam University recently hosted a PGR and ECR Conference on the theme ‘Does Impact Matter?‘ Congratulations to the two food-focused, joint winners of the conference prize for the best e-poster presentation! Ufuoma Arangebi’s poster examined ‘Intergenerational cross-cultural attitudes towards household food waste’ and Megan Flint’s poster examined ‘Plant-based convenience foods: Consumer perceptions, nutrient profile and satiety.’ Congratulations, Ufumuo and Megan! You can read more about Megan’s research, and see the full poster in her recent CHEFS blog.

Jo Pearce, senior lecturer in Nutrition, successfully defended her PhD by publication, ‘Teachable moments in the promotion of healthy eating habits in pregnancy and early childhood’, in June. Jo’s PhD engages with issues of how nutritional exposures during pregnancy, infancy and early childhood can impact on both the short-term and long-term health outcomes of children. Pregnancy has often been described as a ‘teachable moment’, where women may have increased motivation to change their dietary and other health behaviours. Other teachable moments exist whenever families make choices around nutrition, such as breast or formula feeding, the introduction of solid foods and what to eat at home or at school. The thesis considers whether the promotion of healthy eating habits and adherence to dietary guidelines during these teachable moments, have the potential to improve the health outcomes of women and children. The thesis was comprised of eight papers: two explored women’s feelings about their weight, diet, nutrition, and physical activity (PA) during pregnancy; two were systematic reviews and found some limited evidence that very early introduction of solid foods (≤ 4 months) and high intakes of protein in infancy may contribute to overweight and obesity risk later in childhood; two further papers explored baby-led weaning (BLW) and found understanding of and adherence to the characteristics of BLW varied considerably amongst parents reporting using the method; a final paper explored why some families choose not to take universal infant free school meals. Overall, the research highlights that health promotion activity should focus on the long-term healthy eating habits of women as the gatekeepers of the family diet, whilst recognising the challenges that women face during and following pregnancy. Congratulations Dr Pearce! 

Caroline Westwood was recently at the annual ESRS (European Society for Rural Sociology) conference. The main conference theme was rural entrepreneurship, with talks covering a range of issues including agri-food entrepreneurship in small, rural SMEs, and connections between food, farming, rural tourism and diversification. Caroline presented the paper, ‘Rural and Agricultural Shows: New Strategies for Supporting Entrepreneurs,’ which focuses on the impacts that covid has had on exhibitors at these events. The conference presentation began by looking at attendees’ pre-pandemic experiences at these traditional events, followed by data collected from exhibitors who had attended virtual agricultural shows in 2020 during the pandemic, with a focus on how they have adapted their businesses since. This was in collaboration with Professor Gary Bosworth from Northumbria University who specialises in rural entrepreneurship. Caroline and Gary are planning future collaborations to extend this initial study.

Lucie Nield is currently working with adolescents from low SES groups to investigate food choice in adolescents. We have used a Photovoice methodology and have developed a number of research themes from the qualitative data. Next steps: working with the adolescents on how we can use the information to advocate for a change that they would like to see—namely changes to school lunches! Lucie is also working with SHU colleagues on two other research areas: with Jereme Snook, she is carrying out a review of the qualitative literature around lived experience of obesity and discrimination in all areas of life (e.g., education, healthcare, employment) and how this links with inequality; with Steven Marshall, Michael Thelwell and Simon Choppin, Lucie is also looking at new ways to measure people’s body shape and size. The team are currently recruiting for participants. Please use this link to see the Participant Information Sheet and questionnaire.

Lucie will also be presenting research findings at the People, Place and Policy Conference at Sheffield Hallam University on 6 July, from on a study investigating the lived experience of people who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus in Sheffield. The research examines their experiences of the health service, dietary and lifestyle change with an aim of using the acquired knowledge to feed into service redesign and development. It has been coproduced by Community, Voluntary and Social Enterprise organisations and investigates their potential role and strengths in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

John Dunning was recently in Crete for the ICOT (International Conference on Tourism) conference. John gave a presentation, ‘Wine service in restaurants: changing trends and the impact on the professional wine steward.’ Additionally, John was a participant in the Panel Discussion focused on ‘Wine tourism in Crete: Strengthening the industry-research nexus.’ The panel consisted of representatives of local government, winemaking, sommeliers, the hospitality sector, and academia—a fantastic mix!

John was also busy with travel and presentations in May. In early May, he was at the HRC Culinary Academy in Sofia Bulgaria, regarded as one of the best culinary schools in Eastern Europe. John delivered a presentation on food and culinary trends, carried out some professional development in their training restaurant, had discussions about curriculum, and met with hospitality employers in Sofia. Later in the month, John was at the 2022 CHME (Council for Hospitality Management Education) Conference in Edinburgh, where he presented a paper co-authored with Daniel Ma: ‘Wine consumer behaviour and attitudes: A focus on Australian Chardonnay.’

Jennifer Smith Maguire recently finished off her sabbatical period with a research trip to the Cape Wine Lands, South Africa: read about it in her recent CHEFS blog post. Jen is looking forward to September, when she’ll be delivering one of the keynote presentations (a taste of the wine book she’s been working on while on sabbatical!) at ‘Towards an Eliasian Understanding of Food in the 21st Century’, a one-day conference at the University of Huddersfield.


Resources/call for papers/conference announcements

Call for papers for a special issue on Food and Sustainability. Deadline 30 September.
The journal Sustainability (impact factor: 3.251) will feature a special issue on the topic of ‘Food and Sustainability’. This Special Issue will focus broadly on how the food and drink industry can meet the challenge of embedding sustainability into its business strategies and operations as well as nudging consumers towards making more sustainable food choices. Many food businesses today are under pressure to demonstrate how their products and services are making a positive contribution towards society. However, one of the biggest challenges for businesses is progressing sustainability initiatives from an added benefit view to an integrated, value-driven to business approach. Deadline for submission is 30 September 2022. Full details here.

Eat Smart Sheffield: check out their summer 2022 newsletter

Food-focused teaching resources: Food and Drink Federation recorded webinars
Changing Consumer Habits: Levercliff, category consultants to the food and drink industry, have tracked consumer behaviour since March 2020. The research findings will reveal how consumer habits are evolving – what is important to them? What does the future look like?

The future of food & what it means for manufacturers: Natasha Catchpole and Ben Hughes from CFC will be discussing how manufacturers are responding to the huge consumer demand for meat free, vegan and vegetarian alternatives.


Call for content for the next edition of What’s Cooking

The next edition of What’s Cooking will be September 2022. Please send content (research updates, calls for expression of interest, relevant calls for papers/conference/event announcements) to j.smith1@shu.ac.uk by 31 August.

CHEFS blog

Interested in writing a blog post? These are usually 800-1200 words and written for a general audience in an informal style. Blogs can revisit work you’ve already done (e.g., highlighting a recent output/publication); discuss research or research-related activities (teaching, public engagement, etc.) that you are working on; offer your informed take on contemporary food/drink issues or policy; provide a profile on your research. If you’d like to contribute a piece, please get in touch with Jen (j.smith1@shu.ac.uk).

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