since 1965  (really?)

Berkeley in the Global Food System

This course listing applies to a Spring 2010 course. To find current courses, check out the Find a Course page.

Spring 2010
ESPM 98/198
3 Unit(s)

Human friendly URL (OBSOLETE)


community service /
field work course

About the Course:

This class will explore the current state of food and agriculture systems, with special attention paid to the local and regional food system.  We will trace the historical and intellectual roots of the relatively new notion of "sustainability", especially as applied to agriculture, and link this new concept to various social theories.  We will study the intersection of social, ecological, and economic aspects of food and agriculture systems, focusing most on a sociological lens.  The class will be organized around the concept of a "value(s) chain" which traces the ecological, economic, and social power implications as a food product travels from farm to fork.  Class activities will include numerous guest speakers, a mix of instruction styles, and hands-on volunteer experience in the field.

This is a three unit class, so be prepared to get in-depth with the material. There will be weekly readings, a midterm presentation, and a final project in which you trace the path of two separate food items from soil to stomach. There will be speakers (at least one of them will be famous), forums, discussions, games, and a number of other learning methods. The class also requires 30 hours of community service at an approved food-based organization.

Each week, we will focus on a different aspect of the food system. Those topics will be:

-World Food Systems: An Introduction
-WTO and the TRIPS Agreement 
-Big Agro-Business and its Effects on Local Markets
-Food Subsidies, Overproduction, and Food Aid
-GMOs, Vandana Shiva and Seed Banks
-The Cuban Model of Community Organic Gardening 
-Food Cooperatives in North America as a Grassroots Response
-Grassroots Responses and Movements: Fair Trade Movement, Localvores, Via Campesina, Slow Food…
-Carbon Footprint and the Food System: Environmental Effects and Sustainability Implications

Join us and be a part of our big, happy, food-conscious family!

How to Enroll:

There is an enrollment limit of 20 (15 upper division and 5 lower division); if more than 20 people want to take the class, we'll ask for short applications. This will happen after our first meeting on Thursday, February 4, so come to that meeting regardless of whether you're able to register.

Course Contact: alli.a.reed AT

Faculty Sponsor: Ignacio Chapela

Time & Location:

Section 1Marea Goodman
Alli Reed
202066 VLSBTuTh 5p-7p2/04started

Uploaded Files:

Syllabus: Berkeley in the Global Food System syllabus.docJan 2084kbWord Doc (Viewer)View Download

Course info last modified January 22, 2010. This page has been viewed 2454 times.

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