Posted: November 30, 2023

Collaborative work authored by college grad students

Image: Kait Warner

Image: Kait Warner

Everyone eats. However, some only have enough to eat. That problem is the focus of a new online textbook for undergraduate students titled, "Everyone Needs to Eat: An Introduction to Food Security and Global Agriculture."

Written by graduate students in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, the book is an in-depth examination of the ecological, economic, social, political and technological factors that influence whether a person, community or nation is considered food secure.

"Everyone on Earth is united by a basic need for calories to remain alive," said Melanie Miller Foster, associate teaching professor of international agriculture and a co-editor of the book. "Unfortunately, there are dramatic differences in food security. While some people have so much food that they can't eat it fast enough before it rots, others struggle to find their next meal."

Miller Foster said she was inspired to write the book by her colleague Noel Habashy, assistant teaching professor and coordinator of the international agriculture minor. He had expressed a need for a textbook with academic rigor that could be used in an introductory course.

The pair said this textbook, which can be accessed for free by anyone in the world, differs from others because it is a living document, meaning scholars from around the globe will update it continuously.

—Amy Duke