The ASFS was founded in 1985, with the goals of promoting the interdisciplinary study of food and society. It has continued that mission by holding annual meetings; the first was in 1987 and since 1992, the meetings have been held jointly with the organization: Agriculture, Food & Human Values http://www.afhvs.org/

Annually, the organization honors 5 outstanding scholars with awards: ASFS Book Award, Belasco Prize for Scholarly Excellence, ASFS Award for Food Studies Pedagogy, Alex McIntosh Graduate Prize, Bill Whit Undergraduate Prize.