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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.

In addition, we are also running the second year of the Participatory Action Research on Food and Sustainability (PARFS) projects, which is led by FRIED members, and has funding from the UoE Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme. Last year’s students developed projects on the sustainability of Keep Cups, and on establishing a community garden, a food festival and regular farmer’s market on campus.

We are strengthening our links with INRA's team in the sociology of food, SOLAL. Though small, this is one of the most dynamic teams in the sociology of food in France, with 9 researchers, 2 affiliated researchers in partner institutions and 8 PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. At a time in which the University of Edinburgh seeks to reassert its international - including its European - vocation, this developing partnership will aim to consolidate research bonds, through joint research and publications, as well as through a planned programme of short-term exchanges for PhD students on both sides. The first step was a visit by FRIED to SOLAL in May 2016. The second step (co-organised by Isabelle Darmon) is a joint 2 day workshop in the south of Paris, on 16-18 May 2017, with 15 participants, including 6 postgraduate students. Three postgraduate students, members of FRIED, were selected to take part in this event.

Upcoming Events

Date / Time Details Where
26th Apr 2017 15:30 (1 hour and 30 minutes) Seminar: What will Brexit mean for UK food safety policy?
Professor Erik Millstone (University of Sussex);
Conference Room, ECCI, High School Yards, Infirmary Street, EH1 1LZ
3rd May 2017 13:30 (1 hour and 30 minutes) Seminar: Food and Worker Rights
Sue Longley (International Union of Food Workers);
LT1B, University of Edinburgh Business School, Buccleuch Place, EH8 9JS
3rd May 2017 14:00 (1 hour and 30 minutes) Seminar: What is a healthy and sustainable diet?
Neil Chalmers (Scotland's Rural College); Leone Craig (University of Aberdeen);
Seminar Room 6, Chrystal Macmillan Building George Square, EH8 9LD
30th May 2017 12:30 (2 hours) Seminar: Food and the Environment: How what we eat impacts the planet?
Professor Tim Benton (University of Leeds);
room F21, 7 George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9JZ