Posted: November 27, 2017

CED 497 - 002 Special Topics: Changing Food Systems

Is today's food and agricultural system badly broken or only in need of a tune-up? Who can and should "fix" it? How is food systems change being pursued?

This course examines the drivers and impacts of recent efforts to change the food and agricultural system. It asks how stated and unstated priorities of sustainability, health, economic prosperity and social equity shape these efforts. Working from a broad social science perspective, we consider and compare different initiatives undertaken by communities, social movements, governments and businesses. We investigate differences and alignments in motivations, resources, organization, power and outcomes in diverse food system change efforts. Throughout, we consider individual change efforts within a more comprehensive food systems framework. Case studies include initiatives to:

  1. reduce harmful environmental impacts and increase ecological benefits of agricultural production practices
  2. improve labor and livelihood conditions for farmers, farm workers and other food system workers
  3. increase consumer access to affordable, healthy foods. The course includes an experiential project where students engage with either a community, non-profit, public sector or business organization that is working on some facet of food systems change.

Class meets during the Spring 2018 semester on Tuesday and Thursday, 1:35-2:50 pm, 216 Thomas Building

Instructor: Dr. Clare Hinrichs ()