Category Archives: food practices

What’s Cooking, January 2024

What’s Cooking is an update on all things related to SHUFood: Sheffield Hallam University’s food research cluster, comprising, CHEFS (exploring the socio-cultural dimensions of food and drink), SWEFS (exploring drivers and interventions to address food waste), and SHARe (exploring appetite regulation and modulation). What’s been cooking since our last edition?

Mark your calendars! On 24 April, 2-5pm, we’re looking forward to our SHUFood Annual Discourse event, which will be open to all. More details to come, but expect to hear some fantastic presentations about food-focused research reflecting our three cluster themes. It’ll be a busy day: 24 April is also the date for the annual Food and Nutrition All Student Conference, which is an internal event. With the theme “FoodZ”, the event will explore what food means to GenZ, with featured speaker Zoe Hunter from Sheffield’s Food Works.

Check out our recent blog posts from our December focus on sustainability and food:

  • Sustainable Food and Drink: An immersive tasting and learning event: On 7 December, SHUFood and the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering (NCEFE) teamed up to deliver a research event as part of Sheffield’s Local Food Action Plan. The event offered members of the public a chance to think differently about sustainable food and drink, testing their knowledge with a sustainability quiz while sampling sustainable wine, whiskey and canapés.
  • Di Dean contribute a blog post, ‘To bin or not to bin, that is the question!’ to help get into the holiday spirit, with a focus on creative ways to use up holiday surplus food and reduce waste and a range of helpful recipe and website suggestions.

We’re excited to see our passion for food further reinforced at Sheffield Hallam with the recent appointment of Tim Smith CBE as the University’s Chair of the Board. Tim is the Chairman of Cranswick plc, a leading supplier in the food sector, and the Co-Chair of the Food and Drink Sector Council. He has been the Chairman of the Government’s Trade and Agriculture Commission, was previously Chief Executive of the UK’s Food Standards Agency, and was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to agriculture, food, and drink trade policy in the 2022 New Year Honours.

Below, we have:

  • updates on recent outputs and activities from across SHUFood;
  • resources and calls for papers;
  • the usual call for contributions and content for the March 2024 edition of What’s Cooking. Our newsletter has moved to alternate mid-months: the deadline for submissions (research news and updates, calls for expression of interest, relevant calls for papers/conference/event announcements) to Google Form by Friday 15 March, 9am.

Cheers,
The SHUFood Team!

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Cluster Updates

Congratulations to John Dunning, who has been appointed as Non-Executive Director, Trading and Enterprise Board, Yorkshire Sculpture Park. John has also recently been active in his role as member of the Academic Board at HRC Hospitality and Culinary Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria, and as external examiner at César Ritz, in Switzerland, drawing on his expertise with regard to wine research and teaching.

Dr Jordan Beaumont and Lucie Nield, on behalf of the Sheffield Hallam Appetite Research (SHARe) cluster, hosted the regional Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) meeting in December. This half-day conference brought together students, academics, researchers and industry partners to explore appetite and eating behaviour research from across the Yorkshire region. Over 70 delegates attended the hybrid event, with presentations from Dr Jo Pearce and Claire Wall (Sheffield Hallam University), Bixuan Yan (University of Sheffield), Clarissa Dakin (University of Leeds), Dr Alice Kininmouth (University of Leeds), and Dr Sundus Mahdi (University of York).

Updates from Sheffield Hallam’s Food and Nutrition subject group:

Dr Jo Pearce and Claire Wall have recently published a paper exploring the energy and nutrient content of school lunches that are provided for children attending school-based nurseries (https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980023002331). Jo and Claire also presented this work at the Sheffield Hallam Appetite Research (SHARe) cluster and Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) co-hosted regional event in December, which explore appetite and eating behaviour research across the Yorkshire region (https://aso.org.uk/event/aso-yorkshire-network-event-appetite-and-eating-behaviours-children-and-adults-insights). The event was organised by Lucie Nield and Dr Jordan Beaumont in collaboration with the ASO regional team.

Dr Rachel Rundle has just submitted a manuscript with Anna Hawkins (Department of the Natural and Built Environment) titled: “School Food Hero and the Battle of the Food Foe: a story of public health policy, power imbalance and potential”. We ask a lot of school food with very little input and funding, expecting to battle evils of the food industry and competing choice. The paper shows that the School Food Hero is one in a team of Avengers fighting the battle!

Lucie Nield presented a workshop around how to implement research using other people (with international perspective) at the Evidence-Based Healthcare conference in Sicily in October.

Dr Caroline Millman and Anna Sorsby have recently been awarded funding from the RIPEN Hub (https://www.ripenhub.co.uk/) to conduct sensory work on products containing chickpeas, which will include measuring satiety and energy intake. Caroline is also doing some very exciting work with vegan cheese – currently looking to at scaling up recipes and processing changes.

Meg Flint is powering through a mountain of data on plant-based meat alternatives. Meg, along with her supervisory team (Jenny Paxman, Dr Simon Bowles and Dr Tony Lynn) are working on a publication around the sensory attributes of plant-based meat alternatives, which includes some exciting lab analysis on nutrient composition to help better compare meat-based and plant-based products.

Lots of successful funding bids, including two recent internal small grants to explore packed lunches in early years settings (Dr Jo Pearce and Claire Wall) and preliminary work on the perceptions of food addiction (Dr Jordan Beaumont and Jenny Paxman). Even more bid application and successes to share soon, in addition to exciting outputs on perceptions of body morphology, adolescent food choice, food insecurity and childhood obesity, behavioural weight management, school food, food safety, food addiction, nutrition and self-regulation of eating, natural green space and psychological wellbeing, non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, and so much more…

Recent publications:

Badjona, A., Bradshaw, R., Millman, C., Howarth, M. & Dubey, B. (2023). Faba Beans Protein as an Unconventional Protein Source for the Food Industry: Processing Influence on Nutritional, Techno-Functionality, and Bioactivity, Food Reviews International. https://doi.org/10.1080/87559129.2023.2245036

Wall, C., & Pearce, J. (2023). Energy and nutrient content of school lunches provided for children attending school-based nurseries: A cross-sectional study. Public Health Nutrition, 1-26. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980023002331

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Resources and Calls for Papers

16th Annual Conference of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE). Lausanne, Switzerland (July 1-5, 2024). Abstract Submission Deadline: January 31, 2024
Abstracts must be 500–1,200 words long. AAWE membership is required for abstract submissions. Information: www.wine-economics.org

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

The next edition of What’s Cooking will be mid-March. Please send content (research updates, calls for expression of interest, relevant calls for papers/conference/event announcements) by 9am Friday 15 March via this Google Form.

SHUFood 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).

Want to stay updated? Follow us on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter): @SHUFood. You can also subscribe to the blog and/or join our Jisc email list: see information on the very bottom of each SHUFood blog page.

 

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Picturing Good Food: Our Winners!

Back in October, SHUFood delivered a public engagement research event as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science: Picturing Good Food. The event explored the ways in which social science contributes to the development of healthier, more sustainable, and more enjoyable food practices. It was also a brilliant excuse to bring together our three research clusters, CHEFS, SWEFS and SHARe to increase awareness of our food-related research.

The event took place in Sheffield’s Winter Gardens, and featured engaging activities for all ages. We were especially delighted to have had so many younger children as eager participants, who enjoyed the activities while learning more about the potential for food to have a positive impact for health and the environment. The activities delved into attitudes towards eating, plant-based foods, and food waste, which have become increasingly popular topics in the last few years.

Children (and not a few adults!!) took part in a series of hands-on activities, including the chance to draw their vision of good food. Whilst we saw outstanding artistic expression from all who participated, we nevertheless set ourselves the difficult task of identifying winners.

Drum roll please…

In the infant category (5-7 years), we extend our congratulations to two winners: Reggie (aged 7) and Diala (aged 8). Both your talents have shown through, and we are extremely impressed by your amazing capabilities on attitudes to eating, plant-based foods, and food waste.

From our junior category (7-11 years), a big congratulations to Annika (aged 10) and Millie (aged 10). Your food drawings are spectacular, and your creativity is amazing!

Congratulations once again on your inspiring drawings on perceptions of food and drink.

We’ve messaged winners (or rather, their adult agents!) on Twitter, but haven’t yet heard back from a few. Please get in touch (j.smith1@shu.ac.uk) to claim your prize.

And a big thank you from the SHUFood team to all of the brilliant Sheffield Hallam University Food and Nutrition Student Champions who helped with the event, and Kayleigh Cope for drafting this blog!

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Filed under appetite, CHEFS, Diet and health, eating behaviour, food practices, food waste, research, SHARe Sheffield Hallam Appetite Research, sustainability, SWEFS Surplus Waste and Excess Food in Society, Uncategorized

To bin or not to bin, that is the question!

Professor Dianne Dean is Professor of Consumption Values and Practices, in Sheffield Business School. Di and colleague Dr Pallavi Singh, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, lead the SHUFood SWEFS (Surplus, Waste and Excess Food in Society) cluster. Below, Di helps to get into the holiday spirit with some tips on reducing food waste. 

Photo by Libby Penner on Unsplash

As we are approach holiday and celebratory events (at whatever time of year!), we encounter the perennial problem on what to do with what’s left of the food we have bought (just in case we need…more cheese, fruit, cream, drinks, sausage meat, etc., etc.). For example, many of us face the question, post-Christmas, of what to do with leftovers once we’ve had the ‘grand reveal’ (as they say in the cookery magazines!) of the succulent turkey and all the trimmings.

Rather than just ignore what is in the fridge and pretending it isn’t there (or waiting until it grows teeth and tries to jump out and get you!), we can look to try to save some of the food from going to landfill, biowaste dumps or wherever your local council deals with food waste. Plus, it saves money!!

Let’s save those councils some work (and again money) by thinking creatively about how we can use up the stuff in the fridge. Turkey curry is often the go-to recipe, but there are many other exciting and tasty options. For some, it might be preferable to have something quick to prepare, after the exhausting work that goes into making Christmas such a memorable event (well, that’s the plan). For others, they might want to use up leftovers in a more creative way, honing their skills as they dream of appearing on MasterChef.

Below are a few recipes that offer ideas for using up surplus food, reducing food waste, and helping the planet—and saving money into the bargain.

Some may want warming comfort food during the frequently miserable cold January:

Others may be looking for healthier options to help with new year’s resolutions:

There are also a number of websites that provide tasty leftover recipe ideas, including:

  • Respect Food is an excellent website that categorises ingredients alphabetically so you can easily find a recipe for almost any type of leftover food.
  • Good Food Christmas Leftover recipes has a collection of recipes designed to use up food from the Christmas period, from this well-known cookery magazine.
  • Great British Chefs: the website provides an innovative approach to using up surplus food, including some really nice recipes from some of the top chefs in the country.

I hope these recipes provide some inspiration for using up surplus food and reducing waste. More generally, Pallavi and I are very keen to promote the reduction of food waste in households. We have recently finished a project with Sheffield City Council as they trialled a new household food waste collection service. After interviewing a number of people in the pilot areas, we found that there was pride in using the new bin correctly and placing it out for collection. We also found that many people were actively seeking to reduce waste and were disappointed when the trial period was completed. We hope the research we conducted will help SCC provide a clean and efficient system for collecting food waste, and maximise its value.

Finally, we would like to wish you a very merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.  Enjoy your cooking!

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What’s Cooking, May 2023

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?

This spring has witnessed a flurry of activity for all three of our clusters: a great reminder of the diversity of food-related research (and our love of acronyms) here at Sheffield Hallam University:

We’re also excited to expand the CHEFS ‘paired papers’ format with two upcoming events organised by SWEFS and SHARe:

  • 11 May, 3-4.30 on Zoom: SWEFS paired papers session on ‘Food Waste and Working with Vulnerable Participants’ (titles, abstracts on the ‘research talks’ page)
  • 13 June, 3-4.30 on Zoom: SHARe paired papers session on ‘Exploring Human Appetite and Eating Behaviour’ (titles, abstracts on the ‘research talks’ page)

Below, we have:

  • updates on recent activities (including write-ups of the various CHEFS, SWEFS and SHARe events);
  • resources/calls for papers/conference announcements (Sheffield Food Partnership (ShefFood) are hosting the launch of the Local Food Action Plan for Sheffield on Thursday 15 June).
  • the usual call for contributions and content for the July 2023 edition of What’s Cooking.

Cheers,
Jen

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Recent CHEFS Activities

In March, Jenny Paxman and Dr Jordan Beaumont organised and led a Sheffield Hallam Appetite REsearch (SHARe) sub-cluster ‘Complete and Finish’ event. Attendees included established and new SHARe members, both staff and students, who have a keen interest in eating behaviours, the hedonics of food and feeding, obesity and weight management or sensory analysis. The purpose of the event was to Shape, Sharpen and SHARe appetite-related research ideas. Getting to know others who are active in our field is a brilliant way to progress any project. For SHARe, the event helped to identify the overarching state of current projects, and to reflect on members orientations as individuals and as researchers. A full write-up of the event, including the Shape, Sharpen and SHARe diagnostic, is available here.

Also in March: CHEFS hosted the English and Welsh Wine Symposium. Co-organisers Professor Jennifer Smith Maguire and Dr John Dunning welcomed over 50 academics and industry professionals, including wine makers, winery owners, wine retailers and wine writers, and hospitality and retail professionals. The half day event explored the current context and future directions of the English and Welsh wine industry. There were two keynote presentations from Masters of Wine: Mr Simon Thorpe, CEO of WineGB, ‘WineGB and its role supporting an emerging wine region;’ Professor Steve Charters, Burgundy School of Wine and Spirits Business, ‘PDOs and Terroir: The Complexities of Wine and Place.‘ In addition, the afternoon included a tutored tasting of English and Welsh wines, a panel discussion featuring a cross-section of industry perspectives, and a networking reception featuring English sparkling wines, with all wines generously selected and donated by WineGB. A full write-up of the event, with photos and links to the keynote presentations, is available here.

In April, the SWEFS (Surplus, Waste and Excess Food in Society) Research Sub-Cluster, co-led by Dr Pallavi Singh and Prof Dianne Dean, organised their introductory workshop and networking event. The workshop brought together 34 colleagues from BTE and National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering (NCEFE) together to discuss current research on Food Waste and develop interdisciplinary collaborations for impact-oriented research on the Global Issue of Food Waste in the Society. Prof Dianne Dean, Dr Pallavi Singh, and Dr Scott Jones shared their work with Sheffield City Council on household food waste collection service, Prof Martin Howarth discussed the current work done by NCEFE, and SWEFS current Sheffield Business School PhD students, Nikita Marie Bridgeman and Ufuoma Arangebi, presented their respective projects. To know more about SWEFS’s work and join the TEAMS channel, please contact Dr Pallavi Singh on p.singh@shu.ac.uk.  A write-up of the event, with photos from presentations, is available here.

Check out Gareth Robert’s latest instalment of his food PhD blog, which includes a tour of recent food sustainability events, and an emerging ‘rich picture’ of Gareth’s PhD on Yorkshire FFE: Food & Farming Events.

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Resources/call for papers/conference announcements

Local Food Action Plan Launch
Date and time: Thu, 15 Jun 2023 18:00 – 20:30 BST
Location: Victoria Hall Norfolk Street Sheffield City Centre S1 2JB
The Sheffield Food Partnership (ShefFood) are hosting the launch of the Local Food Action Plan for Sheffield on Thursday 15 June. ShefFood have co-created the action plan with almost 100 organisations in the city and in collaboration with FixOurFood through a series of 12 workshops to write and co-develop the action plan, which addresses 5 key pillars of a good local food system: food provision, food production, the food economy, health and wellbeing, and the good food movement. The action plan sets out specific commitments to action from diverse organisations across the city; over the next 7 years, these actions will take Sheffield’s food system on a journey to becoming fairer and more sustainable for people and planet. The launch event is free to attend (the community meal is on a pay-as-you-feel basis) and everyone is welcome, but spaces are limited so please do register for your free ticket via Eventbrite. For questions, please get in touch at info@sheffood.org.uk

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

The next edition of What’s Cooking will be July 2023. Please send content (research updates, calls for expression of interest, relevant calls for papers/conference/event announcements) to j.smith1@shu.ac.uk by 29 June.

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).

Want to stay updated? Follow us on Twitter (@SHU_CHEFS), subscribe to the blog and/or join our Jisc email list: see information on the very bottom of each CHEFS webpage.

 

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Filed under appetite, CHEFS, eating behaviour, food practices, food waste, research, SHARe Sheffield Hallam Appetite Research, sustainability, SWEFS Surplus Waste and Excess Food in Society, What's Cooking?, wine

SWEFS Food Waste Event

title slide for the eventOn 25 April, the SWEFS (Surplus, Waste and Excess Food in Society) Research Sub-Cluster, co-led by Dr Pallavi Singh and Professor Dianne Dean, held their introductory workshop and networking event. The workshop brought together 34 colleagues from BTE and National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering (NCEFE) together to discuss current research on food waste and develop interdisciplinary collaborations for impact-oriented research on the global issue of Food Waste in the Society.

Professor Dianne Dean, Dr Pallavi Singh, and Dr Scott Jones shared their work with Sheffield City Council on household food waste collection service.

Photo of 3 people making a presentation

Professor Martin Howarth discussed the current work done by NCEFE.

photo of someone giving a presentation

SWEFS current Sheffield Business School PhD students, Nikita Marie Bridgeman and Ufuoma Arangebi, presented their respective projects.

photo of two people giving a presentation

Finally, participants took part in small group roundtable discussions to identify current and future potential food waste related projects.

people sitting around a table discussing and writing

 

To know more about SWEFS’s work and join the TEAMS channel, please contact Dr Pallavi Singh on p.singh@shu.ac.uk.

 

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What’s Cooking, September 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 research blog post, in which Jo Pearce offers her reflections on a PhD by published work. Jo also gives us a whistle stop tour of her research on how the promotion of healthy eating habits and dietary guidelines can impact on the health outcomes of women and children.

The next instalment of our online research talk series is coming up in October: ‘Children’s Food, Feeding and Inequalities’ will feature research presentations from Irmak Karademir Hazir and Filippo Oncini. The date will be confirmed shortly, with information distributed via the JISC list and our Twitter account (be sure to follow us: @SHU_CHEFS). Meanwhile, 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!

After a summer break, our virtual research roundtables are back! The roundtables are an informal chance to check in, share updates, trade suggestions, ask questions and bounce ideas around. No prep needed—just a chance to meet up and talk CHEFS for an hour:

  • Friday 16 September, 3.30-4.30pm
  • Thursday 17 November, 4-5pm
  • Wednesday 14 December, 4-5pm

Research roundtable meeting invites (with Zoom link and meeting password) will be sent out shortly via the CHEFS JISC list. Not joined the JISC list yet? See information on the very bottom of each CHEFS webpage. In the meantime, please email me directly (j.smith1@shu.ac.uk) if you’d like me to forward a meeting invite.

Below, we have:

  • updates on recent CHEFS members’ activities (including a recent publication on baby-led weaning, research on household food waste in collaboration with Sheffield City Council—with a call for participants!, and reflections on the recent Nutrition Society Summer Conference);
  • resources/calls for papers/conference announcements (various calls for papers in relation to food/drink and sustainability, craft, time, communication);
  • the usual call for contributions and content for the November 2022 edition of What’s Cooking.

Cheers,
Jen

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Recent CHEFS Activities

Jo Pearce and Rachel Rundle have had their latest paper on baby-led weaning (BLW) published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. In ‘Baby-led weaning: A thematic analysis of comments made by parents using online parenting forums,’ they report on an interpretive thematic analysis of messages and responses posted on three UK parenting forums, relating to complementary feeding. The analysis found that the characterisation of BLW by parents was varied but they described BLW having an ethos which included trusting the baby, role modelling, developing confidence with food and sharing the social aspects of mealtimes. BLW also offered an alternative to those actively seeking something different or a default for those whose baby refused purees or spoon feeding. BLW felt like a natural progression, with low parental effort for some, and a source of anxiety, stress, choking risk and mess for others. Many parents struggled to find a process (what to eat and when) within BLW, that they could follow. Finger foods were used synonymously with BLW but many mixed/blurred aspects of both TW and BLW. The authors conclude that the interpretation of BLW varies considerably between parents and a broader definition of BLW may be required, along with guidance on the process and purpose of BLW. 

Dianne Dean, Pallavi Singh, Scott Jones, and Nikita-Marie Bridgeman, all from Sheffield Business School, are working with Sheffield City Council to examine household food waste. Flats and households in four trial areas in Sheffield have been selected by Sheffield City Council to take part in a weekly food waste recycling trail, taking place over the next three months. If you live in a trial area (Woodseats/Meersbrook/Norton Lees/Chapeltown/Ecclesfield/Burncross/ Arbourthorne/Gleadless Valley/Darnall) you may have been given a food caddy to collect food waste in, roll of liners for the caddy and an outside food waste bin. The research team are seeking participants that live in one of the four trial areas and are taking part in the Sheffield City Council food waste trial scheme. The research team are interested in better understanding the process of food disposal in the household and data will be collected by means of diaries and semi-structured interviews. If you are in the Sheffield City Council food waste trial scheme, and would like to participate in the research project, please email Professor Dianne Dean (Dianne.Dean@shu.ac.uk) or Dr Pallavi Singh (p.singh@shu.ac.uk).

Jenny Paxman reflected on the Nutrition Society Summer Conference, which took place in July in Sheffield, with a focus on ‘Food and Nutrition: Pathways to a Sustainable Future.’ The Scientific Programme Organisers comprised Jenny and Lucie Nield from Sheffield Hallam University, and Liz Williams and Samantha Caton from the University of Sheffield, and the conference was a collaborative endeavour with teams from Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Sheffield and Sheffield City Council working together throughout. Delegates were effusive in their praise of everything from the main venue at SHU, to the social activities and of course the scientific programme! We welcomed speakers from all over the world, and it was wonderful to reconnect with colleagues and collaborators.

Jennifer Smith Maguire was interviewed by WineLand Magazine (which targets South African wine industry stakeholders) about her collaborative research on wine farmworker heritage stories; the article is due out in this month’s ‘heritage’ issue. Jen will also be presenting ‘Vina aperta and the quest for interconnectedness’ as a keynote at the online symposium ‘Towards an Eliasian Understanding of Food in the 21st Century’, organised by the University of Huddersfield on 7 September. Drawing on the work of Norbert Elias, the talk considers what we might learn about wine, and food more generally, by contrasting the concepts of vinum clausum (a view of wine as a static object, the consumption of which is reducible to discrete variables) and vina aperta (a view of wine as a processual ‘thing,’ the accomplishment of which is fundamentally bound up with the problems of humans’ interdependence with the natural world, others, and with themselves). The paper suggests that foregrounding the processual, interdependent character of wine provides valuable insights into what drives some producers and consumers to pursue alternative market relations that quench a thirst for interconnectedness, while offering potential routes toward more sustainable production and consumption.

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Resources/call for papers/conference announcements

Call for papers: 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.

Call for papers: XX ISA World Congress of Sociology- Economic Sociology of Craftsmanship. Deadline 30 September.
Andrey Sgorla is coordinating a session on the Economic Sociology of Craftsmanship at the XX ISA World Congress of Sociology. This will be presented in English and Spanish and will take place from June 25th- July 1st 2023 in Melbourne, Australia.  The deadline for authors to submit their abstracts is September 30th 2022 at 24:00 GMT. More information available at Session: Economic Sociology of Craftsmanship (XX ISA World Congress of Sociology (June 25-July 1, 2023)) (confex.com). Any questions about the session or call for papers can be sent to Andrey at afsgorla@gmail.com.

Call for chapters: time and alcohol. Deadline 4 November.
‘It’s Five O’clock Somewhere’: Time, Alcohol, and Other Beverages. Dr Peter Howland is looking for 10-12 chapters which critically explore the history and/or ethnographies of time and the role that it plays in the production, exchange and consumption of drinks and beverages (of any form) to be included in an edited volume. All disciplinary perspectives are welcome and it is hoped that this publication will be included in Routledge’s Critical Beverage Studies series. If you would like to apply to be included in this proposal, please email your name, institutional details, a proposed paper title and an abstract (200-500 words) to p.j.howland@massey.ac.nz. The deadline for applications is 4th November 2022.

Call for papers: Third International Conference on Food and Communication. Deadline TBC (details due in September).
The third conference on Food and Communication brings together researchers who work on the intersection of food and communication. The next one will be held in Örebro, Sweden, 13 – 15th September 2023 and the call for papers will be announced soon in September 2022. More information available at:  Food & Communication Conference – Food & Communication Conference (foodcommunication.net) and you can see some of the previous conference events on Twitter via the hashtag #foodcommunicationconf

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Call for content for the next edition of What’s Cooking
The next edition of What’s Cooking will be November 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 October.

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).

Want to stay updated? Follow us on Twitter (@SHU_CHEFS), subscribe to the blog and/or join our Jisc email list: see information on the very bottom of each CHEFS webpage.

 

 

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Time poverty and healthy eating – reflections from research with British South Asian mothers

Image of a woman at an outdoor food market

Photo credit: Punita Chowbey

Research shows demands of work have an impact on food choices and create challenges for balancing family values such as closeness and personal achievement (Devine et al. 2006). What happens when one adds additional layers of ethnicity and migration into the picture? To find out, I spoke to 35 women from Gujarati and Pakistani background from four groups: homemaker (both high-income and low-income); professional/managerial; skilled/clerical/assistant; and manual employment. These mothers are both first and second-generation migrants with dependent children.

I asked what women meant by eating healthily, their healthy eating practices and their experiences of healthy eating interventions/messages. There was a marked contrast between the narratives of two groups of women in particular: high-income professional women and low-income homemakers. There were a lot of differences in their understanding/definition of healthy eating. And yet, there was little difference in their eating practices. Surprisingly, a subset of relatively time-rich but income-poor mothers reported eating more healthily than high income—but time poor—mothers.

Professional mothers often provided an expansive account of what they meant by healthy eating, which encompassed not only food categories but quality of food, manners, cuisine, and rules around eating. Their narratives suggested the symbolic value of healthy eating practices in their households, such as ideals of equality, egalitarian gender roles, intimacy between couples, and parental ideologies. For example, for some curry symbolised not only traditional ways of eating but also labour and a lack of taste for healthy and international food. Professional mothers often made references to local, fresh and organic food. Rohini, a mother from British Gujarati background and professionally employed, stated:

Probably more expensive because you’re buying fresh stuff and fresh stuff is perishable and it costs, whereas you can get a vegetarian lasagne for 99p frozen from the Tesco counter, do you see what I mean?

In contrast, low-income homemakers and those in skilled work provided a brief description of healthy eating that was often limited to the consumption of fruit and vegetables and a reduction in salt and oil.

However, professional mothers’ ability to articulate an expansive discourse about eating healthily did not necessarily translate into healthy cooking and eating practices. Time appeared to be a major factor for some high earners. As a sub-group, some mothers in demanding professions (such as consultants working in hospitals, senior academics and bankers) often reported not being able to eat healthily due to time constraints. Some mothers in highly paid employment talked of cooking as something that had to be fitted in around their work.

Kishwar, a first-generation Pakistani professional in a very demanding job, was often unable to find time to cook food for her children:

I have only recently started making chapatti, otherwise, we used to have Naan [shop bought] or pita bread. Because, my son loves chapatti, so, I have started kneading flour at home, however the chapatti turns out, I am getting better at it. So, I make these things, when I am off, or when I am feeling energetic enough to do it, around the weekend and stuff.

While working mothers from all occupational backgrounds talked about ways of eating healthily and about how work commitments often got in the way, this view was expressed especially frequently by professional mothers. Muskan, a first-generation Pakistani professional, expressed her inability to spend time in the kitchen as follows:

Last week has been a disaster, so I’m not sure if that’s a good week to talk about… but generally, yeah we would prefer that we eat food cooked at home, but then what affects is what work you are doing, how much time do you have, that kind of thing … if I am at work , when I come back at 6.30-7 in the evening , so then do I have the capacity to stand and cook, that tends to affect a bit.

Muskan further suggests the need for her to work longer hours than others to be accepted and respected due to being from a minority ethnic background.

Professional mothers often cited time as a major constraint in eating healthily, whereas low-income mothers made more references to the cost of healthy eating. They felt it was cheaper to eat in an ‘Asian way’ on a budget as this makes food last longer, and it is economical to cook one big pot for many people. Soha, a second-generation British Pakistani low-income homemaker married to a first-generation Pakistani manual worker, reported:

Healthy food is a waste of money as well isn’t it? Tuna is healthy, it’s only going to fill you up two sandwiches, yeah, and how expensive are three packets of tuna, £4?  How many sandwiches can you make? How many big families can you have?  I’ve got six people in my property living. If it’s £4 I buy £2 or £3 chicken, make a curry and fill everybody up for two days, add a few potatoes in it. I show you a 60p curry, Lehsuni curry.

Amira, a British Pakistani university educated mother in a skilled employment also reported that she only bought vegetables when they are on offer because of the cost involved, otherwise she buys from a van man who provides reasonably priced fruits and vegetables:

Healthy eating is expensive …I mean sometimes, I tend to buy fruits and vegetables [from superstores] if there is a deal …but it is expensive, we have, the vegetable and fruit van comes every Thursday, and he is quite reasonable …, so I tend to buy my fruit and vegetables from him.

Many low-income homemaker mothers spoke of several strategies they adopted to feed their family healthy meals, such as shopping around for cheaper food items, buying items on offer, cooking in bulk, and choosing dishes that are nutritious but filling and cheap.

Although time was a constraint for all mothers, low-income homemakers were able to prioritise shopping and cooking healthy meals for their family despite budgetary constraints. They often referred to their culinary skills and creativity in cooking healthy meals on a budget. This suggests a need for reconsideration of cultural capital (Bourdieu 1984; Smith Maguire 2016) in healthy cooking in context of social class and ethnicity. Many mothers from both Gujarati and Pakistani backgrounds were able to cook and eat healthily because they knew how to purchase cheap and fresh food for example from a van man or food market as opposed to super store and buying groceries in bulk. They had extensive knowledge of various low budget and versatile recipes and ways to cook from scratch, and had developed relatively advanced cooking skills over the years.

Conversely, those employed in demanding professions often made reference to long working hours and a lack of energy and time for cooking. Time is often an issue with those working long hours and time scarcity has implications for food practices as shown with other populations (Blake et al. 2011). However, for the respondents in my research, there were the additional pressures of being a woman and from a racial minority, occupying higher positions. This is not surprising considering the gendered and ethnic labour market inequalities in the UK (Dale & Ahmed 2011).

This blog is based on a book chapter Healthy Eating, Social Class and Ethnicity: Exploring the Food Practices of South Asian Mothers. I’ve written about my research in The Conversation, in academic journals, and in policy papers, and shared insights from my research through wider media engagement.

Dr Punita Chowbey is a Research Fellow at the college of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences, Sheffield Hallam University. Taking a social justice and intersectional approach, she is interested in gender and ethnic inequalities in health and wellbeing. Her recent projects focus on: a) household food practices and she has published on healthy eating and ethnicity, social class and food practices, gender and micropolitics of food, mothering and food allergies; b.) economic justice, including publications on economic abuse patterns and strategies, employment, masculinities and violence. She is currently working on her book on gender and economic justice. She engages with media on a regular basis including The Conversation, BBC World Service, and BBC Asian Network.

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