Summer Course Spotlight: Local to Global Food Values: Policy, Practice, and Performance

Local to Global Food Values: Policy, Practice, and Performance will be offered through Boston University’s Summer Term 2. This class will meet on Monday and Wednesday evenings, beginning on July 2 with a final class on August 8. To register, please visit .


What are “good” foods and trustworthy standards and measurements of value? Who regulates or labels claims such as  “local,” “natural,” “sustainable,” or “(non)GMO” and why should consumers care? These are the basic policy (government), practice (food-industry), and performance (case study) issues course participants systematically probe and debate during this six-week Summer Term II BU Gastronomy seminar. Each week clarifies and compares distinct environmental, economic, cultural, political, and nutritional frameworks of value.  Readings, discussions, and hands-on exercises aim to develop professional and personal knowledge and skills for those working in food research, production, marketing, or advocacy, or more generally interested in understanding the science and technology, language and cultural politics, guiding U.S. and global food systems.  The course is open to master’s level or advanced undergraduates.

Ellen_MesserEllen Messer is an anthropologist and culinary historian with an extensive background in food policy and food justice issues. Her research interests encompass cross-cultural perspectives on human right to food; biocultural determinants of food and nutrition intake; sustainable food systems (with special emphasis on the roles of NGOs); and the cultural history of nutrition, agriculture, and food science, including the impacts of biotechnology on hunger. She has authored and co-authored several books on food policy, including Who’s Hungry? And How Do We Know? Food Shortage, Poverty and Deprivation (United Nations Free Press, 1998). Previously she was Director of the World Hunger Program at Brown University and a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Messer is a Lecturer in Gastronomy at Boston University and has current faculty affiliations at the Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and at Brandeis University’s Department of Anthropology.

View all posts

Post Your Comment