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Sarah Elton

Dr. Sarah Elton

Assistant Professor
EducationHonours BA (University of Toronto), MA (University of Toronto), PhD (Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Social and Behavioural Health Sciences)
Phone416-979-5000 x552605

Areas of Expertise:

food systems, food sovereignty & climate change; ecological health; posthumanism, multispecies studies & human-plant relations; globalization, migration & food culture


Dr. Elton is a critical food systems researcher, investigating the food-biosphere-health nexus. She is a collaborator with Feeding the City,, external link, opens in new window a multidisciplinary study involving several universities and investigating the impact of COVID-19 on Canadian food systems. She is the primary investigator of the research that tracks the impact of the pandemic on the Ontario Food Terminal, Canada’s largest wholesale market of fresh produce that sources food for Toronto, Ontario, and the Maritimes. This study is funded by a Faculty of Arts research award. Her recent doctoral work examined the relationship between humans and nonhuman nature in a study of urban gardens in Toronto and won the 2019-2020 Joan Eakin Award for Methodological Excellence in a Qualitative Doctoral Dissertation. She also is the author of two best-selling books: Locavore (2010, Harper Collins Canada) and Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet (2013, University of Chicago Press).

Websites:, external link, opens in new window

ORCID iD icon, external link, opens in new window


  • SOC 808: Sociology of Food and Eating
  • SSH 301: Research Design and Qualitative Methods

Community & Professional Service:   

Recent & Selected Publications:

Elton, S. Forthcoming. "People-Plant mobilities: Growing bitter melon and bottle gourd in Toronto" in Food Mobilities: Making World Cuisines, edited by Daniel Bender and Simone Cinotto. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.   

Elton, S. and D. Cole. Forthcoming. “Teaching Global Health Ethics: An Ecological Perspective” in Global Health, edited by S. Benatar and G. Brock. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Elton, S. 2021. Growing Methods: Developing a methodology for identifying plant agency and vegetal politics in the city., external link, opens in new window Environmental Humanities 13(1): 93–112.

Elton, S. 2021. Is the ‘obesity crisis’ really the health crisis of the food system? The ecological determinants of health for food system change., external link, opens in new window Canadian Food Studies / La Revue Canadienne Des études Sur l’alimentation 8(1): 12-21.

Elton, S. 2019. Posthumanism Invited to Dinner: Exploring the Potential of More-than-Human perspective in Food Studies., external link, opens in new window Gastronomica 9(2): 6-15.

Elton, S. 2018. Reconsidering the retail foodscape from a posthumanist and ecological determinants of health perspective: Wading out of the food swamp., external link, opens in new window Critical Public Health 29(3): 370-378.

Mulligan, K., J. Archbold, L.E. Baker, S. Elton, and D.C. Cole. 2018. Toronto municipal staff and policy makers’ views on urban agriculture and health: A qualitative study., external link, opens in new window Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 8(B s.2): 133-56.

Landman, K. and S. Elton. 2017. PDF fileConserving Biodiversity: A Public Health Imperative., external link, opens in new window Toronto: Ecohealth Ontario.

Elton, S. 2013. Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet., external link, opens in new window Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Elton, S. 2010. Locavore: From Farmers’ Fields to Rooftop Gardens, How Canadians Are Changing the Way We Eat., external link, opens in new window Toronto: Harper Collins.