SHUFood Research Chats are monthly online meetings for Hallam-based SHUFood members. They offer a space to talk all things research: showcase work, provide updates, discuss plans, explore collaborations… You can bring along updates to share, or just come along to see what everyone else is up to – all are welcome! Please email Dr Jordan Beaumont (j.beaumont @ for more information and a calendar invite.

SHUFood Annual Discourse: 24 April, 2-4pm, at Sheffield Hallam University. The event puts multi-disciplinary food researchers into conversation. This year, we’ll be welcoming three fabulous speakers who reflect our three SHUFood themes: Professor Graham Finlayson (University of Leeds) will be talking about sugar replacement and appetite, Dr Megan Blake (University of Sheffield) will be talking about the ontological status of surplus food, and Professor Benedetta Cappellini (Durham University) will be talking about foodcare and mothers’ food practices. PLEASE REGISTER TO ATTEND HERE:

Sweeteners, sugar replacement and appetite – what’s the story?
Professor Graham Finlayson, University of Leeds
Reducing sugar consumption has become a key public health target in the fight to reduce the rising burden of obesity-related metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. It is highlighted by Diabetes UK in their position statement on the use of low or no calorie sweeteners, which calls for high quality human trials that examine the effects of non-nutritive sweetener and sweetness enhancers (S&SE) on appetite, food preferences and energy compensation. The use of S&SE has received a lot of negative attention in 2023, including high profile publications linking S&SE consumption with impaired glycaemic response, toxicological damage to DNA and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. S&SE are also among the NOVA criteria for classification of foods as “Ultra-processed”, which adds another level of controversy to their inclusion in the diet. There is currently a view among the general public that S&SE may adversely affect eating behaviour by increasing hunger, eating rate or leading to cravings for sugar and sweet food. This presentation will examine the science behind S&SE and eating behaviour and present new findings from the SWEET project.

The multiple ontologies of surplus food
Dr Megan Blake, University of Sheffield
Global estimates suggest that approximately one-third of all food produced is wasted (Parfitt et al. 2010, Gustavsson et al. 2011). Alongside this, a myriad of concerns, not least a concern for people who struggle to access food that is safe and healthy, has given rise to a host of organizations operating across the world that seek to move food that otherwise would be wasted from the commercial supply chain to the not-for-profit sector. This short article seeks to lay bare an ontological transition in food’s fundamental qualities as it shifts from commercial food loss and waste to food that feeds people and can support social good. Drawing on Mol’s material multiple ontologies approach (Mol, 2002, 1999, also see Law 2009, Jackson et al. 2019), the article argues that once food has left the commercial supply chain and enters the surplus distribution network, it ceases to be food loss or waste. In the chain of practices that move food along, food becomes a new thing throughout each step, with new affordances for enacting new effects that fundamentally differ from those that arose in the previous step. As such, this article is not concerned so much with how food becomes wasted, but instead with what it becomes and the effects of that becoming as it moves from the commercial supply chain into the non-commercial sphere of surplus redistribution.

Can mums escape intensive feeding? Reflections across different contexts
Professor Benedetta Cappellini, Durham University
In this presentation, I will offer insights into my research on mothering and feeding practices within various social classes and contexts. I will discuss the concept of ‘foodcare’ and its relevance to current discussions surrounding maternal foodwork. Throughout the discussion, I’ll examine how women from different social backgrounds position themselves in response to the prevailing narrative of intensive mothering and intensive feeding. For middle-class mothers, embracing the ideals of intensive feeding often reinforces their classed disposition, although some may opt for downscaling approaches. For working-class mothers, aligning, at least partially, with the intensive feeding discourse can serve as a means of resistance against devaluation, particularly within institutional settings such as schools. Finally, I will explore the agentic sides of mothering practices and how they intersect with class dispositions, concluding with reflections on the dynamic relationship between motherhood and social class boundaries.



Sustainable Food and Drink: An immersive tasting and learning event (December 2023)

‘Picturing Good Food’ ESRC Festival of Social Science event (October 2023)

CHEFS/SWEFS/SHARe PGR and ECR Food Research Seminar (October 2023)

CHEFS Online Research Talks (titles, abstracts and recordings of a series of online research talks, covering the varied terrain of the socio-cultural dimensions of food and drink).

Surplus Waste and Excess Food in Society (SWEFS) Introductory Workshop and Networking Event (April 2023)

English and Welsh Wine Symposium (March 2023)

Digital Innovation and Wine Colloquium (September 2021)

Innovation Opportunities, Digital Storytelling, and the Midlands and North Wine Region webinar (June/July 2021)

Sparkling Symposium (November 2019)

CHEFS launch event (May 2019)