Slow cooked

An unexpected life in food politics


  • Jennifer Sumner University of Toronto



food studies, food politics, interdisciplinarity, Marion Nestle


This lively autobiography details Marion Nestle’s life-long engagement with food, particularly the tumultuous politics that inevitably accompany this central aspect of human life.  As the founder of the interdiscipline of food studies, she describes her early life in academia, her work with the federal government and her appointment as a professor at New York University (NYU).  Food studies scholars and practitioners will be fascinated by her insider stories of creating the field – from acquiring financial backing and finding qualified faculty to attracting students and bringing food influencers onside.  To paraphrase Wendell Barry, eating is a political act, and no-one brings that to life more acutely than Marion Nestle.

Author Biography

Jennifer Sumner, University of Toronto

Jennifer Sumner teaches in the Adult Education and Community Development Program of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include food studies, sustainable food systems, and the political economy of food, as well as globalization, sustainability, and organic agriculture. She is the author of the book Sustainability and the Civil Commons: Rural Communities in the Age of Globalization (University of Toronto Press 2005/2007), co-editor of Critical Perspectives in Food Studies (Oxford University Press 2012/2016), and editor of Learning, Food and Sustainability: Sites for Resistance and Change (Palgrave Macmillan 2016).




How to Cite

Sumner, J. (2023). Slow cooked: An unexpected life in food politics. Canadian Food Studies La Revue Canadienne Des études Sur l’alimentation, 10(2), 120–122.