Community Food Systems

Washington College 2024-

This course is adapted from my Bennington Farm to Plate course at Bennington College. Some questions we will consider are: How is food the foundation of both individual and group identities? How are our diets and cuisines shaped by culture and history as well as by our own agency to imagine new kinds of food futures? The ways that our food is produced, distributed, consumed, prepared, and disposed of – collectively referred to as a food system - are fundamental parts of our society that affect who we are as well as the environments in which we live.

This course will investigate food systems in particular communities of interest, local or global, through group or individual projects. Students will learn how to employ ethnographic methods in their investigations, conducting field research, analysis of existing data and primary documents, and literature reviews. The main goal of the course is to understand how food systems are organized at a community level and how we can take actions to change our food systems for improved social and environmental outcomes.