Climate conscious professional kitchens? Analysing the Scottish food sector through a feminist lens

Adele Wylie


As we enter what has been defined as a climate emergency, governments are formulating policy responses that address sustainability through low carbon transitions. This article examines the relationship between policy representation in climate mitigation, business and food policies, and the implementation of sustainable practices in professional kitchens. The restaurant industry is a major consumer of natural resources as many practices throughout the supply chain are carbon intensive. Following Carol Bacchi’s «What is the problem represented to be?» framework, this article examines the extent to which policy representation of sustainability and food governance influences everyday practices in professional kitchens in Glasgow, Scotland, based on research undertaken in 2019. This study revealed that climate change, business and food policies promote the idea that sustainability will be achieved alongside economic growth, without considering the complexities of social inequalities. The policies significantly overlook the private sector responsibility to transform away from unsustainable practices, whilst the potential approaches to improve social and environmental sustainability are obscured. The article concludes by calling for policies to integrate issues of social justice in the representation of the problem to produce more transformative and socially equitable outcomes.


Climate change; Sustainability; Professional kitchens; Policy; Gender


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