This exciting course explores the principles of food systems geography and food security, with cross-cultural examinations of dietary traditions, poverty, hunger, equity, and food access and distribution. What can be done about “real world” food, farming, and agricultural problems? Where is the contemporary agroecological system strong or weak with respect to restoration and renewability? How can we be better educated and more innovative in dealing with food production, distribution, access, and the promotion of ecosystem health? We will compare agricultural systems in the context of social, ecological, and economic sustainability. Alaska and other high-latitude food systems will be considered, including country food, wild game harvest, and rural to urban nutrition transition.The booklist is pretty cool, too:
- Agroecology: The Science of Sustainable Agriculture, by Miguel Altieri (1995)
- The World Is Not for Sale: Farmers Against Junk Food, by José Bové and François Dufour
- Farmer Jane: Women Changing the Way We Eat, by Temra Costa (2010)
- The Fatal Harvest Reader, edited by Andrew Kimbrell (2002) [also, there's Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture]
- Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It, by Anna Lappé (2010)
- Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov's Quest to End Famine, by Gary Nabhan (2009—this one was reviewed very favorably by Phil Loring in The Ester Republic)
- In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, by Michael Pollan (2008—I have this one already, but haven't yet read it)
- Sex, Seeds, and Civilization: How the Hidden Life of Plants Has Changed Our World, by Peter Thompson and Stephen Harris (2010)
There are several other interesting texts on the syllabus.
I am a little intimidated about the work and reading load that this course will require to do right, but the topic is of such interest and is so pertinent to my job at the U that I am plunging on with it. I've decided that I will blog about the course as it goes along, too—it will be a good way to organize my thoughts and work for the class, I think.