#Chicken, the charismatic #supermarket, cultural economy of #power and #quinoa – in conversation with Jane Dixon*

What connects chicken and quinoa? That’s what I wanted to ask Prof Jane Dixon when I met her last month in London near the end of her time as Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor at the Centre for Food Policy, City, University of London. It’s over 20 years since we first met at a conference in the USA. She was over from Australia talking about her research on chicken. Since then she’s worked at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University where she is now an Honorary Associate professor. She researches the intersection of cultural sociology and public health with a particular focus on transformations within national food systems. Her special interest is with consumer power, commodity chains, food retail and the nutritionalisation of the food system.

Listen to her explain here:

If you want to hear her lecture – The social and environmental considerations of ethical eating, with a focus on ‘nutritional breakthrough foods’ (e.g. ‘superfoods’) as part of the Food Thinkers series of the Food Research Collaboration go here:


Some of her publications that might be of interest are

Dixon, J & Banwell, C 2016, ‘Supermarketisation and Rural Society Futures’, in Mark Shucksmith,David L. Brown (ed.), Routledge International Handbook of Rural Studies, Routledge Journals, Taylor & Francis Ltd, London United Kingdom, pp. 227-239.

Dixon, J, Sindall, C & Banwell, C 2004, ‘Exploring the intersectoral partnerships guiding Australia’s dietary advice’, Health Promotion International, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 5-13.

Dixon, J 2009, ‘From the imperial to the empty calorie: how nutrition relations underpin food regime transitions’, Agriculture and Human Values, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 321-331.

Her recent books include When Culture Impacts Health (Elsevier) and Weight of Modernity (Springer).

*It is with great sadness I have to report Jane died in Late January 2021. You can read a tribute to her from colleagues at Australian National University here.  In her tribute Corinna Hawkes, Director, Centre for Food Policy, City, University of London, wrote: “In celebration of her life, we wanted to share with you her Food Thinkers talk on Culture in Agriculture as well as the briefer Food Bites interview from an earlier trip to London in 2014 and her Ecofeminism, Food and Social Justice seminar from 2016. We encourage you to listen to a true thinker in the world of food. Jane explored how the food system worked from many different angles; hers was a penetrating view that provided new ways of seeing and new ways of thinking. We are so grateful to Jane for the wisdom she bought to us.”

About Geoff Tansey

I curate the Food Systems Academy, a free, on-line, open education resource to transform our food systems. I was also a member of the Food Ethics Council from 2000-2021 and chaired the independent Fabian Commission on Food and Poverty, which reported in 2015.
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