Course Spotlight: Sustainable Food Systems

This course will examine the contemporary food system through a multi-disciplinary lens.  Taught by Chef Michael Leviton, the course will allow students to put readings and ideas into culinary practice. By examining the often-competing concerns from other domains, including economic (both micro and macro—social), social welfare, social justice and social diversity, health and wellness, food security and insecurity, and resiliency, we can begin to move towards solutions that treat the disease (our food system) and not just the symptoms (domain specific issues). Students will read widely in the topic area, engage in classroom discussion, and work together in the kitchen to understand hands-on culinary approaches to some of the most important issues of our time.

The reading list will be drawn from a wide range of contemporary authors include selections from Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, Maryn McKenna’s Big Chicken, Saru Jayaraman‘s Behind the Kitchen Door, and Wenonah Hauter’s Foodopoly . Guest speakers will bring in scholarly and practical approaches being put into use in the contemporary food scene.

Some class meetings will include tastings of different products (different origins, local, heritage, commodity, sustainable, organic, etc.) and cooking instruction around techniques for working with underutilized species, grass-fed (vs grain) beef, pastured vs coop chicken etc.

MET ML 723, Sustainable Food Systems, will meet on Monday nights in the Spring 2022 Semester, beginning on January 23. This class is open to graduate students and upper level undergraduates. Non-degree seeking students may register here.

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