CSPH 3301: Food Choices: Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves


Course Desription:

Food production in our current industrial system feeds the world, but at a cost to the environment.  In nutrition we often talk about a healthy diet, but only occasionally do we link our food and diet choices to agricultural practices and the health of the planet. This class will link the concepts of human health and planetary health in terms of food. There are no prerequisites to the class, but you should have been exposed to critical reading, writing, and thinking to make your journey through this class more fulfilling.  Using the framework of complexity theory and gentle action, topics that we will cover include: human food/nutrition needs and food security, influences on our food choices and decisions,  cultural and personal context of food choices, ways that food is produced-farm to fork, especially industrial monoculture,  food choices and the earth’s bio diversity, land use, water use and pollution, energy needs, climate change, alternatives-organic and sustainable, fair trade and economic policies and choices.

Course Objectives:

At the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Compare the science of industrial agricultural production and processing to alternative ideas of food production, e.g. organic sustainable agriculture
  • Compare how science and other views can be used to solve agriculture and environmental problems and limitations of science in evaluating and solving complex problems
  • Explain and use ideas of complexity theory and where it is useful and how it is used to solve problems
  • Understand and explain the relationships of science and political and social systems in dealing with food production and environmental issues
  • Be more aware of the interrelated systems in your life (how personal and societal choices about food affect the environment)
  • Demonstrate the significance of their ethical action in the world, both personally and in terms of others and the planet by critical thinking about issues of food and the environment
  • Demonstrate enhanced awareness of and engagement with social and environmental actions relating to food by various class readings and discussion
  • Demonstrate critical thinking on the issues via reading of original research and scholarly papers

Course Details

Course Format: 
Course ID: 
CSPH 3301
jr or sr or grad student
Semesters Course Offered: 
Course Flyer: 
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