Envision A Sustainable Future

The interdisciplinary Food Systems minor is designed to offer students a historical perspective and structural framework for studying our contemporary food system across disciplines. Students will identify and examine complex issues involving food, from soil to table, and develop knowledge and skills to become a more sustainable and responsible food citizen. The minor complements majors from across campus, including Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and the Humanities.

Minor Requirements

View in UVM Catalogue

Group 1 - Core Courses

Choose one course from each of the following Disciplines to complete 9 credits.

Natural Science:

  • The Green World (PBIO 006)
  • Introduction to Ecological Agriculture (PSS 021)
  • Introduction to Botany (PBIO 004)

Social Science:

  • World Food, Population & development (CDAE 002)
  • US Food, Social Equity & Development (CDAE 004)
  • Farm to Table: Our Contemporary Food System (NFS 073)


  • Ethics of Eating (PHIL 010)
  • Food and Culture (ANTH 085)

Course Descriptions

  • local lettuce

    NFS 073 - Farm to Table: Our Contemporary Food System

    Though we eat food daily, most of us know very little about the vast system of agricultural production, food processing, distribution, retailing, labeling, and catering that influences each and every individual food choice we make. Neither do we understand the forces influencing this chain of production from farm to table: cultural, political, economic. In this course, we will explore the structure and function of the contemporary food system, and compare it to some alternative historical models. We’ll then ask how did this system develop? What problems was it trying to solve? What unintended consequences flow from this current food system? What are the ways that actors can and do challenge this food system? This course will introduce students to our contemporary food system and the broad, interdisciplinary type of thinking required to make sense of it.

Group 2 - Elective Courses

Choose at least 3 courses from the following list:

  • Animals in Society/Animal Welfare (ASCI 122)
  • Animal Plagues: Global Animal Health, Infectious Disease Ecology, Zoonoses & Food Security (ASCI 192G)
  • Consumers, Markets & Public Policy (CDAE 127)
  • Agricultural Policy & Ethics (CDAE 208/ASCI 230)
  • Economics of Sustainability (CDAE 237)
  • Food & American Culture (ENG 107)
  • Environmental Impacts of Consumerism (ENVS 183)
  • Animal Products in Human Nutrition (HCOL 186K)
  • Food Policy & Politics (NFS 113/FS 101)
  • Biology of Fungi (PBIO 177)
  • Agroecology of Vegetable Crops (PSS 127)
  • Composting Ecology & Management (PSS 154)
  • Sustainable Farm Practicum (PSS 209)
  • Advanced Agroecology (PSS 212/ENVS 221)
  • Permaculture (PSS/ENVS 156)

This list is udpated annually. Please review the catalogue under year of declaration for specific curriculum requirements.


Declare a Food Systems Minor

If you wish to declare a Food Systems minor, please complete the declare or change your major form. This form is available within the Advising Tab of myUVM.

Affiliated Departments

Community Development and Applied Economics
Nutrition and Food Sciences
Plant and Soil Science
Environmental Studies
Animal Science
Plant Biology


Contact Jane Kolodinsky