New Spring 2017 Course Explores the U.S. Food System from Field to Table

Posted: October 20, 2016

A new course, AG BM 170, "Investigating the U.S. Food System: How food moves from field to table," is being offered for the first time in Spring 2017. This course fulfills Penn State's U.S. Cultures general education requirement.

The course explores seven key questions about our food system:

  1. Where is our food grown and why?
  2. How is it grown, and why is it grown the way it is?
  3. What policies affect production and/or consumption?
  4. How does this food get to consumers?
  5. What role do agribusinesses such as food processors and food retailers play?
  6. What role do consumers and consumer groups play?
  7. Are alternative production or marketing systems available?

Classes will feature food or crop-based case studies where students try to answer these seven questions about chickens and eggs, apples and oranges, tomatoes, corn, and several others foods. Lectures, guest speakers, and small group work will also feature discussion of overarching topics affecting our food and agricultural system, including discussions of GMOs, organic agriculture, biofuels, animal welfare, food labeling, and other prominent issues.

AG BM 170 will meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 - 3:20 PM and Friday's class will be split into two discussion sections starting at either 2:30 PM or 3:35 PM.

For more information, please contact Professor Ted Jaenicke ().

Submitted by Ted Jaenicke (