Food Systems

Related Paths

How is food produced and how does it move from the farm to your table? The topic of Food Systems describes not only the growing of food, but also the network of processers, distributers, and markets along with government policy that guides the flow.

Today the world's globalized, industrial food system faces multiple challenges laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic. The holistic framework of Food Systems allows us to explore questions in an integrated way:

  • Might a more local food system be more resistant and resilient when threatened by global pandemic? If so, how might it be developed?
  • How can diet-related diseases that are co-morbidity factors for disease be reduced?
  • How do we grow food sustainably under the environmental constraint of climate change and land degradation?
  • How can food waste be minimized?
  • How might all people who desire it access land to grow?
  • How might all people have culturally appropriate healthy food to eat?

Learning about food systems is part of our agricultural and food path offerings. Programs include hands-on exercises in a food-grade lab or field, as well as fieldtrips to see what alumnae are doing with their degrees. As part of many of our programs, you can include internships within many parts of the food system.

How to Choose Your Path

You’ll choose what you study to earn a Bachelor’s degree that’s meaningful to you. Some students decide their programs as they go, while others chart their course in advance.

Aim for both breadth and depth; explore fields that may be related or that may seem very distant. You'll be surprised at what you discover.

If you're new to college, look for programs where you can gain a foundation, build key skills, and broaden your knowledge (FR only, FR-SO, or FR-SR).

If you already have a foundation in this field, look for programs with intermediate or advanced material (SO-SR, JR-SR, or FR-SR). These programs may include community-based learning and in-depth research. Some of these programs have specific prerequisites; check the description for details.

Talk to an academic advisor to get help figuring out what coursework is best for you.