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geographies of food & eating

Where does our food come from? Who grows, prepares, processes, and transports it? What constitutes “good,” “healthy,” and “just” food? How have the answers to such questions changed over time and across places? Exploring how and where food is grown, distributed and consumed leads to a deeper understanding of societies, environments, and their complex relationships. Food becomes a lens through which we understand larger social, (geo)political, economic, cultural, and ecological questions. This course examines food production, distribution, and consumption issues across geographic scales, from the world system to the body. We will confront structural inequalities expressed in our food system through an intersectional and comparative lens. Finally, we will explore social movements, past and present, that seek to transform the way we eat and ultimately how we live. This course is designed for upper level students and uses the theme of food and eating to examine key concepts in human geography.

Panthers serving children free breakfast, Sacred Heart Church, San Francisco, CAAM

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

  • Appraise some of the central and emerging research themes in agro-food studies,

  • Understand the emergence and development of the world food economy,

  • Evaluate a range of political, economic, social, cultural, and spatial dimensions of food production, distribution, and consumption from the global to the local,

  • Analyze the structural inequalities (race, class, gender) expressed in our food system,

  • Identify and distinguish current efforts to transform global and local food systems, including one’s own place in the food system and how we might collectively transform it,

  • Explore how place, race, and Indigeneity intersect with food and eating practices,

  • Develop critical thinking, reading, discussion, public speaking, and writing skills.

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