Food Systems and Sustainable Diets

Course Details

Course Number
NUTR 327
Associated Faculty

Course Description

In this course, we will examine (a) food systems in terms of the production, processing, transport and consumption of food, as well as the social, economic, governance, health, and environmental dimensions, particularly in relation to sustainability, and (b) sustainable diets, defined by FAO as “those diets with low environmental impacts which contribute to food and nutrition security and to healthy life for present and future generations”.  Using systems thinking methodologies emphasizing sustainability, we will also: 
  • Review contemporary food systems and sustainable diet models;
  • Compare geographic and place-based food systems frameworks (e.g.; global, regional, local, and community food systems;
  • Examine structural elements of diets and the connections to food systems;
  • Address sustainability in relation to food system values and ethics, and how this applies to sustainable diets;
  • Discuss contemporary issues such as agroecology and organics, ‘industrial’ food, life cycle analysis / carbon ‘foodprints’, climate change, biodiversity, and food waste;
  • Connect sustainable diets to dietary guidelines formulation and policy;
  • Learn strategies and practice developing sustainable dietary guidance.    
This class is best suited to students with a grounding in food systems literature, including public health nutrition. The class is partly seminar style, emphasizing active participation, incorporating student-led presentations and group exercises/debates on topical issues. 


Graduate standing or instructor consent.

Terms Offered

Semester/Term SIS Number Meeting Time Location Instructors Syllabus
Fall 2017 83527 Thursday 1:30pm - 4:30pm Hugh Joseph N/A
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