Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

2019 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Critical Food Pedagogy and Sustainable Development

  • Branden LewisEmail author
  • Joy Kcenia O’Neil
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11352-0_253


The definition of food pedagogy is the knowledge and skill interactions of learning within the fusion of foodrelated content and experiential process as one cooccurrence.


Food pedagogy is the fusion of food-related content and experiential process as one co-occurrence. Coupled with the critique of, and solutions to food related issues, society forms power relations that serve as the foundational underpinnings of critical theory. The combining of food pedagogy and critical theory equates to critical food pedagogy. Situated within experiential learning theory (Dewey 1938), sustainability education (Capra 2002; Capra and Luisi 2014; Wals et al. 2017; Edwards 2005, 2010; Jickling and Sterling 2017; Lange 2002, 2010, 2018; Sterling 2001; Stibbe 2009; Orr 1992, 2004, 2016), and adult learning theory and higher education (Campbell 2006; Dirkx 1997, 1998a, b, 2008; Dirkx et al. 2006; Lange and O’Neil 2016; Hooks 2010, 2014; Mezirow 1981, 1990, 1991, 1997; O’Neil 2015, 2017a...


Food pedagogy Critical theory Political economy Reflection Globalization Instrumentalism Pragmatism Experiential learning Garden-based learning Farm-based learning Kitchen-based learning 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Anantharam A (2017) “I can think, I can wait, I can fast”: teaching food literature and experiential learning. Arts Hum High Educ 16(2):209–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Belliveau C (2007) A new look at dewey’s cooking lab: a pedagogical model for interdisciplinary learning in contemporary higher education. Doctoral dissertation. The University of Vermont, BurlingtonGoogle Scholar
  3. Berry W (1977) The unsettling of America: culture & agriculture. Counterpoint Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  4. Berry W (1990) What are people for? Essays by Wendell berry. Douglas and McIntyre. North Point Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  5. Blair D (2009) The child in the garden: an evaluative review of the benefits of school gardening. J Environ Educ 40(2):15–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brady J (2011) Cooking as inquiry: a method to stir up prevailing ways of knowing food, body, and identity. Int J Qual Methods 10(4):321–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown RM (1984) Unexpected news: reading the bible with third world eyes. Westminster John Knox Press, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  8. Campbell J (2006) Theorising habits of mind as a framework for learning. Comput Math Sci 6:102–109Google Scholar
  9. Capra F (2002) The hidden connections: a science for sustainable living. Random House, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Capra F, Luisi PL (2014) The systems view of life: a unifying vision. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chiles R, Coupland JN (2017) Questioning reality, questioning science: teaching students in the food and agricultural sciences about epistemological, ethical, and empirical controversies. J Food Sci Educ 16(2):49–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cole JE (2017) Cultivating change: teaching and learning in the classroom and on the farm. Food Cult Soc 20(1):153–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Coveney J (2006) Food, morals and meaning: the pleasure and anxiety of eating. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Coveney J, Begley A, Gallegos D (2012) ‘Savoir fare’: are cooking skills a new morality? Aust J Adult L 52(3):617Google Scholar
  15. Curtin DW, Heldke LM (1992) Cooking, eating, thinking: transformative philosophies of food, vol 704. Indiana University Press, BloomingtonGoogle Scholar
  16. Dewey J (1938) Experience and education. Touchstone, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Dirkx JM (1997) Nurturing soul in adult learning. New Dir Adult Contin Educ 1997(74):79–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dirkx JM (1998a) Knowing the self through fantasy: toward a mytho-poetic view of transformative learning. Paper presented at the Adult Education Research Conference, San AntonioGoogle Scholar
  19. Dirkx JM (1998b) Transformative learning theory in the practice of adult education: an overview. PAACE J Lifelong Learn 7:1–14Google Scholar
  20. Dirkx JM (2008) The meaning and role of emotions in adult learning. New Dir Adult Contin Educ 2008(120):7–18Google Scholar
  21. Dirkx JM, Mezirow J, Cranton P (2006) Musings and reflections on the meaning, context, and process of transformative learning: a dialogue between John M. Dirkx and Jack Mezirow. J Transform Educ 4(2):123–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Education for Sustainable Development Goals Learning Objectives (2017) United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved from http://www.voced.edu.au/content/ngv:77653
  23. Edwards AR (2005) The sustainability revolution: portrait of a paradigm shift. New Society Publishers, GabriolaGoogle Scholar
  24. Edwards AR (2010) Thriving beyond sustainability: pathways to a resilient society. New Society Publishers, GabriolaGoogle Scholar
  25. Flowers R, Swan E (2012) Introduction: why food? Why pedagogy? Why adult education? Aust J Adult Learn 52(3):419Google Scholar
  26. Flowers R, Swan E (2016) Food pedagogies. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Freeman A (2013) The unbearable whiteness of milk: food oppression and the USDA. UC Irvine Law Rev 3:1251–1279Google Scholar
  28. Freire P (1970) Pedagogy of the oppressed. Continuum International Publishing, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  29. Gruenewald DA (2003) The best of both worlds: a critical pedagogy of place. Educ Res 32(4):3–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Guthman J (2007) Commentary on teaching food: why I am fed up with Michael Pollan et al. J Agric Food Human Values Soc 24(2):261–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Guthman J (2008a) Bringing good food to others: investigating the subjects of alternative food practice. Cult Geogr 15(4):431–447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Guthman J (2008b) “If they only knew”: color blindness and universalism in California alternative food institutions. Prof Geogr 60(3):387–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Guthman J (2008c) Neoliberalism and the making of food politics in California. Geoforum 39(3):1171–1183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Guthman J (2009) On globalization, neoliberalism, obesity, local food and education. Interviewed by Scott Stoneman. Polit Cult (2)Google Scholar
  35. Harris DA, Giuffre PA (2010) Not one of the guys: women chefs redefining gender in the culinary industry. Gender and sexuality in the workplace, Emerald Group Publishing, Bingley, pp 59–81)Google Scholar
  36. Hayes-Conroy JS (2009) Visceral reactions: alternative food and social difference in two North American schools. Doctoral dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University, University ParkGoogle Scholar
  37. Hayes-Conroy JS (2014) Savoring alternative food: school gardens, healthy eating and visceral difference. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hayes-Conroy A, Hayes-Conroy JS (2008) Taking back taste: feminism, food and visceral politics. Gend Place Cult 15(5):461–473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hayes-Conroy A, Hayes-Conroy JS (eds) (2016) Doing nutrition differently: critical approaches to diet and dietary intervention. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  40. Hayes-Conroy A, Martin DG (2010) Mobilising bodies: visceral identification in the slow food movement. Trans Inst Br Geogr 35(2):269–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Heldke L (1988) Recipes for theory making. Hypatia 3(2):15–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Hemingway E (2014) Moveable feast: the restored edition. Simon and Schuster, Buenos AriesGoogle Scholar
  43. Hernandez M, Sutton D (2003) Hand that remember: an ethnographic approach to everyday cooking. Expedition 45(2):30–37Google Scholar
  44. Hooks B (2010) Teaching critical thinking: practical wisdom. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  45. Hooks B (2014) Teaching to transgress. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Horkheimer M (1982) Critical theory. Continuum International, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  47. Jickling B, Sterling S (2017) Post-sustainability and environmental education: framing issues. In Post-sustainability and environmental education. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp 1–11Google Scholar
  48. Julier A (2004) Entangled in our meals. Food Cult Soc 7(1):13–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Julier A (2008) The political economy of obesity: the fat pay all. In: Food and culture: a reader. University of Illinoise Press, Springfield, pp 482–499Google Scholar
  50. Julier A (2013) Eating together: food, friendship and inequality. University of Illinois Press, SpringfieldCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Julier A, Gillespie GW (2012) Encountering food systems. Food Cult Soc 15(3):359–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Julier A, Lindenfeld L (2005) Mapping men onto the menu: masculinities and food. Food Foodways 13(1–2):1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Kane L (2001) Popular education and social change in Latin America. Latin American Bureau, LondonGoogle Scholar
  54. Koh MW (2012) Discovering learning, discovering self: the effects of an interdisciplinary, standards-based school garden curriculum on elementary students in Hawai’i. Dissertation, Prescott College, PrescottGoogle Scholar
  55. LaCharite K (2016) Re-visioning agriculture in higher education: the role of campus agriculture initiatives in sustainability education. Agric Hum Values 33(3):521–535CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Lange EA (1998) Fragmented ethics of justice: Freire, liberation theology and pedagogies for the non-poor. Convergence 31(1):81Google Scholar
  57. Lange EA (2002) “Out of bounds:” reflecting on sustainability education for adults. Adult Learn 13(2–3):7–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Lange EA (2004) Transformative and restorative learning: a vital dialectic for sustainable societies. Adult Educ Q 54(2):121–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Lange EA (2010) Environmental adult education: a many-voiced landscape. In: Handbook for adult and continuing education. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  60. Lange E (2012a) Is Freirean transformative learning the Trojan horse of globalization and enemy of sustainability education?: A response to C.A Bowers. J Transform Educ 10(1):3–21.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1541344612453880
  61. Lange EA (2012b) Transforming transformative learning through sustainability and the New Science. In Taylor E, Cranton P and associates (eds) The Handbook of Transformative Learning: Theory, research, and practice. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass Publishers, pp 195–211Google Scholar
  62. Lange EA (2018) Sustainability education for adults: from sustainababble to a civilization leap. In Milana M, Holford J, Webb S, Jarvis P, Waller R (eds) Handbook of adult and lifelong education and learning. Basingstoke, Hampshire, Palgrave MacMillanGoogle Scholar
  63. Lange EA, O’Neil JK (2016) Riverspeaking: transformative learning within relational ontology. Paper presented at the International Transformative Learning Conference, Tacoma, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  64. Leahy D, Pike J (2015) Just say no to pies’: food pedagogies, health education and governmentality. In: Food pedagogies, Routledge, London, pp 223–243Google Scholar
  65. McMichael P (2000) The power of food. Agric Hum Values 17(1):21–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Mezirow J (1981) A critical theory of adult learning and education. Adult Educ 32(1):3–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Mezirow J (1990) How critical reflection triggers transformative learning. Foster Crit Reflection Adulthood 1:20Google Scholar
  68. Mezirow J (1991) Transformative dimensions of adult learning: ERICGoogle Scholar
  69. Mezirow J (1997) Transformative learning: theory to practice. New Dir Adult Contin Educ 1997(74):5–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Miller J, Deutsch J (2009) Food studies: an introduction to research methods. Oxford, BergCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Neumann U (2018) Cooking courses in higher education: a method to foster education for sustainable development and promoting sustainable development goals. In: Handbook of sustainability science and research. Springer, Chicago, pp 827–848Google Scholar
  72. O’Neil JK (2015) Cooking to learn” while “learning to cook”:(be) coming an (re) membering sustainability (doctoral dissertation). ProQuest LLC.(UMI Number 3705566)Google Scholar
  73. O’Neil JK (2017a) (be) coming and (re) membering through kitchen based learning as sustainability: an innovative living learning systems model for higher education. In: Leal Filho W et al (eds) Handbook of theory and practice of sustainable development in higher education. Springer, Cham, pp 317–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. O’Neil JK (2017b) What neuroscience has to say about the brain and learning. In: Wang V (ed) Theory and practice of adult and higher education. Information Age Publications, Charlotte, pp 271–302Google Scholar
  75. Orr DW (1992) Ecological literacy: education and the transition to a postmodern world. State University of New York Press, AlbanyGoogle Scholar
  76. Orr DW (2004) Earth in mind: on education, environment, and the human prospect. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  77. Orr DW (2016) Dangerous years: climate change, the long emergency, and the way forward. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  78. Sipos Y, Battisti B, Grimm K (2008) Achieving transformative sustainability learning: engaging head, hands and heart. Int J Sustain High Educ 9(1):68–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Sterling S (2001) Sustainable education re-visioning learning and change, vol 6. Green Books for The Schumacher Society, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  80. Sumner J (2008) Eating as a pedagogical act: food as a catalyst for adult education for sustainable development. Paper presented at the Thinking Beyond Borders: Global Ideas, Global Values, Vancouver, British ColumbiaGoogle Scholar
  81. Sumner J (2012) Conceptualizing sustainable food systems. In: Critical perspectives in food studies. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 326–336Google Scholar
  82. Sumner J (2013a) Adult education and food: eating as praxis. In: Nesbit T, Brigham SM, Gibb T, Taber N (eds) Building on critical traditions: adult education and learning in Canada. Thompson Educational Publishing, TorontoGoogle Scholar
  83. Sumner J (2013b) Eating as if it really matters: teaching the pedagogy of food in the age of globalization. Brock Educ J 22(2):41–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Sumner J (2013c) Food literacy and adult education: learning to read the world by eating. Can J Study Adult Educ 25(2):79Google Scholar
  85. Sumner J (2015) Learning to eat with attitude: critical food pedagogies. In: Swan E, Flowers R (eds) Food pedagogies. Ashgate, London, pp 201–214Google Scholar
  86. Sutton D, Hernandez M (2007) Voices in the kitchen: cooking tools as inalienable possessions. Oral History 35(2):67–76Google Scholar
  87. Swan E, Flowers R (2015) Clearing up the table: food pedagogies and environmental education—contributions, challenges and future agendas. Aust J Environ Educ 31(1):146–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Taylor EW (2006) Making meaning of local nonformal education: practitioner’s perspective. Adult Educ Q 56(4):291–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Taylor EW (2008) Transformative learning theory. New Dir Adult Contin Educ 2008(119):5–15Google Scholar
  90. Trubek AB, Belliveau C (2009) Cooking as pedagogy: engaging the senses through experiential learning. Anthropol News 50(4):16–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Trubek AB, Carabello M, Morgan C, Lahne J (2017) Empowered to cook: the crucial role of ‘food agency’in making meals. Appetite 116:297–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Wals AE, Weakland J, Corcoran PB (2017) Preparing for the Ecocene: envisioning futures for environmental and sustainability education. Jpn J Environ Educ 26(4):4_71–4_76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Walter P (2013) Theorising community gardens as pedagogical sites in the food movement. Environ Educ Res 19(4):521–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Welsh J, MacRae R (1998) Food citizenship and community food security: lessons from Toronto, Canada. Can J Dev Stud 19(4):237–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Wever C (2015) Cultivating critical learning: critical food pedagogy in FoodShare’s School Grown Program. (Master’s), York University, Ontario. Retrieved from http://fes.yorku.ca/files/outstanding-papers/Cassie_Wever_FINAL_MRP.pdf
  96. Williams D, Brown J (2013) Learning gardens and sustainability education: bringing life to schools and schools to life. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Williams DR, Dixon PS (2013) Impact of garden-based learning on academic outcomes in schools: synthesis of research between 1990 and 2010. Rev Educ Res 83(2):211–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Yamashita LA (2008) Learning to eat appreciatively and thoughtfully (EAT): connecting with food through school gardens. Oberlin College, OberlinGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education, College of Professional StudiesUniversity of Wisconsin Stevens PointStevens PointUSA
  2. 2.College of Culinary ArtsJohnson and Wales UniversityProvidenceUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Joy Kcenia O'Neil
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin Stevens PointStevens PointUSA