School of Social and Political Science

Research project type

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 the social science of food and eating, inequalities in food access, long-term uses and abuses of resources, food production, food governance and trade, and food in relation to health and well-being. 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: Imogen Bevan (SPS), Mary Brennan (Business School), Isabelle Darmon (SPS), Isabel Fletcher (SPS), Niamh Moore (SPS), Valeria Skafida (SPS), and Marisa Wilson (Geosciences). If you want to become more involved in running the network have an idea for future FRIED activities or please get in touch.

To join FRIED and our mailing list email Isabel Fletcher.

What does FRIED do?

FRIED aims to foster a stimulating intellectual and social environment on questions of food and sustainability in the School of Social and Political Science, the University and beyond. We run a lively online seminar series sometimes in partnership with different University of Edinburgh subject groups. See link on the right for further information or contact Isabel Fletcher.

During the pandemic, we piloted a podcast series, on food struggles, which we are now continuing with a new series of food biographical interviews ('a life in food') in 2022-23. See link on the right for further information or contact Mary Brennan or Isabelle Darmon.

We also have a lively postgraduate community of PhD students doing research in the social science of food and eating.  FRIED supports it through its student network, which runs its own events. See link on the right for further information or contact Kirsty Blair or Guillem Rubio Ramon. We organise an annual postgraduate conference, usually at the end of May, with Edinburgh-based PhD students and their supervisors. For further information, contact Marisa Wilson. And we take part in a European network, called Bridg'it, gathering partners from the Universities of Copenhagen, Lisbon, Giessen and CNRS Paris, through which we organise annual staff/postgraduate workshops  - see link on the right for further information or contact Isabelle Darmon.

FRIED is also involved in the very dynamic and politically active Scottish food scene. The last five years have seen an impressive mobilisation of civil society organisations in Scotland on the question of the right to food and in view of the preparation (and now deployment) of the Good Food Nation bill. FRIED has contributed to this, through the facilitation of a debate series on the right to food (with experts including the UN special rapporteur on the right to food), and as a member of the Scottish Food Coalition. For more information, please contact Mary Brennan

FRIED members 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 Isabelle Darmon and Niamh Moore,  which covers tastes, flavours and cuisines, diets, meals sociability and the collective.  Marisa Wilson's Geographies of Food course in the School of Geosciences has explored 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 previous year's Valeria Skafida's Digesting Food Policy course has explored food and diet from the perspective of social policy.

Please check back for details of upcoming events.