carrots

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.

Group 1 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.

Afilliated Faculty 

Deborah Neher
Professor & Chair, Department of Plant and Soil Science 
Dr. Neher is a soil ecologist with research interests in the use of nematodes and microarthropods as indicators of soil quality for environmental monitoring of terrestrial and wetland soil.

Amy Trubek
Faculty Director, Food Systems Graduate Program 
Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences 
Dr. Trubek is a cultural anthropologist and chef, and her research interests include the history of the culinary profession, globalization of the food supply, the relationship between taste and place, and cooking as a cultural practice.

Affiliated Departments
Community Development and Applied Economics
Nutrition and Food Sciences 
Anthropology
Philosophy
Plant and Soil Science
Environmental Studies
Animal Science
Plant Biology
 

Minor Requirements

If you wish to declare this minor, please contact Serena Parnau to schedule a meeting

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)

Humanities:

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

Group 2 - Elective Courses
Choose at least 3 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)
  • 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)

View Requirements in Catalogue