Food Systems Resource Management

SFS 3753

Food Systems Resource Management

4 credits

This course addresses the management of environmental, sociocultural and economic resources in food systems. The totality of resources needed for the primary production of food, as well as for other food system activities (e.g. processing, distribution) is examined, considering the range of actors engaged in food system activities and the outcomes with respect to food security, social justice, livelihoods, and human health. Students will learn how to use GIS (Geographical Information Systems) software in order to evaluate the capacity of the planet to produce food in aa sustainable fashion. Resource efficiency improvements to enhance food security are analyzed and discussed through a holistic and integrated approach, looking at resources such as soil, water, agrobiodiversity, knowledge, labor and landscape as a whole, integrated with the ecological platform which is our planet. In a typical experiential learning process, students will learn about the practices and structures that affect the health and wealth of those in agriculture and food systems. 

During field trips, students will share innovative practices that are fostering the transition towards a sustainable agriculture. The study of ecological functions in farming, and the marriage of agriculture and ecology will bring us to the concept of “Agroecology”. More specifically, agroecology is defined as the application of ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable agroecosystems.

Many food movements embrace today the concept of agroecology as a pillar of food sovereignty, which focuses on local autonomy, access to knowledge, local markets, and community action for access and control of land, water, agrobiodiversity, etc.  This course will be interdisciplinary, integrating different disciplines such as economics, geography, ecology, sociology, and the history of agricultural systems. 

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Sustaining Traditions: Food, Farming, and Climate

15 Weeks
18 Credits
Fall 2024
Sep 1 - Dec 12
Filling Fast
Spring 2025
Jan 27 - May 9