Tag Archives: food studies

Lentil Underground


Ellen Messer
Tufts University


Carlisle, Liz. Lentil Underground. Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America. NY: Gotham Books, 2015.

Lentil Underground is a book that many of us have been waiting for: a readable, journalistic rather than staid academic account of U.S. farmers’ struggle to create a mainstream organic, multi-crop alternative to conventional and genetically-engineered, monocrop agriculture. The story, a triple interpretative biography of the farmers, the plant varieties in ecosystems, and their struggling but ultimately successful business, Timeless Seeds. It constructs the history of this Montana organic agricultural business through the life stories of its diverse and colorful members, the new-old seeds and biodiverse agro-ecological products and practices they re-pioneered, and the collective material- and information-sharing they achieved through collective action and networking. The narrative begins in 1974 and traces a developmental, alternative agricultural path that roughly parallels the Green Revolution and its successor Green-Gene Revolution, the mainstream energy- and chemical-intensive agricultures, through 2014. The experiences of the farmers, researchers, and business interests who jointly made these organic activities happen, provide additional shining testimonies to the role of government in encouraging or discouraging a healthier, more resilient rural environment and economy in an era of Big Agriculture, big corporate lobbying interests, and big risks for farmers facing uncertain natural and economic climates that put many conventional agriculturalists out of business.

The author, a product of University of California at Berkeley’s agro-ecological, sustainable-food, and writing programs (think Miguel Altieri, Alice Waters, and Michael Pollan), dedicated three years to interviewing the principals and telling their individual, family, and networking stories. These colorful, dedicated, and resourceful characters, almost all of whom originally come from Montana farming backgrounds, include founding family farmer, Dave Oien, a philosophy and religious studies major who then contributed agroecology and business as assets to transform and manage their family farm and Jerry Habets, who backed into lentils and organic farming when he could not afford the chemicals necessary to continue conventional farming. Others are Casey Bailey, whose diverse background in music, urban studies, Liberation Theology, and counter-cultural activism, made him an excellent candidate for diversified farming and associated collective decision-making, and Doug Crabtree and Anna Jones-Crabtree, who combined day-jobs that paid the bills and provided medical benefits with their passion, organic farming. Their politics range from right-wing libertarian to left wing progressive and this is Carlisle’s point: there is considerable diversity in the politics of the organic farming movement. Seasoning this mix are also heroic plant breeders and ecologists, who provide biological and physical (soils) information and materials to assist and improve organic operations.

Carlisle correctly realized that careful, qualitative, investigative research could document how U.S. and state government investments and regulations at multiple levels helped or hindered a more diversified agriculture, and what farmer-led actions could contribute to sustainability — farming and livelihoods — which was everyone’s value. The additional insights she gained over the course of these interviews concern the human community and what Frances Moore Lappe, in various food writings, has termed “living democracy.” Timeless Seeds constructed its network and thrived because it made human community an integral component of its sustainability vision. Their combined collective, seed, and farmer biographies also offer an argument against the growing preference for “local” food and agriculture, as the markets that make this regional success story possible illustrate another kind of globalization — from the grass-roots. All could agree that agricultural business-as-usual was not working for farmers like them or farms like theirs, and found that they needed grassroots organizations to support and voice their collective commitment to organic, multi-crop, and pluralistic botanical and social alternatives. They also required government support for research and organic-friendly regulations to make their enterprises viable. On these government agendas they have been partly successful in winning some dedicated (rather than “bootlegged”) funding for soils and pest research that will provide an evidence base for optimal, multi-crop organic management strategies. They have also managed to acquire some farmer protection against lawsuits should licensed GMO seeds incidentally rather than intentionally sprout in their fields, and bans on GMO wheat until such time as their Asian markets agree to accept this product.

The text is beautifully crafted to let the voices of the farmer families speak for themselves, and in the process recount the sorry history and ecology of US agriculture. Some are the children of family farmers, who followed US Department of Agriculture guidelines, investing yearly in ever higher priced seeds, energy, machinery, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides but regularly losing crops to bad weather, poor soils, or evolving pests. They found the only protection temporarily rescuing them from penury was government crop insurance or payments. So long as they followed the rules (monocropping with chemicals), the government payments at least partially bailed them out. But most years, this was not a living and future prospects were bleak. Both the soils and the human beings who worked them were exhausted, their health eroding from chemical poisons. The older generation despaired of leaving their farming legacy to their offspring. This next generation, however, a group of rugged and well-read individualists, nevertheless learned to apply modern scientific understandings of their more diversified agricultural past, and also created the kind of community that shares and helps each other overcome isolation, trauma, and risks. These social as well as agri-technical developments are clearly showcased in the stories of farmers’ improvement clubs, where new farmers could present and help solve each other’s problems, and ultimately stay in business. Their stories convincingly show that American rural life might yet thrive, based on the vision and determination of these fully dedicated but for economic reasons, part-time farmers.

As a text for teaching, I find author Liz Carlisle and her subjects are at their best when they are assessing the tradeoffs, and sometimes the ironies of their situations. Most of these tradeoffs concern economics and politics. Slowly, these new “weed” farmers, who know Montana farming can’t continue to practice business as usual because the older generation is going broke, learn to experiment first with new cover crops and green manure species, and only later add forage, feed, and food into the mix to make their farming operations viable. Although throughout this multi-decade learning process, individual farmers and the group as a whole learn to value organic agriculture by assessing energy saved and chemical expenditures avoided, they need crops they can sell at a premium if farming households are to survive. As Timeless Seeds moves into new legumes, in new combinations, and sometimes in combination with other “heritage” seeds such as purple barley, emmer (farro), and spelt, or more common grains and livestock that have the added value that they are produced and certified organic, the instigators find they must learn business skills and spend increasing time on administration and marketing.

These learning curves, which demonstrated that Timeless needed to have multiple crops and not rely on single buyers, proved as challenging as the field and processing skills they accumulated and shared over time. The cases developing markets for “new” legumes such as French green lentils (a one-time shot with Trader Joe’s) and “Beluga” black lentils (promoted by one particular high-end chef and then marketed through his client networks) are particularly instructive. Although most participating farmers entered organic farming with idealistic values that they were going to save the land and the population’s health, they find that some of their best customers are Asian nutrition supplement businesses, who turn their high-protein legumes into biochemicals that feed highly industrialized animal operations or high-income consumers. As one farmer opines: this is not why she signed up to work hundreds of hours each week, instead of living a normal professional life with a vacation house and time.

Another trade-off concerns government payments: was the goal to get government off or on the farmers’ backs? As organic farmers sought answers to agronomic questions, could they get equal funding for organic (as compared with conventional) agriculture, or create commodity check off payments that would help educate and promote organic production and consumption? Another effort was to access crop insurance, because, while organic production helped cool and sequester moisture in soils, it did not make one immune to natural weather disasters, which include not only ferociously dry, high temperature seasons, but also untimely rain and hail that can devastate harvests. A third was access to health insurance, because health problems posed a big barrier to sustainable farmers, who usually needed one fully employed spouse with benefits to make sure medical bills were covered. Although networked farmers did very well at sharing experiences and taking care of each other, these grassroots approaches, sadly, could not solve all their problems; they still needed government assistance.

Carlisle and her sources, significantly, also raise some unanswered questions. For example, how should farmers calculate returns on crops, when there are so many different species and varieties, and some of the returns are multi-year contributions to soil structural health and fertility, or plant-community based resilience to crop-specific pests, or simply long-term human health? Is there a more complex answer to the question, can GE ever contribute to soil conservation and restoration when soils and multi-crop ecology are so complex and genetic technologies treat one gene or gene-to-gene interaction at a time? The beauty of this text as an information source and teaching tool is that these questions are raised, and suggest plenty of directions for further research and discussion. It would serve well as a basic supplementary text in U.S. agricultural and food systems and policy courses at undergraduate through graduate levels. It would also make a terrific addition to the reading library of any organic gardener or consumer. Finally, to increase comprehensibility, there is an introductory map of Montana locating all the farms, towns, and major transportation routes mentioned in the text, and a glossary, defining key environmental, economic, and social-political concepts. The book is very beautifully produced, with botanical images and easily readable type in multiple gray to black shades. There is, alas, no index.

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Filed under anthropology, book reviews, farming


We have received the following announcement from the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society. Please note that students cannot apply for both this award and the ASFS awards, which you can read about here.

DEADLINE: March 18, 2016

To encourage participation by undergraduate and graduate students and to recognize scholarly excellence, the AFHVS invites submissions to the 2016 AFHVS Student Research Paper Awards. Awards will be given in two categories: graduate and undergraduate.

An eligible AFHVS paper in the graduate student category must meet the following requirements: 1) be sole-authored by a student or co-authored by two students; 2) be on a topic related to food or agriculture; 3) employ appropriate research methods and theories; and 4) be an original piece of research. It is expected that the winning graduate student serve on the AFHVS student research paper awards committee the following year.

An eligible AFHVS paper in the undergraduate student category must meet the following requirements: 1) be sole-authored by a student or co-authored by two students; 2) be on a topic related to food or agriculture; and 3) employ appropriate research methods and theories.

Final versions of the papers must be submitted to the student paper award committee by 5pm (Central Time) on Friday, March 18, 2016. Soon-to-be-graduating students must be students at the time of submission in order to be eligible. A paper submitted to the AFHVS paper competition may not also be submitted to the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS) student paper competition. Published papers or papers that have benefited from formal peer review (through a journal) are not eligible, however those under review are eligible.

Papers should be no longer than 20 pages of double-spaced text (data tables, bibliography, and notes may be additional) using Times New Roman (12 pt), Arial (11 pt), or similar. Papers do not have a particular required format or bibliographic style. Winners are expected to present their paper at the AFHVS conference within two years of winning the award, and a space in a panel is guaranteed. Each award includes: one-year membership to AFHVS, a $300 cash award, conference fees for the AFHVS Annual Meeting, and a ticket to the conference banquet.

Papers submitted to AFHVS should be e-mailed to Shawn Trivette (shawn.trivette@gmail.com). The email must contain the following information:
1. Paper title
2. Full name
3. Full postal address
4. E-mail address
5. Academic affiliation
6. Student status (i.e., undergraduate or graduate)
7. An abstract of the paper
8. A statement that the paper is not published, has not received formal peer review, and was not also submitted for the ASFS student paper award
9. The name & e-mail address of the faculty member or other academic supervisor who has been asked to verify eligibility.
10. Attached to the e-mail message the complete paper in MS Word, PDF, or RTF format.

Evaluation: The AFHVS Student Paper Award Committee will judge contributed papers on the requirements outlined above, relevance to the interests of AFHVS (see details below), and their scholarly excellence, including quality of original research, methods, analytical tools, rhetorical quality, and flow (see detailed rubrics below). The committee will select up to one undergraduate student and one graduate student to receive awards. Notification of awards will be made by April 18, 2016. Members of the committee for 2016 include: Jenifer Buckley, Jill Clark, Douglas Constance, Melissa Poulsen, Shawn Trivette, Evan Weissman, and Spencer Wood.

Opportunity for Publication: Based on the recommendation of the Student Research Paper Award Committee, the winning graduate student paper may be forwarded to the journal of Agriculture and Human Values for review for possible publication. Note that papers submitted for the student paper competition do not have a particular required format or bibliographic style. To be submitted for publication, however, papers will need to be formatted as specified by the journal.

Topics of interest to AFHVS: AFHVS is dedicated to an open and free discussion of the values that shape and the structures that underlie current and alternative visions of food and agricultural systems. The Society is most interested in interdisciplinary research that critically examines the values, relationships, conflicts, and contradictions within contemporary agricultural and food systems and that addresses the impact of agricultural and food related institutions, policies, and practices on human populations, the environment, democratic governance, and social equity. Recent award winning student paper titles include: “Cultivating citizenship, equity, and social inclusion? Putting civic agriculture into practice through urban farming”; “Problems with the defetishization thesis: The case of a farmer’s market”; “The rise of local organic food systems in the US: An analysis of farmers’ markets”; “Building a real food system: The challenges and successes on the college campus.”

For more information please visit the websites below.

Rubrics for assessing paper submissions:

Basic Eligibility Requirements:
1. Sole-authored or co-authored by two students?
2. On a topic related to food or agriculture, relevant to the conference?
3. Employs appropriate methods and theories?
4. Presents original research? (graduate students only)
5. Approximately 20 pages of text or less? (excluding tables, figures, bibliography)
6. Double-spaced and appropriately formatted?
7. Submission includes all required information?

You may download a pdf version of this announcement, along with a review rubric that indicates how the papers will be evaluated, here: AFHVS_2016_CFP_student_papers

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Filed under AFHVS, anthropology, anthropology of food, ASFS, awards

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the obfuscation of measurement

Andrea Wiley
Indiana University

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) were finally released on January 7 2016 to the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA).  The long delay between the DGA Advisory Committee Scientific Report completion (February 2015), the end of the public comment period (May 2015), and the announcement of the 2015 DGAs in January 2016 suggests a protracted period of lobbying by various food industries that ultimately produced particularly vague and timid DGAs that state that American diets need only be “nudged” by small “shifts.”  Most of the press has been appropriately cynical about these, and there is no need to belabor the role of food industry lobbyists and their insidious negative impact on the process of developing useful guidance and related policies that could actually enhance the health of Americans.  Most notably, the Scientific Report had highlighted sustainability as an important consideration for dietary guidance for the first time, and it specifically recommended that Americans reduce their consumption of red and processed meats.  Neither made it into the DGAs.

Instead, the 5 key messages of the 2015 DGAs are:

  • Follow a healthy eating pattern across the life span.
  • Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount.
  • Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake.
  • Shift to healthier food and beverage choices.
  • Support healthy eating patterns for all.

What is one to make of such a set of bullet points?  The only one that seems even remotely more than sloganeering is the third, and there is a curiously large gap between limits on nutrients and the overall DGA emphasis on whole eating patterns.   The third bullet point requires some knowledge of where items might be found, since nutrients, rather than foods, are its focus.  What are the main sources of added sugars?  Sodas!  Saturated fats? Red meat and cheese! Sodium?  Virtually all processed foods!

Marion Nestle has already pointed out that “eat less” messages in the DGAs are couched in terms of nutrients, while “eat more” messages encourage foods (e.g. lean meats).  The cmp_slideshow_plateMyPlate translation of this guideline is: “Drink and eat less sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars”.  These are not obvious items to avoid on grocery store shelves, nor do their food sources come with bold messages: High in Added Sugar! High in Sodium!

But an additional area of obfuscation in the DGAs specifically and nutrition labeling more generally, is quantification. The first two should make up<10% of total calories (a unit most of us struggle to comprehend), and sodium should be <2300 mg. Given American’s longstanding rejection of the metric system, it’s curious that nutrients are listed on food labels or referenced in the DGAs in metric units.  In science, these are standards, but from the perspective of metric-illiterate American consumers, they are utterly useless.  For example, a 12 ounce can of soda (note use of the U.S. customary weight measure for food) has 33 grams of sugar.  How much is 33 grams? A gram seems like such a tiny unit, so this must be a minuscule amount.  Measured in more familiar units, 33 grams of sugar is over 6 teaspoons (2 tablespoons or 1/8th of a cup).  In contrast, 2300 mg of salt seems like a lot, but it is in fact only 1 teaspoon (or 2.3 grams, which makes it seem like very little!).  The teaspoon unit appears only once in the DGAs, in the recommendation for oils (to replace solid fats).

There is much more to say about the 2015 DGAs as a lost opportunity to take a strong stance on diet in relation to Americans’ high risk of diet-related chronic diseases and the long term viability of our food supply.  As it stands, it continues a long history of vague dietary guidance that will have little impact on American dietary patterns.

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Filed under anthropology, anthropology of food, food policy, food politics, nutrition

Food Studies Awards Galore!

FoodAnthropology recently posted the call for papers for the 2016 ASFS/AFHVS/CAFS conference, which SAFN is also sponsoring and which, if you are looking for an excellent reason to visit Toronto, you should attend.

But there is more!

ASFS (that is the Association for the Study of Food and Society) has a number of prizes and awards that you or your students might want to try and win. We recently wrote here about the ASFS Student Paper Awards. There are two, one for undergraduates and one for graduate students. These come with cash, ASFS membership and conference fees, a banquet ticket, and a chance to present at the conference. The deadline for applications is February 1, 2016, which is sooner than you think.

We also recently received notification of the ASFS Award for Food Studies Pedagogy. This awards a teacher of “food studies in any discipline who presents a course that uses innovative and successful pedagogical techniques to reach students.” If you teach any kind of food-related course, you might want to apply for this — there is a cash award, and of course fame and glory involved. Deadline: February 15, 2016. Follow the link for details.

ASFS has a book award for an outstanding book published about food in the last two years. Books that are submitted “should employ exemplary research methods, offer novel theoretical insights and constitute a significant contribution to the study of food from a scholarly perspective.” Got a book like that or know someone with one? The deadline is February 1, 2016. Again, follow the link for details about what to submit and where to submit it.

Finally, there is the Belasco Prize for Scholarly Excellence, which is for a peer-reviewed article that “exhibits superior research, a unique perspective and methodological approach as well as novel insights for the study of food.” This can be a journal article or a book chapter and has to have been published in the last two years. February 1, 2016 is the deadline and the link will provide you with more details about submissions.

Past award winners for all of these are available here. There are several anthropologists among them, including some SAFN members. It would be great to see more SAFN winners. Why not you?

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Filed under anthropology, ASFS, awards, Food Studies

CFP: Best Annual Food Studies Conference!


Here is the call for papers for the best annual food studies conference in North America with the most confusing name. This is the annual joint meeting of the Association for the Study of Food and Society, the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society, and, just to confuse matters further this year, the Canadian Association for Food Studies. That makes it the ASFS/AFHVS/CAFS Annual Meeting, which is really fun to try and repeat to friends and colleagues. And to make matters even more fun, SAFN will be a sponsor this year (as we were last year).

All that said, this is a wonderful conference. There are generally around 400 people in attendance, so there is a lot going on, but not so much that you are overwhelmed. You can network easily here and meet all of your food studies heroes. This is an interdisciplinary conference, so you can discover a wide range of approaches to studying food and nutrition. There is usually great food too. Toronto promises to be an interesting city for this event. If you have research you want to present, or if you just want to meet food studies scholars, you should go. The CFP is below (in both English and French!). There are more details on the website. Be sure to scroll all the way down — there is also a CFP for the pre-conference below, which is aimed at students, post-docs, and new scholars in food studies.

ASFS/AFHVS/CAFS Annual Meeting and Conference plus Pre-Conference, June 22-26, 2016 (Version français ci-dessous)

The University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) is pleased to host the Joint 2016 Annual Meetings and Conference of the Association for the Study of Food and Society; the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society; and the Canadian Association for Food Studies – the first time the three organizations have met together. The conference theme, “Scarborough Fare: Global Foodways and Local Foods in a Transnational City,” emphasizes the changing nature of food production, distribution, and consumption as people, goods, foods and culinary and agricultural knowledge move over long distances and across cultural and national borders. It explores the development of cities and their transnational marketplaces where new and old migrants, entrepreneurs and emerging migrant-origin middle classes settle in suburbs such as Scarborough, rather than in older downtown districts such as the historic Toronto Chinatown along Spadina. To understand global and local food systems, we must give due attention to migrants, whether from rural districts or from cities, for they have historically provided knowledge and labour necessary to feed societies, while also altering the foodways of long-time natives of the areas where they settle. We invite participants to examine the role of mobile people as workers, entrepreneurs, and innovators in agriculture, culinary infrastructure, and food preparation and consumption. Submissions may also consider the long distance movement of people, culinary knowledge, and foods as contributors to projects of colonization, sovereignty and creators of global inequalities. The conference will feature cultural events, art exhibits, and a banquet that highlight the diverse communities and cuisines of Scarborough and the Greater Toronto Area. Students and emerging scholars in particular are invited to submit proposals for a pre-conference to be held on June 21 and sponsored by CAFS.



AFHVS, ASFS and CAFS support scholarship and public presentation on a wide variety of topics at their conferences. For the 2016 conference, we are encouraging submissions in many formats. We especially encourage submissions that speak to the conference theme. Abstracts may be submitted by scholars, practitioners, activists, and others working in food systems and culture. Abstracts may be submitted and conference papers delivered in either French or English.


  • Food Systems: local and global, past and present
  • Culture and cultural studies
  • Discipline-specific and interdisciplinary research
  • Art, design, and technology
  • Ethics, philosophy, and values
  • Food access, security, and sovereignty
  • Migration, immigration, diaspora and transnational community studies
  • Cultural, agricultural, and culinary preservation and innovation
  • Governance, policy, and rights
  • Pedagogy, food education, and/or experiential learning
  • Labor in the food system, production, consumption
  • Energy and agriculture
  • Health: problems, paradigms, and professions


Abstracts due: January 31st, 2016


  1. type of submission (e.g., paper, a panel, roundtable, petcha kucha, exploration  gallery, etc.);
  2. title of paper, panel, or event;
  3. submitter’s name, organizational affiliation, and status (e.g., undergraduate, graduate student, postdoc, faculty, independent scholar, community)
  4. submitter’s e-mail address;
  5. names, emails and organizational affiliations of co-authors or co-organizers;
  6. abstract of 250 or fewer words that describes the proposed paper, panel, or event;
  7. indication of any AV/technology needs
  8. a list of up to six descriptive keywords/phrases for the program committee to use in organizing sessions and events

For roundtables: Roundtables are informal discussion forums where participants speak for a short time before engaging with audience members. Please submit a single abstract along with a list of participants. There are no formal papers on roundtables.

For panels: Panels are pre-organized groups of no more than 4 papers, with a chair and discussant (who may be one person).  Please include a panel abstract as well as abstracts for each individual paper. Conference organizers will make the utmost effort to preserve panels but they reserve the right to move papers after consultation with panel organizers.

For individual papers: Papers will be grouped with similarly themed topics to the best of the program organizer’s abilities. Please submit a single abstract along with contact information.

For workshops: There will be opportunities for a limited number of workshops, including kitchen demonstrations (please email culinaria@utsc.utoronto.ca to discuss requirements prior to application). Indicate if pre-registration is necessary. Please provide an abstract as well as a detailed list of organizers, resource and space needs, and any expected costs.

For pecha kucha-like presentations: A petcha kucha is a short-form presentation that comprises exactly 20 slides, each shown for exactly 20 seconds (using the automatic timer of PowerPoint or Keynote), for a total presentation time of just 6 minutes and 40 seconds. The goal is to explain one or two key ideas, rather than a complete research study or project. Presenters should think in terms of describing a narrative, a theme, an experimental direction, or another BRIEF notion.

For exploration gallery display and poster proposals: Graduate students, food scholars, NGOs, researchers outside the academy, artists, and other members of the community are welcome to propose works for the 2016 Exploration Gallery. All media are welcome, including installations, print and other visual forms, audio, posters, and other works of art and design. A limited number of screen-based submissions will be accepted.

Notifications of acceptance will be provided by March 1st. Attendees are expected to register by April 30th or they will be removed from the program. Attendees must have current ASFS, CAFS, or AFHVS membership at the time of the conference. The conference organizers regret that they are unable to provide travel support for meeting participation. They reserve the right to limit acceptance of multiple submissions by any one author. Space for workshops is limited and will be determined based on available resources.

Please note that all co-authors/presenters must register individually to be included on the program.


Please direct questions to culinaria@utsc.utoronto.ca

La Foire de Scarborough

À propos de l’assemblée annuelle et de la conférence

Du 22 au 26 juillet 2016, l’Université de Toronto à Scarborough (UTSC) aura le plaisir d’accueillir l’assemblée annuelle et la conférence 2016 de l’Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS); la Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS) et l’Association canadienne des études sur l’alimentation (ACÉA), réunissant pour une première fois les trois organisations. Le thème de la conférence, « La foire de Scarborough : les habitudes alimentaires mondiales et les aliments locaux dans une ville cosmopolite », met l’accent sur le changement qui s’opère dans la production, la distribution et la consommation alimentaires à mesure que les personnes, les biens, les aliments et les connaissances culinaires et agricoles se déplacent sur de longues distances et traversent les cultures et les frontières nationales. Il explore la croissance des villes et leurs marchés cosmopolites, où les nouveaux immigrants et ceux de longue date, les entrepreneurs et les classes moyennes émergentes d’origine immigrante qui se sont installés dans les banlieues, comme Scarborough, plutôt que dans les quartiers plus anciens du centre-ville comme l’historique quartier chinois de Toronto, le long de Spadina. Pour comprendre les systèmes alimentaires locaux et mondiaux, nous devons porter une attention toute particulière aux migrants, que ce soit dans les zones rurales ou urbaines, car, historiquement, ils ont apporté les connaissances et le travail ayant contribué à nourrir les sociétés, tout en modifiant aussi les habitudes alimentaires des résidents de longue date dans les régions où ils se sont installés. Nous invitons les personnes participantes à étudier le rôle des personnes mobiles comme les travailleurs, les entrepreneurs, les innovateurs en agriculture, en infrastructure culinaire, en préparation et en consommation d’aliments. Les propositions peuvent également examiner la circulation des personnes, de la connaissance culinaire et des aliments sur une longue distance pour leur contribution aux projets de colonisation, de souveraineté et de création des inégalités mondiales. La conférence présentera des événements culturels, des expositions artistiques et une réception qui célèbrera la diversité des collectivités et des cuisines de Scarborough et de la grande région de Toronto. On invite particulièrement les étudiants, les étudiantes et les nouveaux chercheurs à soumettre des propositions pour la préconférence financée par l’ACÉA, qui se tiendra le 21 juin.



La AFHVS, l’ASFS et l’ACÉA favorisent la présentation de travaux de recherche et d’exposés publics sur une vaste sélection de sujets à leurs conférences. Nous encourageons, pour l’édition de 2016, divers formats de propositions, particulièrement celles qui abordent le thème de la conférence. Les résumés peuvent être présentés par des chercheurs, des professionnels, des activistes et autres personnes travaillant dans les systèmes alimentaires et la culture. Les résumés peuvent être présentés en français ou en anglais, ainsi que les communications pour la conférence.


  • les systèmes alimentaires : locaux et mondiaux, passés et actuels
  • la culture et les études culturelles
  • la recherche interdisciplinaire ou dans une seule discipline
  • les arts, le design et la technologie
  • l’éthique, la philosophie et les valeurs
  • l’accès aux aliments, la sécurité et la souveraineté alimentaires
  • la migration, l’immigration, la diaspora et les études sur les collectivités cosmopolites
  • la culture, l’agriculture et la préservation et l’innovation culinaires
  • la gouvernance, les politiques et les droits
  • la pédagogie, l’éducation alimentaire et l’apprentissage par l’expérience
  • la main-d’œuvre dans le système alimentaire, la production et la consommation
  • l’énergie et l’agriculture
  • la santé : les problèmes, les paradigmes et les professions


Date butoir de réception des résumés : 31 janvier 2016


  1. le type de proposition (p. ex. une communication, un panel, une table ronde, une présentation Pecha Kucha, une salle d’exposition, etc.);
  2. le titre de la communication, du panel ou de l’événement;
  3. le nom de la personne qui soumet une proposition, son affiliation organisationnelle et son statut (p. ex. premier cycle, deuxième cycle, postdoctorat, universitaire, chercheur indépendant, collectivité)
  4. l’adresse courriel de la personne qui soumet une proposition;
  5. les noms, courriels et affiliations organisationnelles des coauteurs ou coorganisateurs;
  6. le résumé, 250 mots et moins, qui décrit la communication, le panel ou l’événement proposé;
  7. l’indication de tout besoin audiovisuel ou technologique
  8. une liste comprenant jusqu’à six phrases ou mots clés descriptifs que le comité de programme pourra utiliser dans l’organisation des séances et des événements

Tables rondes : Les tables rondes sont des forums de discussion informelle où les personnes participantes s’expriment pendant une courte période avant d’échanger avec les membres de l’auditoire. Veuillez présenter un seul résumé avec une liste de personnes participantes. Il n’y a pas de communications formelles pour les tables rondes.

Panels : Les panels sont des groupes déjà formés qui ne présentent pas plus de 4 communications et comptent un président ou une présidente et une personne qui expose (qui peut être une seule personne). Veuillez présenter le résumé du panel ainsi que de chacune des communications individuelles. Les personnes qui organisent la conférence déploieront tous les efforts possibles pour préserver les panels, mais se réservent le droit de déplacer les communications après avoir consulté les organisateurs et organisatrices.

Communications individuelles : Les communications seront regroupées par similitude thématique au meilleur des capacités des organisateurs et organisatrices du programme. Veuillez présenter un seul résumé avec les coordonnées d’une personne-ressource.

Ateliers : Un nombre limité d’ateliers pourra être organisé, dont les démonstrations culinaires (veuillez adresser un courriel à culinaria@utsc.utoronto.ca pour en connaître les exigences avant de présenter une proposition). Veuillez indiquer si la préinscription est nécessaire. Veuillez fournir un résumé, une liste détaillée des organisateurs et organisatrices, des ressources et de l’espace requis, ainsi que des coûts prévus.

Propositions de présentations Pecha Kucha : Le Pecha Kucha est une courte présentation qui comporte exactement 20 diapositives, exposées durant 20 secondes chacune (en utilisant la minuterie de PowerPoint ou de Keynote), pour une période totale de présentation de 6 minutes et 40 secondes. Il vise à exposer une ou deux idées clés, plutôt que tout le projet d’étude ou de recherche. Les présentateurs ou présentatrices devraient songer en termes de description, de narration, d’un thème, d’une voie expérimentale ou autre BRÈVE notion.

Propositions pour la salle d’exposition et les communications par affichage : On invite les étudiants et étudiantes de deuxième cycle, les spécialistes de l’alimentation, les ONG, les chercheurs hors université, les artistes et autres membres de la collectivité à présenter des travaux à la salle d’exposition 2016. L’exposition accueille tous les supports, y compris les installations, les documents imprimés et autres formats visuels, audio, affiches et toutes autres œuvres d’art et de design. Le nombre de présentations sur écran accepté sera limité.

Les notifications d’acceptation seront fournies d’ici le 1er mars. Les personnes participantes doivent s’inscrire avant le 30 avril pour ne pas être retirées du programme. Elles doivent être membres en règle de l’ASFS, l’ACÉA ou la AFHVS au moment de la conférence. Les personnes qui organisent la conférence déplorent ne pas pouvoir défrayer le coût du voyage pour la participation à l’assemblée annuelle. Elles se réservent le droit de limiter l’acceptation de soumissions multiples présentées par un seul auteur. L’espace pour les ateliers est limité et sera déterminé en fonction des ressources disponibles.

Veuillez noter que tous les coauteurs, présentateurs et présentatrices doivent s’inscrire individuellement pour apparaître dans le programme.

Veuillez adresser vos questions à culinaria@utsc.utoronto.ca


2016 CAFS Pre-Conference Call for Proposals

For the Joint Conference of Food Researchers from CAFS, ASFS, and AFHVS

2016 Pre-Conference for Students, Postdocs and Emerging Scholars

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

June 21st 2016

Cost: $30 (lunch and snacks included)

About Pre-Conference

The Canadian Association for Food Studies (CAFS) invites you to join a full day preconference event, open to all students, postdocs and emerging researchers (including new faculty, sessionals, and community-based researchers). The pre-conference is a unique opportunity to engage with like-minded peers, build your connections and networks internationally and across disciplines, share your ideas, and gain both theoretical and practical knowledge and skills of particular relevance to new researchers. The field of food studies is an active and diverse area of research with unique challenges and endless opportunities. This year’s pre-conference programming will focus on the challenges of researching in this diverse field, provide career guidance to emerging researchers in food studies, and include opportunities for participants to share their own research in the format of a poster presentation. The full conference event, titled Scarborough Fare, will be hosted at the University of Toronto, Scarborough campus from June 22-26th 2016. It will be a joint meeting of CAFS and two American associations: Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS), and the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS).

Poster Submissions

This year the pre-conference invites emerging researchers to participate in the Research Fair & Poster Session. The session is an opportunity for burgeoning food researchers to have the space to present a recent research project, paper, or thesis with a 3 minute “elevator pitch” and poster. This session is designed to foster interaction and engagement in a casual setting, and to encourage networking and social connection. If you are interested in participating in the Research Fair & Poster Session, you must submit a completed submission form (attached or below) by Sunday April 17th, 2016 to cafs.preconference@gmail.com. See submission form for complete poster submission guidelines.


More information on how to register for the pre-conference and Scarborough Fare will be announced at: https://afhvs.wildapricot.org/2016-conference-Toronto-ON

Or contact us with questions at: cafs.preconference@gmail.com.

Appel à communications par affichage 2016

Journée préconférence pour étudiants et chercheurs émergents de l’Association canadienne des études sur l’alimentation (ACÉA)

dans le cadre de la « Scarborough Fare » de l’ACÉA, de l’Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS), et de l’Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS).

Université de Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

le 21 juin 2016

Frais d’inscription : 30$ (dîner et collation inclus)

À propos de la journée préconférence

L’ACÉA invite les étudiants, postdoctorants et chercheurs émergents (incluant les nouveaux membres de facultés, chargés de cours et chercheurs du milieu communautaire) à une journée préconférence. Cette journée sera non seulement l’occasion de réseauter avec des chercheurs issus d’une variété de disciplines s’intéressant à l’alimentation, mais aussi d’étendre votre réseau à travers le Canada et même à l’international. Vous pourrez y partager vos idées et améliorer vos connaissances tant pratiques que théoriques sur maints enjeux pertinents pour les jeunes chercheurs. En effet, le champ des études sur l’alimentation est actuellement foisonnant. La diversité des approches et des disciplines qui le traversent sont couplées de défis et de vastes possibilités. C’est dans ce cadre que la programmation de la préconférence sera axée sur les défis inhérents à la recherche sur l’alimentation, sur les manières d’y faire carrière comme jeune chercheur, et ce, tout en offrant la possibilité aux participants de partager leurs recherches sous forme d’une session par affichage. L’événement-conférence intitulé « Scarborough Fare » aura lieu à l’Université de Toronto au campus Scarborough du 22 au 26 juin 2016. Il s’agira d’une rencontre entre trois associations d’importance dans le domaine de l’alimentation en Amérique du Nord, soit une canadienne, l’Association canadienne des études sur l’alimentation (ACÉA), et deux étatsuniennes, l’« Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society » (AFHVS) et l’« Association for the Study of Food and Society» (ASFS).

Propositions pour la session par affichage

Cette année, nous invitons les chercheurs émergents à participer à une session par affichage. Il s’agit d’une occasion de présenter une recherche, une communication scientifique ou une thèse sous forme d’affiche et d’une brève présentation de 3 minutes. L’objectif de cette session est de favoriser les échanges de connaissances, les interactions informelles et le réseautage entre les jeunes chercheurs et les participants à la journée préconférence. Si vous souhaitez participer à la session par affichage, vous devez nous faire parvenir le formulaire de soumission ci-joint dûment rempli par courriel avant le dimanche 17 avril 2016 à cafs.preconference@gmail.com. Pour plus d’informations, veuillez consulter le formulaire de soumission.


Nous annoncerons prochainement les informations sur comment s’inscrire à la journée preconference et à la « Scarborough Fare » à : https://afhvs.wildapricot.org/2016-conference-Toronto-ON . Si vous avez des questions, contactez-nous à : cafs.preconference@gmail.com.



Filed under AFHVS, anthropology, ASFS, CAFS, CFP, conferences

SAFN at the 2015 AAA Meeting in Denver

Rachel Black
SAFN President
Connecticut College

It was a busy and productive AAA Meeting for the Society for the the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition. Our section sponsored 13 panels, which included one poster session and a session of the AAA Task Force on World Food Problems. SAFN was able to sponsor three invited sessions, which brought together research interests in nutrition, culture and food justice. The SAFN panels that I sat in on were well attended. It is great to see continued interest in the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition. However, our program chairs Arianna Huhn and Joan Gross found 197 people presenting on food-related topics who were not members of SAFN. This made me realize that we still have a lot of work to do to recruit new members and expand our community of scholars working in the field of Anthropology of Food and Nutrition.

During the meeting of the SAFN Executive Board, we talked about ways to attract new members and bring value to our existing membership. Next year we will be working on a creative membership drive which will include prizes for existing and new members. In addition, we will be working hard to build our community at the AAA meeting and throughout the year at events such as the Association for the Study of Food and Society meeting in Toronto that we will be co-sponsoring.

In Denver, SAFN members discussed ways to support our graduate students working on topics in the anthropology of food and nutrition. First, the Executive Board unanimously voted to cut the price of student membership in half. It now only costs $10 for students to join SAFN. Second, we plan on organizing a mentoring roundtable event with senior scholars, early-career scholars and graduate students. Third, our section will be creating a new prize to support student travel for research. Stay tuned for more details on the SAFN Student Travel Prize.


Amy Trubek, SAFN VP, with Ji Yea Hong, the winner of this year’s Wilson Award.

This year SAFN awarded two student prizes. The Christine Wilson Award went to Ji Yea Hong for her paper entitled “”I Eat (Pork) Therefore I am (Na): Flexible Personhood and Wild Identity on One Plate”. Ji Yea Hong is a MA student in Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. Hong’s paper:

“examines ways in which ritualized production and consumption of food make people who they are by establishing ontological personhood and ethnic identity. Botshasi, salted-and-dried-pork consumed daily by the Na persons in Southwest China, is ritually produced during the annual ancestral ritual, bokhosibu. On the one hand, throughout the ritualized process of making, eating, and exchanging botshasi, the distances among humans, ancestors, and pigs are constantly negotiated, contingently establishing a flexible human personhood. On the other hand, a similar process also renders individual identity, experienced as equally contingent and flexible. This fluidity of identity gives the Na persons a political wildness that cannot be institutionalized by the state.”

This year’s Thomas Marchione Food-as-a-Human-Right Student Award went to Jessie Mazar, a student in the University of Vermont’s Master of Science in Food Systems. Mazar’s research focuses on issues of food access and food security for Latino/a migrant farm workers in Vermont’s dairy industry. The jury felt that Mazar’s work was very much in the spirit of Tom Marchione’s lifelong commitment to studying food as a human right.

The SAFN reception at the AAA meeting featured a fabulous spread that ranged from fondu to bison sliders–perfect for a chilly November evening in Denver. Between bites and sips, SAFN members enjoyed catching up with old friends and meeting new colleagues. Our SAFN former president and Colorado native John Brett gave an animated talk entitled “Driven By Justice: Food Work in Denver”. For those of us who had spent the past four days in the Denver Convention Center, Brett’s talk was a wonderful glimpse of the outside world, focusing on some of the most dynamic local food justice initiatives taking place in the city.

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Filed under AAA 2015 Denver, anthropology, awards

ASFS Student Paper Awards!

The Association for the Study of Food and Society has annual student paper awards. Details for this year’s awards are below. Note that the deadline is February 1, 2016. Part of the prize includes the opportunity to present at the annual ASFS/AFHVS…which SAFN cosponsors.

Here is the ASFS announcement (as noted below, please contact Riki Saltzman if you have any questions):

ASFS Student Paper Awards

Student Award Submission Guidelines

Deadline for Annual Submission (all required material): February 1. NO Exceptions! Electronic submissions ONLY!

The ASFS invites current undergraduate and graduate to submit a paper for the William Whit (undergraduate) and Alex McIntosh (graduate) prizes, respectively. These awards recognize students’ contributions to the field of food studies. There will be one award each for an undergraduate student paper and a graduate student paper. ASFS welcomes submissions on a wide range of issues relating to food, society and culture, and from the diverse disciplinary and trans-disciplinary fields that ASFS encompasses. The author of each award-winning paper will receive:

  • $500
  • payment of annual membership and conference fees to be applied to the following year if student is not attending in the current year
  • a free banquet ticket for the coming year’s annual meeting or the following year’s if a ticket has already been purchased or the student is not attending the conference in the current year; and
  • the opportunity to present prize-winning papers at an ASFS/AFHVS conference. Winners who wish to present the year they receive their award must have submitted a conference abstract in that same year.

Please note

  • Authors are highly encouraged to simultaneously submit an abstract to the ASFS/AFHVS conference by the conference deadline. Conference organizers cannot add your paper to an already completed program; you MUST submit an abstract by the deadline.
  • Prize winning papers may be presented at an ASFS/AFHVS conference within two years of award. Those prize winners who submit a conference abstract in the subsequent two years, should indicate their award status (year and name of award) with the abstract.
  • Prize winners may also postpone their registration and banquet ticket use for one year following the award.

Submission Guidelines and Conditions of Award

Eligible entries must

  • have been written for a course or research project (NOT a dissertation or MA thesis chapter UNLESS it was written as a separate paper for a specific course) directed by a faculty member at an academic institution or research institute;
  • have been completed within one year prior to submission date (no earlier than the previous February);
  • be authored by a single student; and
  • be submitted via email with ALL required documents as separate and attached documents:
    • a completed and separate submission cover sheet (see below for requirements);
    • the properly formatted paper; and
    • Supervising professor’s letter must be on letterhead and signed (pdf scans are more than fine) and state: the name of the student, the course, the term/dates the course was taught and the paper written plus a statement testifying to single-handed authorship and veracity of information and data (please scan the signed letter or use an electronic signature and attach).There is no need for an extended letter.
  • The STUDENT must submit all documents by the deadline. Do NOT ask your supervising professor to submit his/her letter separately.


  • Submit each document as a separate PDF; do NOT put them all in one PDF.
  • Do: put the title of the paper on each page
  • Do NOT: put the author’s name on the body of the paper; remove your name from the document properties (right click) and save. Submit THAT version.
  • Style & format: APA, MLA, Chicago
  • Word count: up to 5,000 words, excluding references and notes. Provide a word count on the cover sheet for your paper, your support material (see below), and the final count with your notes and references.
  • Do not submit papers with extended appendices, illustrations, etc. Limit that material to no more than 1000 words above the 5,000 for your paper.
  • Text: double-space and include references and bibliographic information
  • Margins: 1 inch top, bottom, left, right
  • Numbering: bottom center of each page Justification: left
  • Font style: use a serif font (such as Palatino, Times, Times New Roman, or Century Schoolbook), NOT a sans serif font (such as Arial, Geneva, or Verdana)
  • Font size: 12 point
  • For ALL submissions: make sure your document info does NOT have your name embedded the document information

Cover Sheet (separate document from your paper) MUST include

Submission for (check one):

___ Graduate Prize
___ Undergraduate Prize

Date of submission:
Title of paper:
Word count (excluding notes and references):

Author’s name:

Email address:

School attended when paper was written:
Degree Program (BA, MA, PhD):
Department, course title, term (fall/winter/spring/summer and year) for which paper was written:
DATE (m/d/y) Written:
Professor/Advisor for whom paper was written:
Professor/Advisor’s email address and phone number:

Evaluation Criteria (up to 10 points for each)

  • Originality and Contribution to the field of food studies: to what extent does this paper expand our knowledge of food, culture, and social life? How original is its approach to analyzing its topic?
  • Application of appropriate methods: Has the author used the best methods for this particular issue? Does the paper illustrate a command of a particular form of analysis? (We encourage interdisciplinary work, so this is a good place to evaluate the innovativeness of the author’s approach).
  • Clarity and organization of the data: Does the paper present its evidence in a coherent fashion?
  • Quality of writing: How well does the paper convey a story and speak to a broad audience. In particular, we want to honor papers that are readable and speak across disciplines.
  • Theoretical sense: To what extent does the paper use a recognizable framework? Does the paper use theory synthetically without heavy reliance on quotes and excessive jargon?

Not eligible

  • Videos and other non-print formats
  • Late submissions
  • Submissions without faculty letter of verification and submission sheet
  • Papers submitted to AFHVS (and vice versa). (ASFS reserves the right to refer papers to AFHVS.)
  • Papers that do not fit the criteria specified

Submission Instructions

Submit an electronic version of the paper, which does not include personally identifying information, along with the submission cover sheet and electronic letter from the primary supervising professor to: Riki Saltzman. Dr. Saltzman will ensure that anonymous copies of the paper are sent to the Adjudication Committee. Please contact Riki Saltzman, Adjudication Committee Chair, for more information.


Filed under anthropology, ASFS, awards, Food Studies