Waste Not, Want Not: Food and Thrift from Early Modernity to the Present

Thursday 12th and Friday 13th September 2019 University of Cambridge

The Programme is now live! Click here to view it.

Ticketing information is here.


This day-and-a-half conference will bring together academics and professionals from the interdisciplinary field of food studies and food sustainability research to reflect on attitudes towards food preservation and food waste from early modernity to the present. The title reflects an ongoing historiographical effort to better understand consuming behaviours through time. Topics include food preservation, food rationing, the management of food waste or efforts to reduce it, as well as its moral, religious, and political implications. The programme is also designed to open up a dialogue between scholars of the past and policy makers, and will serve as a platform for the discussion of more sustainable food practices in the present and future.

Keynote Speakers

Dept of Science & Technology Studies, University College London Folger Institute, Washington

This conference is generously funded by Cambridge AHRC DTP. Organised by: Eleanor Barnett, Katrina Moseley, Philippa Carter, Lucy Havard, and Kylie Chiu Yee Lui


The Conference will take place at the Faculty of English, on the Sidgwick Site, University of Cambridge

Discounted accommodation is available at Christ’s College, Cambridge through citing the name of the conference.


Tea/coffee, snacks, and lunch will be provided on both days. We have taken steps to remove single use plastics, and to provide sustainable food options. For this reason we will be serving vegetarian food. For more information on the University’s sustainable food policy see here. [Incidentally, this has recently reached the news: https://www.cam.ac.uk/news/removing-beef-and-lamb-from-menu-dramatically-reduces-food-related-carbon-emissions-at-cambridge]

A wine reception will be provided at the end of the first day, at St John’s College.