Susanne Freidberg

Academic Appointments
  • Professor of Geography

  • Ecology, Evolution, Ecosystems and Society Graduate Program

As a geographer, my work spans the fields of political ecology, cultural economy and science and technology studies (STS). Much of my research has centered on food supply chains in and between different parts of the world. Although different projects have focused on different geographic regions and scales, one of my enduring concerns lies in the expert knowledge and social relations that get food from farm to market.  I am especially interested in the work, technology and politics involved in defining and assuring certain qualities in food and agriculture, such as fresh, fair and sustainable. In recent research projects, for instance, I have studied contemporary debates about how best to measure food’s environmental footprint, as well as the ongoing efforts of large food companies to assess and improve the sustainability of farms supplying their raw materials.

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Fairchild, Room 016
HB 6017




The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding


  • B.A. Anthropology, Yale University
  • M.A. Geography, University of California at Berkeley
  • Ph.D. Geography, University of California at Berkeley

Selected Publications

  • 2019 "'Unable to determine': Limits to metrical governance in agricultural supply chains," Science, Technology and Human Values,

  • 2017 "Trading in the secretive commodity," Economy and Society, 46, 3-4, 499-521.

  • 2017 "Big Food, little data: The slow harvest of corporate food supply chain sustainability initiatives," Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 1-18.

  • 2016 "Wicked nutrition: The controversial greening of official dietary advice." Gastronomica, 16, 2, 69-80

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Speaking Engagements

  • 2016, "Contentious Harvest: The Greening of Big Food," Public Humanities Lecture, The Ohio State University, March 24.

  • 2014, "Machine in the Garden: The Making of American Freshness," Mergen-Palmer Endowed Lecture, George Washington University, Washington DC, October 6.

  • 2013, Keynote Address, "The Renaissance of Life Cycle Assessment: A Social Scientist's Perspective," International Conference on Life Cycle Management, Gothenburg, August 26.

  • 2013, Keynote Address, "Moral Economies of the Cold Chain," Anglo-American Conference of Historians on Food in History, London, UK, July 10.

  • 2012, Keynote Address, “The Political Metrics of Food’s Footprint,” World Rural Sociology Congress, Lisbon, Portugal, August 30.