Food Systems Minor

The production, processing, distribution and politics of food systems represent one of the main challenges of the 21st century. The minor in Food Systems takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of this essential issue, including courses related to this topic from a variety of departments and programs including: anthropology, biology, chemical engineering, civil & environmental engineering, economics, environmental studies, French & Francophone studies, geography, management, philosophy, psychology and religion.

The Food Systems minor allows students to advance their interest in food policies, nutrition, water, waste and the urban environment, ethics of consumption, local and global cuisines, cultural practices, and the aesthetics of food. Cultural, political, economic, environmental, scientific and geographic approaches to food within local, urban and global contexts will allow students to investigate the myriad ways in which individuals, communities and societies produce, distribute and consume food. By exploring these issues with analytic tools developed in a range of academic disciplines, this minor leads to a critical examination of the role of food in historic and contemporary societies. A Food Systems concentration will enrich students’ understanding of their respective majors and prove useful to careers in a variety of fields, including: agricultural sciences, policy, development, advocacy, media, and social and cultural analysis.

The Food Systems minor consists of five courses. At least two courses must come from the “Global Cultural Approaches” list; at least one must come from the “Applied Approaches” list; the other two may be from either list. No more than three courses may be from the same department. No more than one 100-level course may count toward the minor. Please note that courses in the student’s major department may not count toward a minor.

Students or faculty instructors may request that relevant courses be included in the minor by obtaining approval from the coordinators of the minor. Students may count an internship or fieldwork related to food systems in the form of an independent study course. Students may request that study abroad courses be considered for the minor; the Coordinating Committee will consider study abroad courses upon review of the syllabus.

Students are encouraged to discuss their selection of courses for the minor with a member of the Coordinating Committee.

Global Cultural Approaches to Food Systems

ANTH 265Food, Eating, and Culture1
ECON 225Cultivating Change1
ENST 204Global Political Ecology of Food1
ENST 216Preindustrial Environment1
ENST 226Water Politics and Policies1
ENST 255Environmental Injustice1
FREN 280Translating Food Cultures1
FREN 282Patrimoines Gastronomiques1
FREN 395Seminar in French Studies1
GEOG 345Food and the Environment1
IREL 234Environment & Development1
IREL 252Political Economy of Global Resources1
IREL 430Global Poverty: Politics and Practices1
PHIL 100Introduction to Philosophy (Gods, Humans, Animals)1
PHIL 271Eating Animals: Philosophical Perspectives1
PSYC 309Appetite and Eating Behavior1
RELI 229The Ethics of Consumption1
RELI 312Digesting Divinity: Religion and Food1
UNIV 200Integrated Perspectives Course (West, Cowboys, Nature, Myth)1
UNIV 288Global Cuisines, Local Contexts: Commensality and Conflict1

Applied Approaches to Food Systems

ANOP 301Global Supply Chain Management1
ANTH 310Culture, Nature and Place1
BIOL 131Biology of Food1
BIOL 150Plants, People, and the Environment1
BIOL 330Plant Systematics1
BIOL 351Field Botany1
CEEG 320Water Resources Engineering1
CHEG 452Bioprocess Engineering1
CHEG 470Special Topics in Chemical Engineering (Applied Food Science & Engineering)1
CHEG 472Special Topics in Chemical Engineering1
ECON 235African Economic Development1
ECON 273Latin American Economic Development1
RESC 098Foundation Seminar in Residential Colleges ("Food, Farming and Sustainability")1
UNIV 200Integrated Perspectives Course (Farm to Table)1
UNIV 209Tasting France: The Science and Culture of Terroir1


Coordinator: John Penniman

Coordinating Committee: John Penniman (Religious Studies), Clare Sammells (Sociology & Anthropology), Mark D. Spiro (Biology), Margot Vigeant (Chemical Engineering)