CAFS Award Winners

Each year at the annual assembly, the Canadian Association for Food Studies presents two awards for excellence in the field of food studies.

Launched in 2011, the Student Paper award was created to recognize scholarly excellence and encourage participation by undergraduate and graduate students. The award includes a $200 prize, a one-year CAFS membership, complimentary conference registration, and a banquet ticket for the CAFS conference.

The second award is comprised of three different categories that are presented in a three-year cycle. The categories are:

  • Award for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement in Food Studies
  • Research Award for Excellence in Food Studies
  • Award for Excellence in Public Service

Please see our list of past award winners.

2020 Award Recipients

Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award: Wayne Roberts

Wayne’s life in the food movement might have started in 1949, when he was five and his father qualified for a Veterans Land Grant property in Scarborough — a half-acre of land, big enough for a garden to feed a family in the event of a Depression. Or in 1969, when he participated in mass protest demonstrations for Peoples’ Park, a community garden in Berkeley. Or in 1970, when, as chair of the Charles Street Tenants Association in Toronto he helped negotiate a rooftop garden in the heart of downtown. But no-one imagined a food movement in those days, and Wayne’s academic work was in labor and women’s studies, the new fields of that day.

He returned to food themes in 1995, when, as chair of the Coalition for a Green Economic Recovery, he wrote a manual for green economics that emphasized food. Likewise, the column he wrote for NOW Magazine from 1988 to 2010, then Canada’s leading alternative weekly, focused almost exclusively on food. In 1998, Wayne teamed up with Lori Stahlbrand and Rod MacRae to write Real Food for a Change to bring food together with health, nature, joy, and justice. He succeeded Rod at the TFPC (Toronto Food Policy Council)  in the year 2000, and soon found that his best allies were university graduate students and young faculty, leading him to sponsor perhaps Canada’s first university research seminar on food security at New College in 2005. In the absence of any popular books on global food systems, he wrote two editions of The No Nonsense Guide to World Food, which has since been translated into Japanese, Russian and Thai.

When Wayne started at the Toronto Food Policy Council, there were three such councils in the world. There are now 300.  Few universities offered trans-disciplinary courses on food studies in 2005. Now there are many. In 2007, when Wayne joined 50 million others on Facebook, few food-related policy organizations had access to media promoting open and ongoing engagement and content production. Since retiring from the paid workforce ten years ago, he has been listed as a top writer for Quora and one of the top 100 food tweeters. He supports several food causes on social media and as a board member or advisor.

Student Paper Award: Catherine Littler

Not Your Mother’s Meatballs: Edible Insects in Contemporary Western Societies

Catherine, also known as Kate by her family and friends, is a twenty-nine year old woman, student, mother of two, and military wife to husband, Mark. She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Science in Applied Human Nutrition program at Mount Saint Vincent University and is completing thesis research concerning Canadian military spousal experience of food and how deployment implicates such experiences, in particular food insecurity, food ways, gender, and identity. Kate has two children, a four year old daughter, Hannah, and a three year old son, Dylan. She spends her leisure time experimenting in the kitchen, in the forest with her family, or buried in books.