Digesting a Pandemic: Call for Abstracts

We are delighted to announce a call for abstract for our 2nd Special Issue, Digesting a Pandemic: Exploring Food and Nutrition Responses to the COVID-19 Outbreak. This issue will be guest edited by Dr. Ann Fox, Associate Professor, St. Francis Xavier University.

Food has touched us in countless ways through the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, some obvious and some less so, with strong speculation that the food chain itself may well have been “Ground Zero” for the spread of the virus (Galanakis, 2020).

Public questioning of taken-for-granted food and healthways provides an opportune moment to re-imagine how the relationship between food and health can change going forward and the role of nutrition professionals in shaping change.

Galanakis (2020) draws attention to four elements of the food system that require attention post-pandemic: Food security within a population in lockdown, food safety within a pandemic crisis, bioactive ingredients supporting human health, and sustainability for food systems in a new era. Understanding social responses in each of these areas is essential (Galanakis, 2020).

As we work our way through and emerge from the pandemic, reflecting on lessons learned will be critical to shaping a new order.

This special issue of Critical Dietetics will capture Covid-19 experiences, unearth the underlying conditions that have enabled the challenges encountered, and analyze potential for critical, socially-just directions for food, health, and dietetics at individual, community and population levels, post-pandemic.

Potential areas for exploration include but are not limited to:

  • Impact of the virus on vulnerable groups, as it relates to food, nutrition and health
  • Food and nutrition experiences of groups disproportionately affected by the virus
  • Media representations of food during the pandemic
  • Roles and role changes of dietitians during the Pandemic
  • Risks and risk management strategies related to food, nutrition and dietetics practice
  • Public engagement with growing, acquiring and preparing food
  • Changes in shopping and food acquisition methods
  • New initiatives, or lack there-of, related to understanding the impact of immuno-nutrition on  COVID-19
  • Individual and household coping strategies related to food
  • Food emergency preparedness
  • Food workers
  • Food supply chain issues
  • Food as carrier of infection

Interested authors should submit a 300-500 word proposal to Ann Fox (afox@stfx.ca) describing the aims, scope, content and theoretical perspectives for your paper. Research, reflexive, and discussion papers will be considered. The timeline for publication is proposed as follows:

July 5: Abstract due to Ann Fox afox@stfx.ca
July 15: Notification to authors about abstract
October 5: Full paper due, submit for peer review
October 30: Peer review complete and reviews submitted to authors
November 30: Revisions complete and submitted to copy and layout editor
December 5: Publication

If you have any further questions about the special issue, please contact Ann Fox (afox@stfx.ca), Guest Editor. If you have any questions about the Journal, please contact Jacqui Gingras (jgingras@ryerson.ca) or Debbie Maclellan (maclellan@upei.ca), Co-Editors, the Journal of Critical Dietetics.


Galanakis, CM (2020). The Food systems in the era of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic crisis. Food, 9, 523.

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