(Un)accepted foods: Why are some edible substances considered food and others not?

My Little Pony Burger

Last night I gave a presentation and moderated discussion at an event on “(Un)accepted Foods,” hosted by a group in Wageningen called Stichting Ruw.

The goal of the evening was to learn more about the potential of insects as food and about eating unconventional food products like horse and goose meat. 

There were excellent presentations.

Rob Hagenouw, an artist, spoke about his project Keuken van het Ongewenst Dier (Kitchen of the Unwanted Animal) where they make and sell  “My Little Pony Burgers” and croquettes from geese shot at the airport.

Arnold van Huis, author of ‘The Insect Cookbook’ and Professor of Entomology (see his TED talk here) gave a fascinating talk covering the opportunities and challenges association with the development of an insect eating culture in Europe.

I provided a socio-cultural perspective on food categorisation: why are some edible substances considered food and others not. If you are interested in seeing my presentation, here it is: (Un)Accepted Foods 08.04.14

(Un)accepted Foods – Lectures, discussion and tasting on April 8

Originally posted on Rural Sociology Group Wageningen University:

Join RUW at the  ‘(Un)accepted Foods ’ evening and learn more about the potential of insects as food and about eating unconventional food products like horse and goose meat. Find out why responses to such food items can be so strong and how attitudes towards them differ across cultures. And how about challenging your own food habits at the tasting?

Contributions by:

  • Jessica Duncan: Lecturer in Food Cultures and Food Policy at Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University
  • Arnold van Huis: Author of ‘The insect cookbook’, researcher at the Entomology department (WUR)
  • Rob Hagenouw: Keuken van het Ongewenst Dier (Kitchen of the Unwanted Animal)

Venue: April 8, 19.00-21.00 in the public libary of Wageningen (BBLTHK), free entrance.

For more information see: www.stichtingruw.nl or the Facebook page (Un)accepted food.

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Theoretical approaches to the ecologisation of agrifood systems – European Society of Rural Sociology 2014 Summerschool

Originally posted on Rural Sociology Group Wageningen University:

Transitions towards more sustainable agrifood systems and rural landscapes are at the core of societal demands, technological but also social innovations and renewed public policies at various scales. In rural sociology they are addressed through different theoretical frameworks and the main objective of the ESRS PhD Summer School this year, is to discuss these competing and sometimes articulated frameworks and thereby to help the PhD students to clarify their own theoretical choices and to position them in relation to other theoretical frameworks that are used in rural sociology. For students who are rather at the beginning of their PhD, the aim will be to help them organize their state of the art and clarify their problematisation, while for students who are more advanced, it would rather be a discussion of their results in the light of existing literature and/or possibly the preparation of a future article. All the participants should…

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European Summer University of Social Movements


The European Attac Network invites its partners, all the actors of the struggles and experiences we shared during the last 15 years, to join the European Summer University of Social Movements, initiated by the European Attac Network, in Paris, August 19-23 2014.
Please find the links for call for activities in 4 languages:

- in English : http://www.esu2014.org/en/towards-paris-2014/article/join-us-in-paris-for-the-european

- in Spanish : http://www.esu2014.org/es/hacia-paris-2014/article/unete-a-nosotros-en-paris-con

- in German : http://www.esu2014.org/de/auf-dem-weg-nach-paris-2014/article/kommt-zur-europaischen-sommer

- in French : http://www.esu2014.org/fr/vers-paris-2014/article/l-universite-europeenne-des

The transformative potential of the right to food

A new (and final) report from Oliver de Schutter, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, submitted to the Human Rights Council, draws the conclusions from his mandate, showing the connections between his various contributions.

Most stakeholders agree, in general terms, on the urgent need for reform. Measured 

against the requirement that they should contribute to the realization of the right to food, the food systems we have inherited from the twentieth century have failed. Of course,
significant progress has been achieved in boosting agricultural production over the past
fifty years.

Read the report here: http://www.srfood.org/images/stories/pdf/officialreports/20140310_finalreport_en.pdf

Imagining Research for Food Sovereignty (video)

This video – Imagining Research for Food Sovereignty – highlights the outcomes of the farmer exchanges and the St Ulrich workshop deliberations.

For more information about the St. Ulrich Workshop on Democratising Agricultural Research for Food Sovereignty and Peasant Agrarian Cultures and the Democratising Food and Agricultural Research initiative go here: http://www.excludedvoices.org/st-ulrich-workshop-democratising-agricultural-research-food-sovereignty-and-peasant-agrarian-culture

Democracy and diversity can mend broken food systems

Media Release: Democracy and diversity can mend broken food systems – final diagnosis from UN right to food expert

GENEVA (10 March 2014) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, today called for the world’s food systems to be radically and democratically redesigned to ensure the human right to adequate food and freedom from hunger.

“The eradication of hunger and malnutrition is an achievable goal. However, it will not be enough to refine the logic of our food systems – it must instead be reversed,” Mr. De Schutter stressed during the presentation of his final report* to the UN Human Rights Council after a six-year term as Special Rapporteur.

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