Food Systems

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.

Faculty Associated With This Field
Title Expertise
Bowcutt, Frederica Botany, ecology, environmental history
Foucrier, Tamsin
Lal, Prita Food justice, social movements, race/gender/class inequality, Black studies
Morisato, Donald genetics, molecular biology
Nivala, Melissa Mathematics
Rosemeyer, Martha Agricultural ecology, food systems
Scheuerell, Steven Ecology, botany, plant pathology