PGR/ECR Food Research Workshop

We were delighted to host a food research event on 18 October 2023, focusing on PGRs and ECRs with research that spanned our cluster domains.

We started with a great talk from SBS PhD Tutor Ellen Bennett on CV building, which included sage advice on finding the right balance between opportunities to get involved and broaden your networks, and other commitments (including your PhD!), well-being, home-life balance, and so on. Ellen also provided helpful sign-posts to who to speak to and ways to get involved.

We then had three research presentations with some lively Q&A, featuring CHEFS visiting PhD student Andrey Sgorla, SWEFS GTA PhD student Ufuoma Arangebi, and SHARe ECR lecturer Jordan Beaumont. Full titles and abstracts below.

Thanks to everyone who joined in!

Andrey Sgorla
Entrepreneurship fermented in the bottle: The artisan brewer: authenticity, passion and connection to the territory
The growth of craft breweries boosts entrepreneurship, values manual work, and strengthens the local economy. The narratives of master brewers highlight the authenticity of the products, the passion for the work, and the production techniques, emphasizing the origin of the ingredients and the connection with their places of production, conferring uniqueness and quality. Consumers’ growing interest in high-quality beers and unique flavors drives beer tourism and integration into gastronomy. The constant search for new flavors drives the brewing sector. The expansion of hop plantations makes it possible to produce exclusive recipes, emphasizing local identity, fostering innovation in production processes, and creating new styles. At the same time, breweries are adopting sustainable practices, considering raw materials, ingredients, energy, packaging, and waste management, with a view to interconnectedness and environmental responsibility.

Ufuoma Arangebi
Intergenerational Cross-Cultural Attitudes Towards Household Food Waste
Food waste has significant social, economic, and environmental implications. The UN has identified curbing waste across the global food supply chain as key to achieving SDG12 which focuses on sustainable food production and consumption. Households are the largest producers, accounting for nearly 50% of the total food waste generated annually, particularly in developed countries. Consequently, understanding attitudes and behaviours towards HFW has become necessary given the significance of curbing food waste in the drive towards global sustainability. This research explores how these attitudes and behaviours towards household food waste are formed through the mechanism of intergenerational transmission and shaped by cultural context by examining the familial food practices of two different cultural settings in Nigerian and British households.

Jordan Beaumont
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in those with mild-to-moderate binge eating behaviour
The abundance of food cues in the environment and the wide availability and low cost of energy-dense, palatable foods are leading contributors to the growing levels of obesity in most societies. These foods are associated with a pleasure response, which increases their consumption and potentiates energy dysregulation by overriding homeostatic mechanisms. Individuals who present with binge eating behaviour, characterised by recurrent episodes of excessive consumption, appear to be hyper-responsive to these food cues and the rewarding aspects of food. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) appears an effective modulator of appetite control in people at risk of overconsumption, however findings are inconsistent. This research aimed to further understand the potential effects of tDCS, and specifically the eating behaviour trait-dependent effect stimulation.

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What’s Cooking, September 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?

CHEFS, SWEFS, and SHARe, our SHU sister food-focused research clusters, are teaming up to deliver an event in the 2023 ESRC Festival of Social Science!

On Wednesday 25 October, 1-2.30 (location TBC), join us for ‘How do people ‘think and do’ food?: Exploring the role of social science research in building healthier, more sustainable, and more enjoyable food practices.’ The event explores the different ways in which people ‘think and do’ food, through three interactive stations demonstrating different domains of social science research on food and food practices. The activities are aimed at parents and kids. Please shout if you’d like to get involved in helping on the day—the more the merrier!

Below, we have:

  • updates on recent activities (an award for the Handbook of Wine and Culture);
  • resources: call for papers; Sheffield Food Partnership’s Local Food Action Plan, recently launched;
  • the usual call for contributions and content for the November 2023 edition of What’s Cooking; deadline for submissions (research news and updates, calls for expression of interest, relevant calls for papers/conference/event announcements) to smith1@shu.ac.uk by Monday 30 October.

Cheers,
Jen

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Recent CHEFS Activities

Jennifer Smith Maguire’s co-edited wine research handbook won the 2023 Award, History Category, from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine. The Routledge Handbook of Wine and Culture, edited by Steve Charters, Marion Demossier, Jaqueline Dutton, Graham Harding, Jennifer Smith Maguire, Denton Marks, Tim Unwin (2021, Routledge; ISBN: 9780367472900).

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Resources

Stockholm Gastronomy Conference, 23-25 November 2023 (abstract submission deadline, 15 September)

The 3rd European conference on Gastronomy will cover social, economic, psychological, medical, cultural and political dimension of food, meals and eating, as well as aspects of art and design linked to culinary experiences. Abstracts are invited to one of four conference tracks:

  • Taste, pleasure and delight as levers for sustainable food consumption
  • Gastronomy according to terroir, place, space and culture
  • Gastronomy – a powerful force of transformation
  • Gastronomy – norms, skills, competencies and education

Descriptions of all tracks can be found here. Abstract submission is open until 15 September; early bird registration is open until 29 September (with limited places available for the conference dinner, to be held in the Wasa Museum). Full details on the conference website.

ShefFood Sheffield’s Food Partnership, Next Working Group Events

These are the next working group events

Key strategic & research documents – ShefFood

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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 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 30 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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What’s Cooking, July 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?

We’ve had two fantastic ‘paired papers’ sessions recently, organised by sister foodie clusters:

  • In May, SWEFS (Surplus Waste and Excess Food in Society) hosted a session on ‘Food Waste and Working with Vulnerable Participants’ with presentations from Professor Dorothy Yen (Brunel University), and from Dr Chrysostomos Apostolidis (Durham University) and Dr David M. Brown (Heriot-Watt University). Recording here
  • In June, SHARe (Sheffield Hallam Appetite Research) hosted a session on ‘Exploring human appetite and eating behaviour.’ The session, Chaired by Anna Sorsby, featured work presented by Dr Miriam Clegg (University of Reading) and Dr Jordan Beaumont (Sheffield Hallam University). Recording here A more detailed write-up is below!

Full details on the ‘past talks’ page. That wraps up our 22/23 program of talks—thanks to all for organising, presenting, attending, and participating!

Watch this space for what’s to come in 23/24, including a CHEFS-NCEFE collab on sustainable food. This is part of our commitment to support ShefFood’s ‘Local Food Action Plan’, and its aim to ‘connect and enhance communication between food organisations working on different parts of the Sheffield food system.’

Below, we have:

  • updates on recent activities;
  • summary of the recent SHARe paired papers session;
  • resources: Sheffield Food Partnership’s Local Food Action Plan, recently launched;
  • the usual call for contributions and content for the September 2023 edition of What’s Cooking; deadline for submissions (research news and updates, calls for expression of interest, relevant calls for papers/conference/event announcements) to smith1@shu.ac.uk by 30 August.

Cheers,
Jen

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Recent CHEFS Activities

Huge congratulations to Pallavi Singh and Dianne Dean (co-leads of the SWEFS cluster) and Scott Jones for recognition of their work with Sheffield City Council, around the council’s introduction of a food waste trial scheme. Pallavi, Di, and Scott are carrying out research to better understand the process of household food disposal across selected areas of Sheffield. The project was a shortlisted nomination for the 2023 PRME Faculty Recognition Award for Excellence in SDG Integration!

On 8 June, Sheffield Business School hosted its annual PGR/ECR conference, with the theme ‘Developing Our Research Culture.’ The SWEFS (Surplus Waste and Excess Food in Society) research culture was well represented by Nikita Marie Bridgeman, who won best PGR paper for her presentation, “Intergeneration Attitudes Towards Food Waste: A Socioeconomic Status Perspective.” Well done!

More accolades from the SBS PGR/ECR conference: The SHARe (Sheffield Hallam Appetite Research) research cluster was thrilled to have outstanding representation from one of our ECR colleagues, Dr Jordan Beaumont, and GTA, Megan Flint. Meg’s e-poster was entitled “The acceptability, sensory attributes, and emotional response to plant-based meat alternatives under open and closed label conditions.” Jordan’s work, on “An evaluation of tier two weight management services in the Yorkshire and Humber Region” went on to win the Best ECR Paper Prize! We’re thrilled for both of these SHARe colleagues!  It’s brilliant to see how well received both presentations were.

Dr Jordan Beaumont presented a poster on the same work at the 30th European Congress on Obesity (ECO), which was held in Dublin in May. You can view Jordan’s poster, here.

GTA Megan Flint with colleagues Dr Simon Bowles, Dr Tony Lynn and Jenny Paxman have had their work on The acceptability and sensory attributes of plant-based burger products under open and closed label conditions accepted for presentation at the forthcoming Nutrition Society Summer Conference: Nutrition at key stages of the lifecycle – Liverpool 2023. This work was undertaken with Fiona Leroy, a recent intern from Institute Agro Dijon. This work has been chosen by the Nutrition Society Theme Lead for Food Systems as their highlight of the conference and will therefore be presented in the conference opening session, after invited plenary lecture one.  We are so proud that this work has been recognised in this way.  It’s a great opportunity to showcase what the Food and Nutrition team are currently engaged in research-wise.  This is a further feather in Meg’s cap after last year’s postgraduate research win at the same conference, collaboratively hosted by F&N at Sheffield Hallam, University of Sheffield and Sheffield City Council, here at SHU last year.  In further great news, recent work by F&N colleagues Claire Wall and Dr Jo Pearce has also been accepted to be presented at the same conference.  Claire and Jo will be presenting on “Energy and nutrient content of school lunches provided for children attending early years settings within primary schools: A cross-sectional study”, and plan on submitting the full-text article to Public Health Nutrition shortly.

Jo Pearce and Claire Wall have had their paper “School lunch portion sizes provided for children attending early years settings within primary schools: a cross‐sectional study” published online in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Claire and Jo will also be presenting this work at the Nutrition Society conference next month.

Jordan Beaumont, Claire Wall, Lucie Nield, Jo Pearce, Simon Bowles and Rachel Rundle are undertaking work with the Sheffield Children’s Hospital Complications of Excess Weight (CEW) clinic, with a project exploring food insecurity and childhood obesity. Jordan and Lucie are also nearing the end of their tier 2 weight management service evaluation project, with interviews conducted and transcribed, and project RAs doing the first round of framework analysis. They are looking to hold a dissemination event in November with participants to feedback findings and get input on the recommendations regarding findings and best practice.

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On 13 June, SHARe hosted a CHEFS online talks session with paired papers focussing on research relating to appetite regulation and modulation. The session, chaired by Anna Sorsby, featured work presented by Dr Miriam Clegg (University of Reading) and Dr Jordan Beaumont (Sheffield Hallam University). Recording here.

Dr Miriam Clegg is Associate Professor and Deputy Director (Institute of Food, Nutrition & Health), School Director of Postdoctoral Researchers, and Programme Director BSc Nutrition at University of Reading. Miriam is a Registered Nutritionist with a research interest in appetite, incorporating markers of food intake, eating behaviours and nutritional status including gastrointestinal transit, energy expenditure and hormones related to appetite. Miriam is PI on the BBSRC funded Food4Years Ageing Network. Miriam is Assistant Editor for 3 esteemed nutrition journals (BJN, J Hum Nutr and Dietetics and J Nutr Science). Miriam’s presentation was entitled: Dietary strategies for improving healthy life expectancy – the role of appetite research.

Abstract: Increased feelings of hunger and lack of satiety is linked to reduced adherence to weight loss interventions and difficulties in weight loss maintenance. With 63.8% of the population overweight or obese in England, appetite research has been suggested as a useful tool to reduce calorie intake. On the opposite side of the appetite narrative, a large section of the population are at risk of malnutrition, with or without obesity. UK life expectancy has increased through the 20th and 21st Centuries, yet there is little evidence that these gains in life expectancy are always translated to increased years living in good health for older adults, when compared to previous generations. A nutritious diet is recognised as essential for healthy aging, well-being, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and the rate of functional decline, and changes to lifestyle (i.e. diet, nutrition and physical activity) can maintain or improve body composition, cognitive and mental health, immune function and vascular health in older adults. Research often cites that 1/10 adults aged 65+ is malnourished or at risk of malnutrition based on 2015 statistics, however recent research from Age UK highlights that this may be even higher since the pandemic (2). Contrary to common belief, nutritional needs only decrease marginally with age, and are sometimes higher than the needs of younger individuals. Protein is a good example. The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) and the PROT-AGE Study Group have advised that a healthy older adult’s recommended daily protein intake should be increased to 1-1.2g/kg to maintain functionality, independence and fight infection. Protein is also known to be the most satiating macronutrient, and strategies to improve protein intake in older adults need to ascertain if increases in protein intake are like to impact overall food intake. Recent research from our group has used strategies to increase protein intake in older adults, focusing on foods that are liked and consumed by older adults (3). In the future, designing and producing a food environment that meets the diverse needs of older adults should work with them in the creation of bespoke, equitable interventions (4).

  1. Yakubu AH, Platts K, Sorsby A et al. (2023) J Funct Foods 102, 105471
  2. Age UK (2012) Understanding Society: COVID-19 Study
  3. Smith R., Clegg M & Methven L. (2022) Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr DOI:https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2022.2137777
  4. Clegg M, Methven L, Lanham-New S et al . (2023) Nutr Bull. 48, 124-133

Dr Jordan Beaumont is a Registered Nutritionist and Lecturer within the Food and Nutrition group at Sheffield Hallam University. Jordan is Course Leader for the MSc Food Consumer Marketing and Product Development and co-lead of the Sheffield Hallam Appetite REsearch (SHARe) cluster. Jordan’s research focusses on obesity and weight management, exploring novel interventions for weight management, the perceptions of health and obesity, and eating behaviours and appetite control.  Jordan’s presentation was on Modulating eating behaviour with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).

Abstract: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a form of non-invasive brain stimulation involving the application of a constant and weak electrical current to the brain, is a popular technique for changing cortical activity and downstream behaviour (1). There has been particular interest in the use of this technique in weight management, with an emphasis on changing eating behaviour. However, despite promising early findings, studies have failed to identify a consistent effect of tDCS across eating-related measures (2, 3). Our research explores the application of tDCS, and through this work we have established stimulation parameters that appear to produce a consistent change in eating behaviour, and identified populations who may benefit from this technique (4, 5). This paired papers talk will overview our recent studies applying tDCS to change eating-related measures across different population, and will consider the therapeutic use of this technique in weight management.

1. Filmer et al. (2014) Trends Neurosci; 37, 742-753, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tins.2014.08.003

2. Fregni et al. (2008) Appetite; 51 (1), 34-41, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2007.09.016

3. Beaumont et al. (2021) Appetite; 157, 105004, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2020.105004

4. Beaumont et al. (2022) Obesity Reviews; 23 (2), e13364, https://doi.org/10.1111/obr.13364

5. Beaumont et al. (2022) Psychosomatic Medicine; 84 (6), 646-657, http://doi.org/10.1097/psy.0000000000001074

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Resources

ShefFood, Sheffield’s Food Partnership, launched its Local Food Action Plan (LFAP) in June. The LFAP is now live on the ShefFood website along with a brand new page for all our key strategic and research documents. You can also read some of the responses to the LFAP from the launch here. The next step for ShefFood is the Sustainable Food Places Silver Award bid which will be submitted in July. Want to get involved? Check out our latest events or email 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 September 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 30 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).

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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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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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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Perfect is the Enemy of Good…

… is the saying my wife shared with me after I explained the block I was experiencing over sitting down and writing a blog post. Honestly, this was today’s daily reminder of just how awesome I know she is.

Me: I want to write a post for my PhD blog, but I’m worried what I write will not be good enough. There are actual people who might read what I write. It needs to be good!

Wife: People read your blog?

Me: I know, right?! Thing is, I’ve got a list of things that I want to write about. Then I worry about what I write being good enough, so I write nothing. Then I feel sad I’ve not written anything. I don’t want to be that person who looks back and says If only I’d written a blog or something.

Wife: Perfect is the enemy of good. (stated like I should already know this, whilst at same time smashing out reams of words on her laptop keyboard, drinking beer and being awesome.)

Me: Says nothing, just smiles, takes a big gulp of beer and leaves room to write actual, real life blog post.

Jack’s Scratch

So let’s start with easily the most significant development – my wonderful son Jack built me a key word random venn diagram generator on Scratch (the world’s largest free coding community for kids don’t ya know). Here is a screen shot, but for full effect you really should check it out: P.H.D (this is for my dad) on Scratch (mit.edu) Click the green flag then use your up and down arrow keys to stop and start the generator. Don’t forget to bliss out to the ambient soundtrack and let the key words turn off your mind, relax and float downstream…

Nature of Prosperity

Huge thanks to Fergus Lyon at the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity for inviting me to participate in their Nature of Prosperity dialogue Food Possibilities—finding food justice within planetary boundaries event on 23rd February in Manchester. The keynote by Dr Rowan Williams was an inspirational opening to the day, and Tim Jackson expertly held the space – listening, reflecting and offering provocation. For me the event was an opportunity to explore the tension between making money and valuing people, and just how quickly outrage and anger bubbles to the surface in these challenging times. I strongly recommend watching the panel discussion with Sue Pritchard (Director, Food, Farming and Countryside Commission), A/Prof Angelina Sanderson Bellamy (UWE Bristol), Guy Singh-Watson (Founder, Riverford) and Carolyn Steel (Author of Sitopia) – talk about a list of who’s who in the world of sustainable food right now!

FixOurFood…

…is a research consortium working to transform the Yorkshire food system. On 16th March FixOurFood hosted the brilliant Yorkshire Food Summit in Harrogate, which I was able to attend with more than 120 food system leaders. The event was great, and my highlights were hearing about plans to develop a Yorkshire Food Council, and networking with key people in the region, including Jan Thornton MBE, Yorkshire Food, Farming and Rural Network; Allison Kane, Deliciouslyorkshire; and Allister Nixon, Yorkshire Agricultural Society. I’m really looking forward to returning to Harrogate in July for the 164th Great Yorkshire Show.

It wasn’t long until I was returning to North Yorkshire and FixOurFood again, for the Food System Policy Interface training event led by Bob Doherty, FixOurFood and Yaad Sidhu from Defra on March 30th in York. Topics covered included a Defra structure overview, integrating a systems approach into Defra, working in the science policy interface and options of influence. Later in the day an unexpected but very exciting opportunity arose to share my PhD interests with the group and workshop a ‘rich picture’, which involved a collaborative combination of questions, discussion, writing and drawing. Feedback from the group suggested the research topic / question is sufficiently focused and addresses an important gap in knowledge, and a senior academic made my day when she just walked right up to me after the workshop and said ‘You’ll do great, because you’ve got life experience, and that’s what makes the different on a PhD.’ Yay!

Here’s a couple of pictures from the workshop.

PhD Progress

Remarkably, despite life, the universe and everything, I think it’s fair to say I’ve managed to make some good progress on the PhD since I last posted on here back in mid-January. In hindsight a key learning point has been around trusting my abilities, and importantly giving myself enough time to develop this trust, because this seems to be what really matters when the inevitable deadline crunch comes around. This is OK, because with some good time management, in theory, there can be enough time. However, this has been the other key learning point. Basically after the assignment hand in I found myself struggling to maintain momentum. In the end I put this down to a one long day a week work pattern, which was too stop start, and left me feeling on the back foot before I’d even sat at my desk. So, trial and error etc. etc. and now I’ve adopted a three short days a week work pattern, and so far so good. Fingers crossed it will stay that way. So, what about this progress??

Critical Thinking

On 20th February, as part of the Critical Thinking in Business Administration module I studied in October 2022, I successfully submitted a 5000-7000 assignment with the title:

“Philosophical underpinnings for business and management research will depend on the topic chosen”. Discuss this proposition in relation to your own research aims and objectives

Here is the summary.

Part One – Research Philosophy makes thorough use of Chapter 4 ‘Understanding research philosophy and approaches to theory development’ in ‘Research Methods for Business Students’ (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2019) as a study guide, to explore research philosophy, assumptions, research paradigms, philosophical positions and approaches to theory development. A selection of key texts referenced in the chapter are explored further, and the Heightening your Awareness of your Research Philosophy (HARP) Reflexive Tool is used to explore the author’s views on research philosophy, providing an opportunity to build the foundations of further philosophical study and learning on the doctoral journey.

Part Two – Research Backstory sets out the main episodes to date in the iterative process of formulating what will become the proposed doctoral research programme. This process starts with the original PhD Scholarship opportunity, followed by the background and rationale for applying to study, and an initial account of the author’s research interests, values and beliefs.

Part Three – Research Themes is an attempt to synthesise the learning from Part One with the exploration in Part Two, with an initial exploration and literature review of research topics for consideration, and, if possible, reaching an initial position on the author’s research aims and objectives, assumptions and philosophical underpinnings for the proposed doctoral research programme.

The assignment certainly had a variety of limitations, and known weaknesses (see the title of this blog post for further info right?), but I felt these were more about where I’m at in the PhD journey, rather than anything fundamental. Focusing on the positives, the process allowed me to fully engage with new learning on research philosophies, to establish a strong consistent narrative connecting my professional practice pre-PhD with my emerging research interests in-PhD, and, most enjoyably, to review a huge amount of really interesting and engaging literature.

I’m awaiting formal feedback on the assignment, so unable to offer any further insights other than my own. Time is moving on, as is the PhD programme, so I’m taking the view it’s best to crack on regardless. However, I took steps to share a copy with my Director of Studies who was able to expertly weave feedback into a supervision session.

Research Approaches and Designs

During the week beginning 27th February I attended the second study block ‘Research Approaches and Designs’ (RAD). The module was led by Dr Adele Doran, and aimed to ‘assist you in developing a critical orientation to methodology and methods, which will be vital both for designing your own PhD research, and for evaluating existing research in your field.’

The range of topics was certainly stimulating, but for me, overall, the module did not land as successfully as Critical Thinking. I’m putting this down to timing – at the time of the study block I’d only just finished writing the assignment, and simply was not ready to assimilate an intense week of studying research methods. It is also fair to say module delivery faced a range of challenges due to staffing issues, strike days and hybrid working, and student attendance was impacted by clashes with existing teaching, study and work commitments amongst the cohort.

However, Adele did a sterling job of keeping the show on the road, and ensured all the material is now available on Blackboard to return to as required. Furthermore, the assignment is relevant and totally aligned with the overall PhD programme process, which means I’m fully motivated and engaged to complete it. Phew! The brief is to ‘critically review research philosophical perspectives relevant to your PhD research, justify the methodological stance and research design you will adopt, and discuss in detail the proposed methods of data collection and analysis, and the ethical implications of your research.’  Deadline is 16th May, so watch this space.

Supervision

In early March I attended a supervision meeting with my Director of Studies Jen Smith Maguire and my supervisors Caroline Westwood and Mark Norman. We discussed the assignment, the study block, the upcoming RF1 submission, and progressing on the RAD assignment. The discussion was hugely useful, and I’d like to share the main recommendation, because it is gold dust…

Recognise both the challenge and opportunity of being so embedded in working towards a more sustainable food system, and ensure the PhD comprises of a discrete, manageable and deliverable element of this work.

This is now etched into my brain, but suffice to say back then I went on to miss the 20th March deadline to share a draft of the RF1 with my supervisors. Not ideal. This was actually the main tipping point on changing my working pattern, and learning about getting distracted… more on that next…

RF1 Submission

My 6 month deadline to submit the RF1 on 4th April seemed to arrive very quickly. Throughout March I was struggling with substantial work and family commitments, which combined with the stop start work pattern  I mentioned above, was not doing me any favours. However, on reflection, I think the main challenge I had was distraction. Whilst it’s great fun (and mostly useful) to attend lots of events, do lots of networking and expose oneself to lots of new ideas and thinking, there came a point when I was like a child in the proverbial sweetshop. Too many sweets to choose from, getting overexcited, then gorging on all of them, feeling somewhat ill afterwards, and having that hangover feeling of never wanting another sweet again. All this certainly happened in the run up to the RF1 deadline. However, it seems all this was more of purge than an addiction. As the deadline approached I returned to looking at what I had produced for the Critical Thinking assignment in a different light, and was able to pull out a number of different pieces of the jigsaw, introduce some key new elements, and reassemble them altogether to compose a coherent, and much more focused picture which fitted within the constraints of the RF1. The lesson? – getting distracted must/does happen, and can be good, but can be bad, so know when to regain focus and to let your attention be recaptured fully.

For the record, here are the main sections of the RF1 as submitted. All are subject to review and change.

Title

Yorkshire Food and Farming Events in Transition: The Evolution to Net Zero

Aims & Objectives

Critically examine the role and development of food and farming events (FFE) in Yorkshire towards achieving the UK Government commitment to net zero by 2050, specifically:
1. How FFE underpin food system (un)sustainability.
2. The potential of FFE to create spaces for meaningful participation in deliberative food system policy analysis and formulation of social imaginaries.
3. How to design FFE based interventions which translate critical action research into opportunities for deliberation, policy analysis, embedded everyday practice and impactful change in consumer perception and behaviour.
4. A deeper understanding of the role and development of FFE towards net zero by 2050.

Literature Review

The food system (Hawkes & Parsons, 2019) is unsustainable and sits at the heart of multiple global challenges (Global Food Security, 2021). In the UK, our food system is a mix of global, national, and local supply chains (Doherty, Benton, Fastoso, & Gonzalez-Jimenez, 2017) which fundamentally shape our present and future life (Llanos, 2020). Systems thinking is needed, because all the elements of the food system interconnect, and are highly complex, globalised, and interdependent, and therefore shared solutions to food system problems are essential.

Rethinking food policy presents major opportunities and challenges, requiring new types of food system governance (Hawkes & Parsons, 2019). Post-Brexit, UK Government policy is still under reform (House of Commons Library, 2016), food policy is highly fragmented (Parsons, 2020), and implementation (DEFRA HM Government, 2022) of the National Food Strategy (Dimbleby, H., 2021) has been very limited (Dimbleby, Henry & Lewis, 2023). The transformation of UK food and farming (Collas & Benton, 2023; Ward, 2023) is essential to achieving net zero by 2050 (HM Government, 2021; Skidmore, 2022). There are multiple programmes of research, investment, policy and governance underway to address this challenge (So & Wren, 2022), many of which are situated in Yorkshire.

Yorkshire is home to a vibrant food and drink sector and hosts an annual calendar of hundreds of Food and Farming Events (FFE), involving thousands of businesses working together, and attracting millions of people, including domestic and international tourists.

Event sustainability is a key priority for the FFE manager (Jones, 2018), with measurement methods available (Kaiser, Kaspar, & Beech, 2014), but these have limitations (Collins & Cooper, 2017) and opportunities exist to further understand and manage the capacity of FFE to make the food system more, or less, sustainable in the future.

When considering the relationship between FFE, food consumer perceptions and behaviour, and the wider food system, there is evidence of social innovation:

Facilitating Alternative Agro-Food Networks (FAAN) (Balazs, 2009; Karner, 2010) used co-operative research to analyse how policy impacts Local Food Systems including markets, food festivals, agricultural shows, farm shops, box schemes and community supported agriculture.

HealthyGrowth investigated regional organic value chains to learn how to foster cooperation and partnership (Bartkus & Davis, 2009; HealthyGrow, 2016; Lamine & Bjornshave Noe, 2017; Ostrom, De, & Schermer, ; Schermer, 2015; Stahlbrand, 2019; Stotten, Bui, Pugliese, Schermer, & Lamine, 2017; Sumner, McMurtry, & Renglich, 2014; Von Münchhausen, Häring, Kvam, & Knickel, 2017).

These innovations require new analytical frameworks (Renting, Marsden, & Banks, 2003) such as civic food networks, and greater understanding of food citizenship (Balazs, 2012; Flora & Bregendahl, 2012; Harris, 2017; Lamine, Darolt, & Brandenburg, 2012; Psarikidou, 2012; Veen, Derkzen, & Wiskerke, 2012; Zagata, 2010).

Covid-19 and post-Covid 19 caused transformative shifts in consumer perceptions and behaviour (Krzywoszynska, 2022; Wagenaar & Prainsack, 2021) and development of resilient systems (Driessen, B., 2022; Driessen, Bella, 2021; Guzman & Reynolds, 2019; Guzman, Reynolds, & Sharpe, 2019; Hammans, 2022).

There is debate around sustainability, (Adloff & Neckel, 2019; Delanty, 2020; Miller, 2020), resilience, transformation, and transition (Hölscher, Wittmayer, & Loorbach, 2018) in relation to how society responds to so-called super wicked problems (Levin, Cashore, Bernstein, & Auld, 2012) such as food system and climate change. The inherent complexity is a characteristic of living in the age of the network society (Castells, 1997; Castells, 2000a; Castells, 2000b; Castells, 2010).

Deliberative Policy Analysis (DPA) (Hajer & Wagenaar, 2003) asks the question ‘what kind of policy analysis might be relevant to understanding governance in the emerging network society?’ Interesting examples of DPA are water catchment area governance (Foster, Ison, Blackmore, & Collins, 2019) and community forestry groups in India and Nepal (Anderson, 2006), which are ecosystems, and share similar characteristics to bioregions, or food sheds, which are key food systems concepts.

Critical Sustainability (CS) (Delanty, 2020) applies critical theory as a critique of unsustainability, arguing not to reject sustainability as an ideology of late capitalism, but to reconstruct it as a critical concept, in order that unsustainability can take on a wider significance.

These new discourses pose challenges for democracy and present a crisis of public policy, requiring: a shift from positivist policy analysis to critical positivist policy analysis (Fischer, F. & Forester, 1993; Fischer, Frank & Gottweis, 2012; Hajer & Wagenaar, 2003); a politics of making and unmaking sustainable futures (Knappe, Holfelder, David Löw Beer, & Nanz, 2019); different futures of sustainability (Adloff & Neckel, 2019); a need to rethink democracy in time of crisis (Fladvad, 2021; Kelz, 2019); and a need to fundamentally shift theoretical frameworks for understanding social imaginaries (Adams, Blokker, Doyle, Krummel, & Smith, 2015; Miller, 2020).

Literature Review / Concepts and Theories – Initial phase of desk research, active networking and field visits to examine the social, political and environmental dimensions of the food and farming system in Yorkshire, and to contextualise the historic role and development of FFE within this system. High-level analysis of Yorkshire FFE sector (map, calendar, networks, policy, governance). Initial definition and categorisation of FFE activity. Develop framework to observe and record the experiential, material, and communicative dimensions of FFE.

Research Question – Explore examples of social innovation within FFE, underpinned by critical action research philosophy / practice (informed by Deliberative Policy Analysis and Critical Sustainability), focusing on FFE enterprise and management practices; the experiential, material and communicative dimensions of FFE; the capacity of FFE to connect food producers with food consumers; and FFE as instruments of food system change.

Sampling – Identify a community of innovative FFE practice for critical action research. Aim is a multi-level (hyper-local to regional) cross/intersection of FFE activity situated in Yorkshire.

Data Collection / Data Analysis – Devise, practice, observe and record FFE based interventions which enable instances within FFE to operate as temporary public(s)/space(s) for:
• Constructing, experiencing, and sharing (un)sustainability ‘imaginaries’
• Individual and collective deliberation, policy analysis, action and agency
• Transformative change around food, nature and society.

Writing Up – Reflect on findings and seek to contribute knowledge to the future role and development of FFE in transitioning to net zero by 2050.

Next Steps

Congratulations and thank you if you’ve read this far! Next on the agenda is completing the RAD assignment, and awaiting feedback / authorisation of the RF1.

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SHARe event report

an image of people working around a table with a powerpoint presentation on the wall screenOn Wednesday 8th March our Sheffield Hallam Appetite REsearch (SHARe) sub-cluster met for a ‘Complete and Finish’ event here at SHU.  Attendees included SHARe co-leads Jenny Paxman and Dr Jordan Beaumont and other SHARe founders and steering group members: Dr Caroline Dalton, Dr Rachel Marsden, Dr Steve Brown.  We also welcomed Food and Nutrition GTA Megan Flint, Food and Nutrition Lecturer Dr Richard Gillis and Elizabeth Goodwin from Leeds Trinity University.  We were brilliantly supported for this event by Food and Nutrition Student Champion Millie-Ann Hall.

SHARe is a sub-cluster of engaged academics, PGRs and associates who have a keen interest in eating behaviours, the hedonics of food and feeding, obesity and weight management or sensory analysis.  This is by no means an exhaustive list – we are a really inclusive group welcoming anyone with shared research passions or something to offer in any field affiliated to appetite.  SHARe sits within the CHEFS research cluster (along with sister sub-clusters SWEFS (Surplus Waste and Excess Food in Society) and CHEFS (Culture, Health, Environment, Food and Society)).  You can find out more or sign-up to SHARe, and CHEFS here.

The purpose of the event was to Shape, Sharpen and SHARe (get it?) our appetite-related research ideas.  Getting to know others who are active in our field is a brilliant way to progress any project.  For SHARe, this event helped us to identify:

  • the overarching state of current projects;
  • our own nature, both as individuals and as researchers.

SHAPE:
Research idea generation; Project design; Funding ideas; Target journal suggestions; CPD and support needs
SHARPEN: 
Poster design/content; Abstract drafts; Conference presentations; Planned publications; Pilot questionnaires;
Recruitment material; Interview schedules
SHARE:
Research ideas; Collaborations; Potential examiners; Potential reviewers; Copies of work; Present

In the room there were varying degrees of familiarity.  Some had long-standing working relationships or had previously collaborated; others were meeting for the first time.  We all learnt something new about each other and our areas of interest and expertise.

As a group we cover all bases:

screenshot of Venn diagram of sharers, shapers, sharpeners

However, in terms of our research projects, individual’s projects may be at different stages but we are each most in need of shaping support.

screenshot of venn diagram of share input, shape input, sharpen input

Drilling down what this meant to attendees, it meant:

  • getting projects up and running;
  • finding and connecting with collaborators;
  • looking for concept or pilot project ‘adopters’;
  • seeking out funding opportunities;
  • getting back on the research horse.

We left feeling enthused and perhaps even a little clearer about next steps.  Some left with new connections, plans to meet, show-rounds to schedule and even specific projects to reignite!  Exciting times for SHARe.

Of course, it doesn’t end there.  As a sub-cluster we benefit from monthly CHEFS newsletters (‘What’s Cooking?’) with the associated opportunities to write and publish blog-pieces, search out conferences, explore calls for abstracts, find funding opportunities and to come together as researchers to enjoy the regular CHEFS talks.  SHARe will be hosting a CHEFS Talk on Tuesday 13th June 2023 15:00-16:30 with talks from Dr Miriam Clegg (University of Reading) and Dr Jordan Beaumont (Sheffield Hallam University).  Sign up here.  We can’t wait to see you there!

If you aren’t already a member you can join SHARe by clicking bit.ly/SHAReCluster

 

 

 

 

 

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English and Welsh Wine Symposium, March 2023

A screenshot of the event programme

Many thanks to all who could join us on 14 March 2023, for the English and Welsh Wine Symposium, hosted by the CHEFS research cluster and the Department of Service Sector Management, Sheffield Business School.

A photo of the event, with tasting mats, wine notes and folded programmes on the tables

The half day event explored the current context and future directions of the English and Welsh wine industry, with keynotes, a tutored tasting of English and Welsh wines, and a panel discussion featuring a cross-section of industry perspectives. 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.

A photo of Simon Thorpe delivering his keynoteA screenshot of Simon Thorpe's first slide

The afternoon’s first keynote was delivered by Mr Simon Thorpe: ‘WineGB and its role supporting an emerging wine region.’ Simon is a Master of Wine, past trustee of the WSET, and current CEO of WineGB, the industry body for the wine production sector in Great Britain. Simon’s presentation provided a ‘state of the nation’ overview of wine production in the UK, and reviewed the challenges and opportunities for supporting an industry in its journey to maturity. Simon effusively captured the optimism of the event: “We are brilliantly set up: brilliant product, enormous market, brilliant consumers. We are amazingly well set up to be successful.”

A photo of Steve Charters delivering his keynoteA screenshot of Steve's first slide

Professor Steve Charters delivered the second keynote: ‘PDOs and Terroir: The Complexities of Wine and Place.‘ A Master of Wine, Steve is Professor of Marketing at Burgundy School of Wine and Spirits Business, and Adjunct Professor at Adelaide Business School. Steve’s talk explored the historical roots of PDOs (Protected Designations of Origin), which were a matter more of struggles between grape growers and wine merchants and the pursuit of economic power, than mystical notions of soil and place. Steve also shared preliminary findings from the UK portion of a transnational study of consumer perceptions of terroir, underlining that the sort of PDO that might best serve English and Welsh wine producers was far from straightforward.

A photo of Simon Thorpe leading the wine tasting, with an image of different coloured wines in six tasting glassesA photo of the room, with participants tasting the wines

Following lively question and answer sessions for each keynote, and a brief coffee break, the event resumed with a tutored tasting of a selection of wines, generously selected and donated by WineGB. Led by Simon Thorpe, the tasting took participants through six wines showcasing the diversity of English and Welsh wine production:
Penn Croft Bacchus 2021
Yotes Court Loose Rein 2021
White Castle Siegerrebe 2021
Sharpham Dart Valley Reserve 2020
Halfpenny Green Chardonnay 2019
Thorrington Mill Pinot Noir Rosé 2021

We had fantastic engagement from participants in the discussion of the wines, which ranged from anecdotes about the challenges of growing different varieties, to the challenges of selling little known varieties (Bacchus, Siergerrebe, Madeleine Angevine) to consumers, to the question of whether colour should matter when it comes to rosé.

A photo of the panel, with Will Harper, Barry Starmore, Kieron Atkinson and Greg Dunn
The final major portion of the Symposium was devoted to a panel discussion, chaired by Dr Greg Dunn, head of the wine division at Plumpton College. Panellists drew on their varied industry perspectives to reflect on the challenges and opportunities for the future of English and Welsh wine. Mr Will Harper (a Sheffield Hallam alum!) drew on his experience in the hospitality industry and role as General Manager at Ivy Asia to offer excellent insights as to where small scale wines are best served (and not best served) in the spectrum of restaurant businesses. Mr Barry Starmore reflected on how much had changed over his long involvement in wine retail in terms of consumer interests and tastes, and highlighted the unique capacity of independent retailers to hand sell small scale wines and tell their stories. Finally, Mr Kieron Atkinson drew on his wide and varied experience as a winemaker at Renishaw Hall and Darley Abbey, alongside several other wine industry roles, to reflect on the challenges of creating financially sustainable wineries that take best advantage of their place.

A photo of event co-organisers John Dunning and Jennifer Smith Maguire at the networking event The Symposium concluded with a networking event, the centrepiece of which was a selection of English sparkling wines donated by WineGB. Guests were treated to:
Dunesforde Queen of the North
Raimes Blanc de Noirs
Harrow & Hope Brut Rosé
Giffords Hall Classic Cuvée
Smith & Evans
Breaky Bottom Grace Nicols

Judging by the volume of conversations in the room, there was plenty of appetite for further discussion and agreement that the future of English and Welsh wines looks bright indeed.

Thanks in particular to the Department of Service Sector Management, Sheffield Business School, and to Mrs Julia Trustram Eve and WineGB, for the fantastic support that made the event possible.

Until next time!

 

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What’s Cooking, March 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?

Mark your calendars for the following upcoming CHEFS events:

  • 8 March, 1-3pm, on campus: Sheffield Hallam Appetite Research (SHARe) cluster – Complete and Finish Event. Sign up via:https://bit.ly/sharecomplete23
  • 9 March, 4-5.30pm, on Zoom: CHEFS online research talk on ‘Food, Wine and Discourse’ featuring paired papers from Meg Maker (on the potential for a more inclusive wine lexicon) and Joanne Hollows (archival media research on WWII cookery columns). Details including titles, abstracts and joining link here, or email Jen (smith1@shu.ac.uk) for an Outlook invite. (Rescheduled from 9 February.)
  • 25 April, 10-1pm, on campus: the Surplus Waste and Excess Food in Society (SWEFS) cluster is hosting an Introductory Workshop and Networking Event, to draw attention to the latest research on food waste at Sheffield Hallam University, and to identify potential areas for further research. The workshop is open to anyone at SHU who either is currently researching on any project related to food waste or is interested in this Global Challenge our society is facing. More details below; full details and registration here.

Check out the latest instalment in Gareth Robert’s PhD blog, which shares updates on his journey as he gets stuck in to the deliberative democracy field, gets to grips with RefWorks, and wrestles with the assignment for the Critical Thinking module.

Below, we have:

  • updates on recent CHEFS members’ activities (including an introduction to our latest food-focused GTA in Sheffield Business School; research on plant-based foods, and on weight management; a PhD journey milestone; a wine-themed event; details of the first SWEFS workshop);
  • resources/calls for papers/conference announcements (a call for involvement in one of five working groups that ShefFood is organising);
  • the usual call for contributions and content for the May 2023 edition of What’s Cooking.

Cheers,
Jen

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Recent CHEFS Activities

CHEFS is delighted to welcome a new, food-focused GTAs to Sheffield Business School! Samantha McCormick is working with supervisors Jennifer Smith Maguire and Lucie Nield on the project ‘Responsible Food Production and Consumption: A Community Co-Production Approach’. Sam is hoping to address Sustainable Development Goal 12 by aiming to encourage people in Sheffield to eat a more sustainable, nutritious diet. Sam graduated from BSc (Hons) Nutrition, Diet and Lifestyle at Sheffield Hallam in 2021, and has worked as a Research Assistant with Jen since December 2020. Sam is thrilled to be continuing her studies within the Food and Nutrition subject group at SHU. Since finishing her undergraduate studies, Sam has been working as a Patient Coach on the AWARE-IBD project with the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals leading on service improvements within the IBD service facilitated by training with the Sheffield Microsystem Coaching Academy. As part of this role, Sam has appeared on BBC Look North, BBC Radio Sheffield and the Sheffield Star describing her story and raising awareness of AWARE-IBD to encourage patients to get involved with the patient-led project. Outside of work and studies, Sam is part of Son de America, a traditional Latin-American dance group, and passionate about Mexican food and culture. Sam also has enjoys learning new languages and speaks Spanish.

Megan Flint is nearing the end of Phase 1 of her PhD, exploring consumer perceptions of plant-based meat alternatives. Megan and the team are on the final push to complete their survey (currently close to 400 participants!). If you could spare a few minutes, please do complete the survey! Megan has also gained ethical approval for a nutrient analysis of plant-based products vs. meat alternatives; this will inform Phase 3 of her PhD, which involves a feeding trial to compare satiating properties of plant- vs. meat-based products.

Jordan Beaumont recently delivered a presentation about his PhD research to the Nutritional Epidemiology Group at the University of Leeds, and will be presenting in April at the British Drinking and Feeding Group meeting on the perceptions of non-invasive brain stimulation as modalities for weight management. Jordan and Lucie Nield are about halfway through data collection for their tier 2 weight management evaluation project, and plan to present findings at the European Congress on Obesity in May.

Ufuoma Arangebi passed her confirmation of doctorate milestone (RF2) with no amendments. Congratulations! Ufuoma’s research, ‘Intergenerational Cross-Cultural Attitudes Towards Household Food Waste’ is supported by supervisors Dianne Dean and Pallavi Singh.

John Dunning has been busy putting the final touches on the CHEFS English and Welsh Wine Symposium, which will take place on 14 March. Organised by John and Jennifer Smith Maguire, the half-day event will welcome over 50 academic and practitioner participants to Sheffield Business School. The event will explore the current context and future directions of the English and Welsh wine industry via: two keynotes, from Simon Thorpe MW, CEO of WineGB, and Professor Steve Charters MW, a tutored tasting of English and Welsh wines, and a panel discussion featuring a cross-section of industry perspectives. The event has been made possible through support from the Department of Service Sector Management, and WineGB.

Jennifer Smith Maguire and co-authors Richard Ocejo and Michaela DeSoucey have recently had their article, Mobile Trust Regimes: Modes of Attachment in an Age of Banal Omnivorousness, nominated for the American Sociological Association’s Consumers and Consumption Section Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award, and the Association of the Study of Food and Society Belasco Prize for Scholarly Excellence. The article explores food malls and natural wine as two examples of the ways in which artisanal food/drink forms circulate through global channels while retaining auras of authentic embeddedness and local specificity. Jen gave a talk about the research at Birmingham Business School in February. Jen has also recently joined the Honorary Advisory Board for the Stockholm Gastronomy Conference, which will take place in November 2023 as part of Stockholm’s program of events as the 2023 European Capital of Gastronomy. The overall theme of the conference is ‘Gastronomy Research and Policy: The State of the Art in Europe.’ The conference is organized by The Swedish Academy of Culinary Art and Meal Science, The Swedish Academy of Gastronomy, and The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture, and is supported by the International and European Academies of Gastronomy, The Academie International de la Gastronomie (AIG), and European Community of New Gastronomy (ECNG).

SWEFS (Surplus Waste and Excess Food in Society), a research subcluster of CHEFS, focusses research on drivers and potential interventions to address food waste.  This can include attitudes towards food waste, behavioural change, cost and management of food waste and social, political, and economic impacts of overconsumption and food waste. We are organising a series of workshops to bring academics, practitioners and other stakeholders together to facilitate discussion and promote academic and impact-oriented research on the SWEFS aim and offer solutions to a major Global Challenge. SWEFS invites you to the first SWEFS Workshop to draw attention to the latest research on Food Waste in Sheffield Hallam University and identify potential areas for further research. Building upon our network we seek to work with people to extend the scope of research into food waste. This workshop is open to anyone at SHU who either is currently researching on any project related to food waste or is interested in this Global Challenge our society is facing.
  • Introductory workshop and networking event
  • 25 April 2023, 10-1
  • Hallam View, Owen Building, Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus
  • Please register for the event here
  • Outline Programme
    • 10.00am – Welcome and Introduction of SWEFS
    • 10.30am – Presentations on recent work on Food waste in Sheffield Hallam University
    • 11.30am – Coffee Break for 15 Min
    • 11.45am – Brainstorming and Identifying key themes to develop research groups
    • 12.30pm – Lunch and networking

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Resources/call for papers/conference announcements

ShefFood, the food partnership for Sheffield, has launched a brand-new food charter for Sheffield as part of their Bronze to Silver Award bid for Sustainable food places. Over the next couple of months, ShefFood is bringing together food-based organisations from across Sheffield in five working groups to write a multi-stakeholder Action Plan for the city. The working groups (Food Ladders; Compost and Growing; Food Health and Obesity; Good Food Economy and Procurement; Good Food Movement—open meetings) have a series of workshops scheduled over January-March. Next up: Good Food Economy and Procurement workshop, 8 March; Food Ladders workshop, 13 March; Compose and Growing workshop, 23 March; Good Food Movement open workshop, 20 April.  Full dates, locations, and details on how to get involved are available here; to confirm your place at any of the meetings, or for more information, please email <info@sheffood.org.uk>.

Women and Alcohol Conference Workshop: Drinking studies. Crossing Boundaries, 25/26 July 2023. Call for Papers. Deadline: 30 March.

The Women and Alcohol Cluster of the Drinking Studies Network are excited to announce that the women and alcohol project team are holding a conference workshop on women and alcohol as part of the ‘Between the drunken ‘mother of destruction’ and the sober ‘angel of the house’. Hidden representations of women’s drinking in Polish and British public discourses in the second half of the 19th century’ project’. The conference workshop will be designed to encourage conversations across a range of academic and cultural boundaries (eg. geographical, disciplinary, linguistic, chronological, etc) and will provide excellent international networking opportunities. This conference workshop will take place at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw on 25th and 26th July 2023. There will also be the opportunity to attend a special workshop by historian and psychiatrist, Dr Iain Smith, on finding and using medical sources on the afternoon of 24th July 2023. Some sessions will also involve walking tours and museum visits (e.g., Warsaw has two museums dedicated to vodka). Any proposals for round-table discussion themes, hands on mini-workshops, 7-minute stimulus talks, and any interactive approaches are very welcome, please also let us know ideas for any sessions you would like to deliver.  At this stage, we would like expressions of interest to get an idea of who would like to attend and the range of research interests which people may bring. For more information and to express interest in attending please e-mail Dorota Dias-Lewandowska and Pam Lock on dsnwomencluster@gmail.com by Friday 30 March 2023. We hope to see many of you there for this fabulous event!

Gender, social class and contemporary (non)drinking practices in Australia- Online Seminar (28 March 2023).

The Sobriety, Abstinence and Moderation Cluster and Women and Alcohol Cluster invite you to join us for an online seminar exploring themes of gender, social class and contemporary (non)drinking practices with a particular focus on the Australian context. This seminar will take place on Tuesday 28th March from 7-8pm Eastern Australian Time / 9-10am British Summer Time. Please contact emily.nicholls@york.ac.uk if you have any queries. You can attend this seminar using the Zoom link here (Meeting ID: 987 2886 4478, Passcode: 092281).

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

The next edition of What’s Cooking will be May 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 28 April.

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

It’s Good To Be Back

Hello and welcome! It’s 2023! It’s good to be back!

Within a few hours of hitting the ‘publish’ button on the quick ‘I’m on Twitter’ post I did on Dec 14th 2022 I was shivering under a blanket on the sofa feeling very, very sorry for myself. Little did I know then that I was coming down with the flu – yes, proper flu 🙁 In typical rollercoaster fashion this would take me a full month to properly recover. In fact we all got at Chez Roberts, but thankfully those who’d had their jabs were not quite so ill as I was. Annoyingly, for some reason that still escapes me, 2022 was the first winter in years I’d not popped to Boots to get myself jabbed. Mercifully we live and learn.

Whilst being ill and convalescing I got a fair amount of reading done, which was both satisfying and enjoyable. In that time I also feel like I got to grips with RefWorks too, which I’m told by others more experienced than I, is an essential tool in the PhD kit. Yay, good for me!

Feeling much better, today I resolved to not work from home, but instead get on my bike, on to campus, and behind a desk in the Charles Street building. Room 12.1.16 is rapidly becoming one of my fav places to work. It’s quiet, but not silent – the big windows overlook Arundal Gate, so there is a constant buzz of people, traffic and weather which I find rather pleasant. The chairs are proper office chairs, the desks are clean and clear, the computer works (mostly), it’s warm and distraction free – basically everything I don’t have when working from home. Nice! So, aside from a bit of catching up on unread emails, most of the day (11AM – 6PM) was at my disposal.

My focus has been getting to grips with my first assessment, deadline 20th February. The task, part of the Critical Thinking in Business Administration module I studied in October 2022, is a 5000-7000 assignment with the title:

“Philosophical underpinnings for business and management research will depend on the topic chosen”. Discuss this proposition in relation to your own research aims and objectives

The assessment criteria includes showing awareness of philosophical positions, understanding of epistemological and ontological issues, alternative ways of engaging with your research topic and making epistemological/ontological choices and much more… Suffice to say, right now, I’m feeling overwhelmed and intimidated. It has been a lllloooonnnggg time since I last wrote a structured essay of this length, and (frankly) I’ve not left myself a huge amount of time to get it done. Hey ho.

Today I’ve mostly been mining a fantastic online journal I discovered recently called the Journal of Deliberative Democracy – focusing on articles which explore the epistemology of democracy. It was a ‘postmodernism’ keyword search which returned what I think were the richest results. Interestingly, during the module we did the HARP Heightening your Awareness of your Research Philosophy reflexive tool designed by Bristow and Saunders, and postmodernism was at the top.

Also as an undergraduate, my by far favourite module was a 3rd year ‘Theories of Postmodernism’ romp through cities, culture, architecture and music. Mmmm, maybe postmodernism is something I will explore in more detail for the assignment….

Rightio – got to go. It’s time for tea back at the ranch. Sausages, potato wedges and baked beans coming right up. Bye for now!

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