As a multidisciplinary food systems scholar, I research the ways in which human health and well being are determined by ecosystems. The focus of my work is on city food systems. My scholarly research is published in academic journals including Social Science and Medicine, Critical Public Health, Canadian Food Studies, Gastronomica, Environmental Humanities and the Canadian Journal of Public Health (forthcoming).
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at X University (the institution is being renamed and until this happens, it shall be referred to as X University.) I also hold an appointment as Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. My PhD is in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. I am an academic fellow at the Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research at the University of Toronto and a member of the Centre for Studies in Food Security at my university. I am also a collaborator on the multi-university research group, Feeding the City. Today I run a SSHRC-funded study of the produce supply chains that bring fruits and vegetables to Toronto, in partnership with collaborators who work for the municipality, as well as Dr. Jayeeta Sharma at the University of Toronto and Dr. Evan Fraser at the University of Guelph.
I am very happy to live in Toronto and work at one of the city’s universities. My home and workplace are in Michi-Saagiig Nishinaabeg Akiing (Mississauga Territory, Treaty 13, 1805), the traditional shared gathering grounds with Haudenosaunee Nations through the Dish with One Spoon Treaty, and the historical home of the Wendat Nation (Jewell, E., 2021). This video by scholar Rick Hill explains the Dish With One Spoon treaty and its significance. In my research and teaching, and also as a parent, I strive to consider my place as a settler on this land and support decolonization.
Before going back to school to do a PhD, I was a journalist and bestselling author. I’ve written four books including Locavore: From farmers’ field to rooftop gardens, how Canadians are changing the way we eat that won gold at the Culinary Book Awards. Locavore was an Amazon.ca top 50 book of 2010, a Girl Guides of Canada Book Club selection as well as a David Suzuki Book Club Pick. I was a food columnist for CBC Radio for more than ten years, hosting several national radio specials. I wrote regularly for publications including The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, and Maclean’s Magazine. My time as a journalist makes me interested in knowledge translation—communicating academic research to policy makers and to the public.