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School of Social and Political Science: Research


Food Researchers in Edinburgh (FRIED)

What is FRIED? 

Food Researchers in Edinburgh (FRIED) is a group that brings together academics, students and others at and around the University of Edinburgh who are interested in food-related research. FRIED and its members approach food from a variety of angles, including inequalities of food access, long-term uses and abuses of resources, food production, food governance and trade, food in relation to health and well-being, and the culture of food and eating.

As a group FRIED is very interdisciplinary, with members dispersed across University of Edinburgh Schools and Colleges, and other universities. FRIED aims primarily to bring together staff and students across the University of Edinburgh, but food researchers from other institutions are welcome to join. Non-academics interested in our work and researchers working in other areas are welcome to sign up for our mailing list.

FRIED is run by a small steering group who meet regularly to plan the network's activities. Currently this group comprises: Mary Brennan (Business School), Neil Chalmers (SRUC) Isabelle Darmon (SPS), Isabel Fletcher (School of Law), Valeria Skafida (SPS) and Marisa Wilson (Geosciences). If you have an idea for future FRIED activities or want to become more involved in running the network please get in touch.

To join FRIED and our mailing list email

What does FRIED do?

FRIED runs a lively seminar series in partnership with several University of Edinburgh subject groups (see  below and pages on the left), and regular events within the University including capacity-building events on food research, writing retreats and informal group meetings.

FRIED members also teach on a variety of food-related topics. Our courses include The Social Life of Food (SLOF), an Honours course in the School of Social and Political Science convened by Niamh Moore and Isabelle Darmon, covers knowing and imagining food, theorising food, governing food, measuring food, food and communities, food and families, food and the senses, sharing food, and food fights. Marisa Wilson's Geographies of Food course in the School of Geosciences explores the globalisation of food through a political economic and historical lens, complementing the sociological explorations of food presented in the Social Life of Food course.

Last May, we co-organised a workshop in Paris, involving researchers and PhD students from FRIED, from the Sociology of Food unit of the Institut National de Recherche Agronomique (Paris), and researchers and a professor from the Department of Food and Resource Economics (University of Copenhagen). Against the current, we had called it ‘Bridg’it!’ with the subtitle: Studying food, flavours and eating across the Channel and the North Sea. Three themes loosely guided our collective discussions in the first workshop: collective meals; social science of taste and flavour; and food-related conflicts. But many connections ‘bridged’ papers across themes. A report is available for anyone interested (please email

2017-8 will be a year of consolidation of FRIED's European cooperation and partnerships with INRA and IFRO. A second workshop involving staff and PhD students from the 3 teams will take place between 12 and 14 April 2018 (starting with dinner on the 11th), in Edinburgh. This is meant as a space for presenting/discussing papers in the social science of food, working on joint papers where relevant, and planning common projects.

Upcoming Events

Date / Time Details Where
24th Jan 2019 16:00 (1 hour and 30 minutes) Seminar: Law, Finance, and the Political Economy of Hunger
Dr Anna Chadwick (University of Glasgow); Introduced by: Dr Isabel Fletcher (University of Edinburgh);
1st Floor Practice Suite, Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15a George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD
6th Feb 2019 14:00 (2 hours) Seminar: Meat consumption and sustainable diets
Dr Nicole Darmon (INRA); Prof Jennie Macdiarmid (University of Aberdeen); Host(s): Prof Geoff Simm (University of Edinburgh);
Easter Bush Campus, University of Edinburgh