About

Areas of specialism

just and sustainable cities, food systems, social change, urban natures, alternative food economies

University roles and responsibilities

  • Research Fellow in Sustainable Food Systems

    Affiliations and memberships

    World Social Science Fellow on Urban Issues in the Global South
    International Social Science Council, 2013.
    Australian Anthropology Society Fellow
    Australian Association of Anthropologists, 2016 ongoing.

    News

    Saturday Afternoon with Mandy McCracken (national radio program)
    Interviewee
    Saturday Afternoon national digital program with Mandy McCracken
    ABC Radio Melbourne with Hilary Harper
    Interviewee
    ABC Radio Melbourne with Hilary Harper
    Solidarity Breakfast, 3CR (radio)
    Interviewee
    Solidarity Breakfast, 3CR
    The Grapevine, 3RRR
    Interviewee
    The Grapevine, 3RRR

    Supervision

    Completed postgraduate research projects I have supervised

    Publications

    Ferne Leigh Edwards, Roberta Sonnino, Marta López Cifuentes (2024)Connecting the dots: Integrating food policies towards food system transformation, In: Environmental Science & Policy

    Growing evidence shows that current policies are unable to catalyse the necessary transformation towards a more just and sustainable food system. Scholars argue that food policy integration – policies that unite numerous food-related actions – is required to overcome dominant siloed and fragmented approaches and to tackle environmental and economic crises. However, what is being integrated and how such integrations contribute to food system transformation remain unexplored. This paper aims to disentangle frames and approaches to food policy integration through a critical analysis of literature on integrated policies and food system transformation. Complemented by a systematic literature review for “food system” and “polic* integrat*”, overlapping approaches and gaps between these literatures are revealed over the last twenty years. We use the prisms of processes (“how” food policy integration is being practiced), placement (“where” crossovers between sectors in governance institutions and where synergies between objectives can be created) and things (“what” specific aspects of the food system and related sectors exist within integrated policies and leverage points to trigger transformative dynamics) to explore how policy integration and food system transformation intersect within current debates. Our findings reveal cross-cutting themes and distinct theoretical frameworks but also identify substantial gaps, where frames of food policy integration often remain within their disciplinary silos, are ambiguous or ill-defined. We conclude that to achieve policy integration as a tool for food system transformation, a new research and policy agenda is needed that builds on diverse knowledges, critical policy approaches and the integration of food with other sectors.

    Ferne Edwards, Lucia Alexandra Popartan, Ida Nilstad Pettersen (2023)Introduction. Mapping the More-than-Human City in Theory, Methods and Practice, In: Ferne Leigh Edwards, Lucia Alexandra Popartan, Ida Nilstad Pettersen (eds.), Oswald Spengler and the Politics of Declinepp. 1-30 Berghahn Books
    Ferne Edwards (2021)Humming along, In: F Edwards, R Gerritsen, G Wesser (eds.), Food, Senses and the Citypp. 54-66 Routledge

    The local food movement has emerged in recent decades as a response to climate change and industrial agriculture in which people seek to improve their health and respond to environmental, social, and economic issues by taking back control of their food sources. Urban beekeeping is part of this sustainable food movement; spurred on by global threats to bee populations, there has been an escalation in beekeeping as a hobby. However, while much has been written on peoples’ desire to reconnect to their food supply and relocating this production to the city, little literature has explored the role of the senses in guiding this shift. Recognising cities as places of both refuge and conflict, new understandings are required to navigate increased human/nonhuman proximities. This article argues that the senses offer an important source of knowledge to help ease tensions between the binaries of city/country, consumption/production, and human/nonhuman, offering a pathway to reconnect to place and to both human and nonhuman ‘others’. By suggesting we learn to listen to bees and to each other, this chapter advocates for a more-than-human methodology of the senses towards creating convivial, multispecies cities.

    Ferne Leigh Edwards, Maximilian Manderscheid, Susan Parham (2023)Terms of engagement: mobilising citizens in edible nature-based solutions, In: Journal of urbanism Routledge

    The Sustainable Development Goals (United Nations 2017) and the New Urban Agenda (United Nations 2017) emphasise the role of cities for achieving progressive, grounded, and holistic socio-environmental change. Food sharing activities, such as participation in community gardens, organic cooperatives, and urban farms and orchards, are recognised as positive urbanism transition path- ways that can harbour many social, environmental, and economic co-benefits. To realise sustainable urbanism goals, the international project, EdiCitNet, applied “edible” Nature-based Solutions to facilitate societal challenges in ten participating cities. The project assumed that participatory processes across sectors within diverse cities would foster resilient project outcomes. However, while social engagement proved crucial, its implementation across diverse con- texts also raised several questions regarding participants’ initial engagement and the ongoing social sustainability of the project. Analysing outcomes from the project’s first 18 months, we recognise how the type and scope of engagement can impact project implementation, highlighting how “soft” aspects such as trust, emotions, and values are crucial for the success of large-scale multi- sector projects and how aspects of power and empowerment are embedded in the process. These findings can inform the design and implementation of other sustainable urbanism projects, in addition to contributing to literature on social participation, engagement, and translocal governance. 

    Ferne Edwards, Ida Nilstad Pettersen (2023)Speculative design for envisioning more-than-human futures in desirable counter-cities, In: Cities142104553 Elsevier Ltd

    The city has long been regarded as the domain of humans. Residing above the physical constraints of nature, such detached and dualistic anthropocentric perceptions tend to universalize, marginalize and de-politicize the value and possible co-benefits of human/nonhuman nature connections. Recognising a need to re-conceptualise the city as a multispecies space, we analyse outcomes from an interdisciplinary Master's subject that sought to encounter, restore, protect and co-exist with more-than-human species. Students were encouraged to step beyond their disciplinary boundaries to develop innovative strategies that could reconfigure human/nonhuman relationships within the city of Trondheim, Norway. Through their work, visions of alternative, possible futures emerged. Such alternative visions can be powerful: speculation can challenge and transform the linear, dualistic understandings of the city, and shape and redirect innovation practices. This article explores students' visions of multispecies cities to consider their contribution to just and sustainable transitions literature, analysing them with respect to design for sustainability transitions, teaching transdisciplinarity and the concept of the counter city. •The more-than-human city counters dualisms between human and nonhuman natures.•Alternative visions are needed to redirect urban trajectories towards sustainability.•We examine student work that explores possibilities for human/nonhuman coexistence.•Three speculative, possible more-than-human city futures emerge.•We discuss implications for teaching transdisciplinarity, design and the counter-city.

    Ferne Edwards (2023)Conclusion. Reflections and Future Directions for Researching Urban Natures, In: Ferne Edwards, Lucia Alexandra Popartan, Ida Nilstad Pettersen (eds.), Urban Natures: Living the More-than-Human Citypp. 293-305 Berghahn Books
    Ferne Edwards (2008)Edible Medicines: An Ethnopharmacology of Food, In: Gastronomica8(4)pp. 104-105 University of California Press
    Ferne Edwards (2023)The Food Sovereignty Movement in Venezuela, In: Food Resistance Movementspp. 49-82 Springer Nature Singapore

    Venezuela’s food sovereignty movement was part of a national strategy to transition from a capitalist-based economy to ‘Socialism of the Twenty-First Century’, based on social equality, inclusion, endogenous development and participative democracy. This chapter describes fieldwork from 2009 until 2012 on collaborative grassroots-government food programmes in three cities—Ciudad Bolívar, Merida and Caracas. It provides a brief history of Venezuela and its three food pathways (Indigenous, informal and independent). The government-led food sovereignty programmes are then analysed, focusing on strategies of land reform, urban productive programmes, subsidised and regulated supermarket chains, eateries and the provisioning of free food. While these strategies could not be fully realised due to subsequent nationwide unrest, this chapter highlights both potential strategies and considerations for instigating large-scale food systemic change.

    Ferne Edwards (2023)Future Directions for Food Resistance Movements, In: Food Resistance Movementspp. 147-152 Springer Nature Singapore

    Chapter 6 synthesises areas for future research across the case studies to identify the next steps for achieving just and sustainable food system change. Key research questions include: How can benefits from formalising alternative food networks be enjoyed without becoming co-opted? Do (or should) alternative food networks have a natural lifespan? How can formal processes be sufficiently adapted to learn from both success and failure? What approaches can best replicate initiatives across and between cities whilst retaining the integrity of their core principles and identity? This chapter closes by emphasising the need to support food resistance movements’ efforts in uncertain times, where anthropology—as one of many disciplines in inter and transdisciplinary approaches—can support greater understanding of the complex factors towards facilitating such change.

    Ferne Edwards (2011)Small, Slow and Shared: Emerging Social Innovations in Urban Australian Foodscapes, In: Australian humanities review(51) Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL)

    [...]the analysis of power becomes the study of associations that produce collective action, where success is the ability to 'colonise' the worlds of others by battling contested meanings. [...]new meanings and values can be transported through associations from one place (such as the periphery) to influence or dominate another (such as the centre) (Murdoch and Marsden). According to Seyfang and Smith, innovations can produce either intrinsic or diffusion benefits. [...]Melbourne's current food movement represents a rich tapestry of historical backyard production complemented by capitalist, institutional, and emerging alternative, innovative food practices.

    Ferne Edwards (2023)Introducing Food Resistance Movements, In: Food Resistance Movementspp. 1-27 Springer Nature Singapore

    Chapter 1 describes the motivations, diversity and growth of food resistance movements. Food resistance movements resist capitalist processes that perpetuate social and environmental injustices. This chapter contextualises food resistance movements within alternative food network literature. It recognises four key trajectories: alternative food networks from Europe, North America, the Global South, and social welfare approaches. Food resistance movements seek to establish alternatives that prioritise social justice and environmental sustainability values that go beyond elitist, individualist, racist and capitalist approaches. This book focuses on urban-based food resistance movements, representing potentially powerful sites for social mobilisation, experimentation and impactful solutions. After introducing the book’s case studies, this chapter situates the research approach in cultural anthropology to give a holistic and direct voice to participants from these diverse practices.

    Ferne Edwards (2023)Food Waste Activism in Australia, In: Food Resistance Movementspp. 29-48 Springer Nature Singapore

    Chapter 2 explores the freegan subculture in Australian cities—people who choose to consume food that would otherwise go to waste to protest overconsumption and hunger in the west. Two freegan case studies are discussed: members of Food Not Bombs, an activist community kitchen and free meal programme; and the practice of dumpster diving, where people choose to eat garbage from rubbish bins to protest waste. Through their actions, freegans challenge traditional assumptions of consumption, health, justice and the use of space. The chapter contextualises freegans’ actions in the global food waste movement. It analyses the ethics of alternative consumption through their preferred foraging sites and specific diets. It also discusses associated freegan subcultures and activities, and how freegans construct an oppositional, yet collective, identity.

    Ferne Edwards (2011)Food Chains: From Farmyard to Shopping Cart, In: Gastronomica11(1)pp. 109-110 University of California Press
    Ferne Edwards (2023)Reflections on Food System Transitions, In: Food Resistance Movementspp. 111-146 Springer Nature Singapore

    Chapter 5 reviews the case studies to decipher emerging themes, patterns, strategies and concerns that have developed within and between food resistance movements. It asks, what have food resistance movements achieved and what can be learnt from their experiences? Drawing on new social movement and transitions theories, it focuses on the food waste movement to examine trajectories of socio-environmental change over almost two decades. Food resistance movements often reach beyond awareness and behaviour change to consider pathways of formalisation, integration within planning and policy, maintenance through care and governance, failure, technological innovations and commercialisation. Opportunities for scaling ‘out’ and ‘up’ are examined through processes of diversification, hybridisation and replication. This chapter closes on possibilities for translocal movements and linkages between the Global North and South.

    Dustin Mulvaney, Ferne Leigh Edwards (2010)Green politics SAGE

    This second volume in the SAGE Series on Green Society covers the availability and distribution of such resources as energy and how they impact economic development, domestic politics, and international cooperation and conflict.

    Ferne Edwards (2023)Food Resistance Movements Palgrave Macmillan Singapore

    Uniquely charts the author's own journey as a cultural anthropologist and activistAnalyses three key food resistance movements in Australia, Venezuela and CataloniaExplains both the development of food resistance movements and their impact on city planning and citizen activism

    Anitra Nelson, Ferne Edwards (2020)Food for Degrowth: Perspectives and Practices Routledge

    This collection breaks new ground by investigating applications of degrowth in a range of geographic, practical and theoretical contexts along the food chain. Degrowth challenges growth and advocates for everyday practices that limit socio-metabolic energy and material flows within planetary constraints. As such, the editors intend to map possibilities for food for degrowth to become established as a field of studies.International contributors offer a range of examples and possibilities to develop more sustainable, localised, resilient and healthy food systems using degrowth principles of sufficiency, frugal abundance, security, autonomy and conviviality. Chapters are clustered in parts that critically examine food for degrowth in spheres of the household, collectives, networks, and narratives of broader activism and discourses. Themes include broadening and deepening concepts of care in food provisioning and social contexts; critically applying appropriate technologies; appreciating and integrating Indigenous perspectives; challenging notions of 'waste', 'circular economies' and commodification; and addressing the ever-present impacts of market logic framed by growth.This book will be of greatest interest to students and scholars of critical food studies, sustainability studies, urban political ecology, geography, environmental studies such as environmental sociology, anthropology, ethnography, ecological economics and urban design and planning.

    Berilsu Tarcan, Ida Nilstad Pettersen, Ferne Edwards (2023)Repositioning Craft and Design in the Anthropocene, In: Exchanges (Coventry)10(2)pp. 26-49 University of Warwick

    As a part of industrial mass production, the field of design has been deeply involved in the exploitation of natural resources. In design, better ways to approach the nonhuman-human relation are needed. In this article, we contribute by exploring how more-than-human perspectives can be used to engage with this relationship, and more specifically, by focusing on how the fields of design and craft relate to more-than-human worlds. Crafts are relevant as they are practices of making that preceded and exist beyond mass production. In design studies, more-than-human notions and posthumanist frameworks are still new. Although recent studies mention design in the context of more-than-human, they do not thoroughly integrate it within relationships between craft and design. Through positioning a more-than-human approach within the craft-design relationship, the design field can learn from and shift to a more equal understanding between humans and nonhumans. The article addresses this by describing emerging craft and design practices, and by providing textile examples. Non-western textiles and their motifs are given as example artefacts that consider traditional and Indigenous knowledge in more-than-human worlds. By looking at these motifs from more-than-human perspectives, we suggest that design and craft can deliver a new approach for addressing nonhumans in human-made things.

    Ferne Edwards (2017)Alex V. Barnard, 2016, Freegans: Diving into the Wealth of Food Waste in America, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 294 p, In: Review of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Studies98(4)pp. 327-329 Springer Paris
    Ferne Edwards (2023)Autonomous Food Spaces in Catalonia, In: Food Resistance Movementspp. 83-110 Springer Nature Singapore

    This case study discusses how citizens were creating autonomous spaces in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, from which to critique capitalist pressures and to establish alternatives based on food practices. Three anti-capitalist examples were explored: Can Masdeu, an alternative living and education centre; L’Aixada, a consumer cooperative; and La Xarxa D’Aliments, a food recycling activity based within an occupied bank. In contrast to many alternative food practices, these examples were relatively long-lived, offering insights as to how horizontal governance approaches could sustain participants’ lifestyle politics within a capitalist society. Shared governance approaches included consensus, asambleas and membership, the creation of shared physical and virtual spaces, and a range of alternative consumption practices (ethical, anti-consumerist and degrowth). These initiatives promoted critical thinking, communitarian skills, responsibility, reciprocity and solidarity.

    Cathy Banwell, Jane Dixon, Hilary Bambrick, Ferne Edwards, Tord Kjellstroem (2012)Socio-cultural reflections on heat in Australia with implications for health and climate change adaptation, In: Global health action5(1)pp. 1-9 Taylor & Francis

    Background: Australia has a hot climate with maximum summer temperatures in its major cities frequently exceeding 35 degrees C. Although 'heat waves' are an annual occurrence, the associated heat-related deaths among vulnerable groups, such as older people, suggest that Australians could be better prepared to deal with extreme heat. Objective: To understand ways in which a vulnerable sub-population adapt their personal behaviour to cope with heat within the context of Australians' relationship with heat. Design: We draw upon scientific, historical and literary sources and on a set of repeat interviews in the suburbs of Western Sydney with eight older participants and two focus group discussions. We discuss ways in which this group of older people modifies their behaviour to adapt to heat, and reflect on manifestations of Australians' ambivalence towards heat. Results: Participants reported a number of methods for coping with extreme heat, including a number of methods of personal cooling, changing patterns of daily activity and altering dietary habits. The use of air-conditioning was near universal, but with recognition that increasing energy costs may become more prohibitive over time. Conclusions: While a number of methods are employed by older people to stay cool, these may become limited in the future. Australians' attitudes may contribute to the ill-health and mortality associated with excessive heat.

    Ferne Edwards, David Mercer (2007)Gleaning from Gluttony: an Australian youth subculture confronts the ethics of waste, In: Australian geographer38(3)pp. 279-296 Taylor & Francis Group

    As part of the global 'rights to the city' movement and mounting concern over food waste, results are presented here of an ethnographic study of young people in Australia who choose to glean food from supermarket 'dumpster bins' and open markets primarily for political reasons. These youth form part of an international 'freegan' subculture: the belief in 'minimising impact on the environment by consuming food that has literally been thrown away' (Macmillan English Dictionary Online 2002). The study explores the emergence of two related subcultures: 'Dumpster Diving' (the act of procuring food from a supermarket dumpster bin for individual consumption) and 'Food Not Bombs' (a global-spanning group who collect left-over food from markets to cook and serve to people on the street). The analysis focuses on the ethics embedded within their alternative consumption diets. These findings are analysed in terms of the creation of their alternative identities performed on temporal-spatial terrains, exemplifying the role of the contemporary activist's use of space, place and culture in relation to social issues.

    Ferne Edwards, Dave Mercer (2012)Food waste in Australia: the freegan response, In: The Sociological review (Keele)60(S2)pp. 174-191 Sage

    A common problem in all affluent societies, particularly in the retail sector, is the burgeoning issue of food waste. In this, Australia is no exception. However, to a large extent, the main focus of research in Australia to date has been on food waste at the household level. This paper focuses on the previous stage in the food life-cycle and examines the freegan practice of collecting and redistributing food discarded as worthless' by supermarket chains, in particular. For freegans, this is an act of choice, not need, to protest against issues of overconsumption and waste. The practice of freeganism has had multiple manifestations throughout history. It represents an alternative ethics of consumption and has multiple forms, embracing such issues as pesticide contamination, excessive labour exploitation, packaging and more. This paper reports on ongoing ethnographic research into two freegan subcultures in Australia: dumpster-divers and participation in the activities associated with Food Not Bombs'. It complements freegan research conducted across the world while its analysis, applying theories of alternative food networks, food justice, diverse economies and concepts of autonomy, provides insights into contemporary forms of activism and social change around issues of food waste in Australia.

    Ferne Edwards, Jane Dixon, Sharon Friel, Gillian Hall, Kirsten Larsen, Stewart Lockie, Beverley Wood, Mark Lawrence, Ivan Hanigan, Anthony Hogan, Libby Hattersley (2011)Climate Change Adaptation at the Intersection of Food and Health, In: Asia-Pacific journal of public health23(2)pp. 91S-104S Sage

    Nutritious, safe, affordable, and enjoyable food is a fundamental prerequisite for health. As a nation, Australia is currently classified as food secure with the domestic production exceeding domestic consumption of most major food groups. The domestic system is almost self-sufficient in terms of nutritious plant foods, although these foods have seen steady higher price increases relative to other foods, with nutrition equity implications. However, the viability of Australia's food security sits counter to the continued presence of a stable and supportive climate. This article reviews the current state of science concerning the interface between climate change, food systems, and human health to reveal the key issues that must be addressed if Australia is to advance human health and sustainable food systems under a changing climate.

    Ferne Edwards, Jane Dixon (2016)Hum of the Hive Negotiating Conflict between Humans and Honeybee towards an Ecological City, In: Society & animals24(6)pp. 535-555 Brill Academic Publishers

    A contestation is underway in Australian cities between humans and the European honeybee, which has heightened in recent years as amateur beekeeping has emerged in response to environmental concerns. This paper reports on a brief ethnographic encounter among old and new amateur beekeepers located across Sydney, Australia. Older beekeepers were motivated mainly by a desire for a social hobby, whereas younger apiarists were attracted by the role bees play in addressing environmental concerns, including biodiversity, food self-sufficiency, and greening the city. However, the amateur beekeeper appears to be at risk from a series of conflicts: among themselves (registered and unregistered keepers), and with commercial keepers and suburban residents. These conflicts undermine the novel role that amateur beekeepers, with their distinct methods and perspectives, play in fostering biodiversity, health, and sustain ability towards the ecological city.

    Anna R Davies, Ferne Edwards, Brigida Marovelli, Oona Morrow, Monika Rut, Marion Weymes (2017)Creative construction: crafting, negotiating and performing urban food sharing landscapes, In: Area (London 1969)49(4)pp. 510-518 John Wiley and Sons Inc

    Activities utilising online tools are an increasingly visible part of our everyday lives, providing new subjects, objects and relationships – essentially new landscapes – for research, as well as new conceptual and methodological challenges for researchers. In parallel, calls for collaborative interdisciplinary, even transdisciplinary, research are increasing. Yet practical guidance and critical reflection on the challenges and opportunities of conducting collaborative research online, particularly in emergent areas, is limited. In response, this paper details what we term the ‘creative construction’ involved in a collaborative project building an exploratory database of more than 4000 food sharing activities in 100 cities that utilise internet and digital technologies in some way ( ICT mediated for brevity) to pursue their goals. The research was undertaken by an international team of researchers, including geographers, which utilised a combination of reflexive coding and online collaboration to develop a system for exploring the practice and performance of ICT ‐mediated food sharing in cities. This paper will unpack the black box of using the internet as a source of data about emergent practices and provide critical reflection on that highly negotiated and essentially handcrafted process. While the substance of the paper focuses on the under‐determined realm of food sharing, a site where it is claimed that ICT is transforming practices, the issues raised have resonance far beyond the specificities of this particular endeavour. While challenging, we argue that handcrafting systems for navigating emergent online data is vital, not least to render visible the complexities and contestations around definition, categorisation and translation.

    Ferne Edwards, Dave Mercer (2010)Meals in Metropolis: mapping the urban foodscape in Melbourne, Australia, In: Local environment15(2)pp. 153-168 Routledge

    This paper discusses how food mapping was used to introduce Industrial Design and Landscape Architecture students to the important issues of food security and sustainability in urban design. It is based on the experiences of teachers and students in an undergraduate course, "Meals in Metropolis", at the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Students were introduced to concepts such as localism, diversity, food security, resilience, innovation and integration. Three outcomes were produced; food chain maps, neighbourhood food maps, and redesign posters, which applied an ecological systems perspective to redesign current urban agriculture models of production. The paper has two outcomes: (1) the demonstrated uptake of new knowledge by the students and (2) the contribution of new knowledge to the Melbourne food movement. Together, these outcomes reveal an emerging landscape of innovative food production within Melbourne that could manifest into a more resilient, distributed urban food system.

    Anna R. Davies, Ferne Edwards, Brigida Marovelli, Oona Morrow, Monika Rut, Marion Weymes (2017)Making visible: Interrogating the performance of food sharing across 100 urban areas, In: Geoforum86pp. 136-149 Elsevier

    Interpersonal sharing of food has been an omnipresent feature of human civilisation from hunter-gatherer societies to the present, both as a mechanism through which sustenance is secured and as a means to cement social relations. While the evolutionary dynamism of this food sharing is relatively well documented, critical scholarship has tended to examine contemporary food sharing practices beyond family and friends through case studies of individual initiatives. A broader view of food sharing practices is absent. In addition, there has been little examination of the role that emerging information and communication technologies (ICT) are having on food sharing, despite claims that such technologies offer transformative potential to achieve more secure, sustainable and just food systems. In response, this paper presents a novel landscape level analysis of more than 4000 ICT-mediated urban food sharing activities operating across 100 cities in six continents. Adopting conceptual insights from the intersection of social and economic practice-oriented approaches, the resulting food sharing database progresses understanding of, and makes visible, the ways in which food (and food-related skills, stuff and spaces) is being shared across diverse urban settings. To conclude, it is argued that the database plays an important productive and performative role in mapping and comparing diverse food sharing economies. Importantly, it provides a springboard for further explanatory research to fine-tune our understanding of the evolution, governance and sustainability potential of urban food sharing.

    Ferne Edwards, Anitra Nelson (2020)Future research directions :, In: Food for Degrowth: Perspectives and practicespp. 213-226 Routledge

    This chapter suggests future research directions in food for degrowth studies based on contributions to this collection on the topic. A range of mainly transdisciplinary theoretical and practical approaches and key research questions are offered. The collection is based on a range of case studies and critiques clustered by scale and content. A range of research methods are used from autoethnography, interviews and surveys, analysed in statistical and qualitative ways and critical methods. In Part I, studies of household self-provisioning propose concepts such as ‘neopeasantry’ and ‘quiet’ food self-provisioning, and extend concepts of ‘caring’ and sharing. Collective endeavours (Part 2) emphasise social and economic dimensions of food for degrowth, providing insights from diverse community-supported agriculture style models in Hungary, Italy and Catalonia. Part 3 on networks identifies reciprocal exchange and solidarity as key tenets in explorations of hybridisation of alternative food practices (Budapest), technological application (Catalonia) and processes of multilevel governance internationally. Part 4 examines narratives and degrowth perspectives on the circular economy, food waste, decolonialisation and competing degrowth discourses of citification versus densification. This chapter proposes a range of research questions around accessibility, visibility, temporality, spatiality, boundaries and processes, transformation, postgrowth, qualitative and quantitative measures and assessments.

    Ferne Edwards, Jane Dixon, Ruth Beilin (2018)Adopting a Public Health Ecology Approach to a Key Food Security Issue: Apiary, Biodiversity and Conservation, In: The SAGE Handbook of Nature: Three Volume Set SAGE Publications Ltd

    The European honeybee is one of the most critical of all insect pollinators, with much of the world's crops dependent on their pollination contributing to dietary diversity. However, in Australia, resisting the implications of connected landscapes implicit in ecology, conservationists consider the European honeybee to be an exotic pest, contesting commercial beekeepers’ rights to access resources from forests and national parks. This chapter asks: What should be done when invasive species provide valuable ecosystem services and potentially threaten native species?

    Maximilian Manderscheid, Valentin Fiala, Ferne Edwards, Bernhard Freyer, Ina Saeumel (2022)Let's Do It Online?! Challenges and Lessons for Inclusive Virtual Participation, In: Frontiers in sustainable food systems6732943 Frontiers Media Sa

    Within the broader framework of the EU-H2020 EdiCitNet project-a large-scale collaborative project with a multi-stakeholder approach-there is the opportunity to observe participatory planning approaches to mainstream nature-based, edible solutions to solve specific social urban problems in an international group of six cities-Berlin (Germany), Carthage (Tunisia), Sant Feliu de Llobregat (Spain), Letchworth (United Kingdom), Sempeter pri Gorici (Slovenia), and Lome (Togo). One year after the project started, the COVID-19 pandemic made it necessary to transfer most participatory planning processes to online platforms. This new format presented challenges to planning and voluntary stakeholder engagement due to different capacities regarding technical requirements as well as location-specific social circumstances. In this paper, we aim to shed light on the potentials and trade-offs in shifting to online participation and who gets to participate under digital Participatory Action Research (PAR) circumstances. We used a mixed-methods approach to evaluate the planning progress and the transition to working online in the six cities during the first wave of the pandemic. The study identifies critical implications of COVID-19 on participatory planning processes, the challenges for online participation, and the effectiveness of measures applied to tackle those challenges. The transition to online participatory planning described in this paper emphasizes organizational rather than technical remedies. While the planning progress in all cities was delayed, some faced significant challenges in the transition to online due to the lack of technical or community capacities. This was fostered through the diverse and new realities of the stakeholders ranging from meeting existential needs to adapting to alternative forms of working and caring. The reflections in this paper offer learnings from the disruptions caused by COVID-19 to better understand how participatory planning processes can be managed online along the lines of equity, access, and participation. The findings demonstrate how participatory processes in the ongoing crisis can be maintained, with relevance to future waves of this and other pandemics.

    Anna Davies, Agnese Cretella, Ferne Edwards, Brigida Marovelli (2022)The social practices of hosting P2P social dining events: insights for sustainable tourism, In: Journal of sustainable tourism30(5)pp. 1004-1019 Taylor & Francis

    In many ways, the expansion of commercial for-profit, P2P social dining platforms has mirrored those within mobility and accommodation sectors. However its dynamics and impacts have received less consideration to date, with a notable paucity of attention to the hosts of social dining events. The aim of this paper is to address this research lacuna. Through its exploration of the social dining platforms VizEat in Athens and Eatwith in Barcelona, this paper identifies, analyses and compares the social practices of hosts around their social dining events in two key tourist destinations in Europe. Data is gathered through multiple methods from participating in and observing social dining events in each city to interviews with key stakeholders in the P2P social dining process (such as hosts, platform employees and ambassadors). The research reveals how dynamic rules, tools, skills and understandings shape and reshape the performance of hosting social dining events. It exposes tensions and ongoing negotiations between hosts and guests regarding matters of authenticity and privacy, an uneven risk burden between hosts and platforms with regards liability and scant regard for matters of sustainability. As a result there is little alignment between P2P social dining and the goals of sustainable tourism.

    Ferne Edwards (2021)Overcoming the social stigma of consuming food waste by dining at the Open Table, In: Agriculture and human values38(2)pp. 397-409 Springer Nature

    Stigma is often encountered by recipients who receive food donations from charities, while the consumption of wasted food, also traditionally considered to be a stigmatized practice, has recently become part of a popular food rescue movement that seeks to reduce environmental impacts. These two stigmas-charitable donation and the consumption of waste-are brought together at the Open Table, a community group in Melbourne, Australia, that serves community meals cooked from surplus food. This paper examines how Open Table de-stigmatizes food donations through food waste discourse to enable greater social inclusion. I draw on the experiences of donors, cooks, volunteers and eaters gathered from diverse Open Table sites. Taking a 'follow-the-thing' approach, I analyze how food 'waste' becomes re-valued by embracing goals of environmental justice enacted through local processes of care and conviviality. Relying on networks of volunteers and not-for-profit agencies, Open Table provides a simple, effective and adaptable model for possible replication for overcoming drawbacks of traditional charity practices. Critically though, as hunger in society continues to grow, this approach is increasingly threatened by the need to 'single out' disadvantaged recipients to justify continued supply. This paper contributes to food poverty, waste, and Alternative Food Network literature in two important ways: first, by analyzing the outcomes of community food redistribution approaches with regards to stigma and inclusion; and secondly, by arguing that such holistic approaches need to be acknowledged, valued and supported to shift current discourses and practice.

    Ferne Edwards, Sergio Pedro, Sara Rocha (2020)Institutionalising degrowth, In: Food for Degrowth: Perspectives and Practicespp. 141-155 Routledge

    There is growing recognition that radical, long-term change is required to address inherent issues in the industrial food system. New principles and practices are needed to create fair, sustainable and healthy food approaches. Actions for degrowth often begin at the grassroots, grounded in everyday actions that promote just and sustainable alternatives. However, limited resources often result in actions with bounded geographical reach and lifespan. Formal efforts to address food insecurity and sustainability by governments, NGOs and corporations have benefits, offering legitimacy and visibility by providing resources, institutionalisation and legislation. However, large-scale approaches often lack transversality, overlooking important local concerns and needs. This chapter explores multilevel governance approaches that bring together bottom-up and top-down approaches to foster engaged and enduring food alternatives. Strategies of cross-sector platforms, methods of convergence and the role of municipalities are examined in two projects: the Portuguese rights to food nutrition network AlimentAção! that promotes sustainable and healthy local food projects, and EdiCitNet, a food sustainability network that supports the uptake of innovative and inclusive urban food practices. This chapter contributes to sustainable food literature and practice by examining key junctures across different levels of governance to sustain healthy and just degrowth alternatives for transformative change.

    Ferne Edwards, Ricard Espelt (2020)Technology for degrowth, In: Food for Degrowth: Perspectives and practicespp. 128-140 Routledge

    In recent decades, there has been a rise in the use of digital technologies to support food sharing activities, such as the community-supported agriculture (CSA) model. These alternative distribution networks provide ethically sourced and sustainable produce. The physical and virtual networks of CSAs are based on principles of the social and solidarity economy, a sociopolitical movement that shares degrowth principles by promoting equitable wealth, democratic relationships and protection of ecosystems. However, while digital technologies support alternative exchange, controversies remain on the potential political implications of their application. This chapter investigates the uptake of digital platforms by CSAs to explore their application, barriers and outcomes for degrowth. The analysis draws on extensive mapping of cooperatives across Catalonia and is grounded in participant-observation of a CSA in Barcelona. This research highlights the role of platform cooperativism to support collaborative online sharing and ensure critical technology adoption for degrowth at the same time as preventing vertical power relations.

    Ferne Edwards (2021)Humming along Heightening the senses between urban honeybees and humans, In: Food, Senses and the City Routledge

    The local food movement has emerged in recent decades as a response to climate change and industrial agriculture in which people seek to improve their health and respond to environmental, social, and economic issues by taking back control of their food sources. Urban beekeeping is part of this sustainable food movement; spurred on by global threats to bee populations, there has been an escalation in beekeeping as a hobby. However, while much has been written on peoples’ desire to reconnect to their food supply and relocating this production to the city, little literature has explored the role of the senses in guiding this shift. Recognising cities as places of both refuge and conflict, new understandings are required to navigate increased human/nonhuman proximities. This article argues that the senses offer an important source of knowledge to help ease tensions between the binaries of city/country, consumption/production, and human/nonhuman, offering a pathway to reconnect to place and to both human and nonhuman ‘others’. By suggesting we learn to listen to bees and to each other, this chapter advocates for a more-than-human methodology of the senses towards creating convivial, multispecies cities.

    Ferne Edwards, Anna R. Davies (2018)Connective Consumptions: Mapping Melbourne's Food Sharing Ecosystem, In: Urban policy and research36(4)pp. 476-495 Taylor & Francis

    Food sharing, understood as the collaborative growing, cooking, eating and distributing of food, as well as the sharing of food related skills, spaces and tools, is experiencing a renaissance in cities. From meal sharing apps that are used to exchange home-cooked meals to online maps that reveal surplus harvests, innovative technologies are reshaping food sharing practices. Such initiatives intersect with other food and social movements to form what could be described as food sharing ecosystems. This paper applies assemblage theory to four food sharing initiatives in Melbourne, Australia, to ascertain the implications of their ecosystems for urban planning and policy.

    Anitra Nelson, Ferne Edwards (2020)Food for degrowth, In: Food for Degrowth: Perspectives and Practices Taylor & Francis

    Food is a basic need for human survival. Beyond material sustenance, food has sig-nifcant economic, social and cultural dimensions. Food suffciency, food security and food sovereignty have become critical concerns in the twenty-frst century. Moreover, food provisioning is a key space for contemporary efforts to transform practices to achieve global environmental sustainability. Indeed, 'degrowth' has emerged as a major approach within a suite of movements aiming to achieve sustainable livelihoods, sustainable systems of production and consumption and a sustainable society more generally. Degrowth as a concept, approach and practice challenges both economic growth and excessive resource consumption to advocate for practices that limit socio-metabolic energy and material fows with respect to planetary limits. This collection offers a representative sample of food for degrowth topics, research areas and themes. It is not comprehensive in terms of the multiple directions and expressions of food for degrowth but we are confdent that it offers both newcomers and those knowledgeable and experienced in degrowth new perspectives and ideas that are, moreover, presented in an orderly fashion. The curation of the collection follows a distinctively practical, political and regenerative degrowth logic that is in sharp contrast to the just-in-time supply chain of the agrifood sector characterised by capitalist logic, production for trade, market dynamics, profts and state regulations. In this mainstream system, most quality food is relatively unaffordable while many fast and cheap foods lack nutrition and even pose health threats in terms of chemical additives in processing. Indeed, much commercially sold food is not fresh and energy is overconsumed to refrigerate and transport food. Other seriously damaging environmental consequences of commodifying food production and exchange include resource depletion by farming with massive machinery using non-renewable fuels and applying fertilisers with polluting and toxic ingredients. As the World Health Organisation (WHO 2019) reports that 1 in 9 people go hungry, 1 in 4 are severely or moderately food insecure, and that more than 1 in 4 children under 5 are affected by stunting, wasting or obesity – convivial degrowth acts of growing and eating together, and sharing what we have, offer ways to reconsider how we might improve our food practices in terms of sociopolitical acts. Chapters in this collection offer insights into more

    Ferne Edwards (2021)Future directions for food, senses, and the city, In: Food, Senses and the Citypp. 229-239 Routledge

    This book has carved out a space to bring together theories and approaches to study food, senses, and the city. The chapters presented in this volume represent urban centres from around the world, and the diasporas that take their meals travel with them. The chapters’ approaches draw the reader in to experience – to touch, taste, smell, see, and hear – a range of urban cultural cuisines. This final chapter explores the contributions of these narratives – it summarises their key themes, approaches, and concepts; it responds to key debates in sensory anthropology; and it identifies areas for future research. It demonstrates how the nexus of ‘food, senses, and the city’ can bring people ‘home’, contributing to novel methodologies and building new knowledge across disciplines to establish new connections to urban food practices through the senses.

    Ferne Edwards, Roos Gerritsen, Grit WesserFood (2021)The 'food, senses, and the city' nexus, In: Food, Senses and the Citypp. 1-26 Routledge

    Food practices enter, move through, settle into, disrupt and redesign cities in novel ways: as community gardens and foraging sites, as health food stores and farmers’ markets, as freegan and vegan forms of protest and dietary reformation, as social treatise at the shared table, and by passing through as food trucks and as new forms of food delivery. Each engagement produces tactile, affective, visceral, and embodied relationships between people, place, and products that can instigate and uphold social relationships whilst embodying shifting values, meanings, and politics. Peoples’ engagement with food in turn influences the shape and feel of the city. Acknowledging the senses through urban food practices thus serves as an essential means by which to link people to each other and to where they live. This chapter explores the nexus of ‘food, senses, and the city’ in theory and practice. It reviews the ‘sensory turn’ in the social sciences to acknowledge key debates and concepts and to recognise research methodologies that go beyond the written word. This chapter ends with a summary of the volume’s sections that engage with themes of migration, memory, home, inclusion, politics, and care.

    Ferne Edwards, Lucia Alexandra Popartan, Ida Nilstad Pettersen (2023)URBAN NATURES Berghahn Books

    Efforts to create greener urban spaces have historically taken many forms, often disorganized and undisciplined. Recently, however, the push towards greener cities has evolved into a more cohesive movement. Drawing from multidisciplinary case studies, Urban Natures examines the possibilities of an ethical lively multi-species city with the understanding that humanity’s relationship to nature is politically constructed. Covering a wide range of sectors, cities, and urban spaces, as well as topics ranging from edible cities to issues of power, and more-than-human methodologies, this volume pushes our imagination of a green urban future.

    Ferne Edwards, Roos Gerritsen, Grit Wesser (2021)Food, senses and the city Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group

    his work explores diverse cultural understandings of food practices in cities through the senses, drawing on case studies in the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe. The volume includes the senses within the popular field of urban food studies to explore new understandings of how people live in cities and how we can understand cities through food. It reveals how the senses can provide unique insight into how the city and its dwellers are being reshaped and understood. Recognising cities as diverse and dynamic places, the book provides a wide range of case studies from food production to preparation and mediatisation through to consumption. These relationships are interrogated through themes of belonging and homemaking to discuss how food, memory, and materiality connect and disrupt past, present, and future imaginaries. As cities become larger, busier, and more crowded, this volume contributes to actual and potential ways that the senses can generate new understandings of how people live together in cities. This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of critical food studies, urban studies, and socio-cultural anthropology.

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