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Minor in Food Systems and Nutrition

The Food Systems and Nutrition minor encompasses a wide array of topics addressing sustainable food production, policy, access and nutrition. The aim is to provide a solid foundation to understand food systems from a holistic interdisciplinary point of view while providing students flexibility to specialize in an area that is most relevant to their interests and career goals. Whether a student's goal is to work for a non-profit organization or government agency, start his/her own business, or pursue a career in medicine, nutrition or food science, this minor provides critical interdisciplinary training to help each student be more effective in the future.

The minor requires taking a total of six courses and is cohesively structured to maximize student learning. Therefore, while the following sequence of classes is not mandatory it is strongly recommended:

Students are advised to start with the required interdisciplinary gateway course (ENV 9 Food Systems.) This course examines real-world issues facing stakeholders in the New England food system. Additionally, students must take an introductory course and three electives drawn from thematic areas of the student's choice. The minor ends with a required capstone course (ENV 190) or experience. The capstone class is a project-based course designed to integrate academic learning with application in a range of food systems settings and working with community partners.

The faculty advisor for the minor is Dr. Cathy Stanton.

Forms for Food Systems and Nutrition Minor:

Learning Objectives

After completion of this minor students will be able to:

  • Generate a holistic view of the food system and understand the links among different stakeholders
  • Integrate interdisciplinary knowledge and approaches when evaluating and/or seeking solutions to food system issues;
  • Identify how factors present at one point of the food system influence upstream and downstream outcomes in food production, distribution, consumption, and human health;
  • Synthesize multiple disciplines, using quantitative and qualitative skills, into papers and projects, and be able to communicate the findings to different audiences;
  • Critically analyze existing data to generate evidentiary claims;
  • Establish proficiency in team-work that meets deadlines and explores solutions, and provide examples of how multidisciplinary teams can be assembled to improve food production, distribution, and quality;
  • Critically address ethical and public policy questions that arise in the production, distribution, and consumption of food.

Learn about the Tufts Food Rescue Collaborative >

Attention: Some courses might not be taught every year. Please double-check the current semester course listings on Food[at]Tufts and/or SIS.

Specific Requirements (6 courses):

All students are required to take ENV 009. Enrollment preference will be given to students that have declared the Food and Nutrition minor or Environmental Studies majors completing the Food, Nutrition and the Environment track. Students considering the minor are strongly advised to take this course first.
ENV 009 Food Systems Fall
One or two of the following courses:
ANTH 126 Food, Nutrition, and Culture Variable
NU 101 Human Nutrition Spring
PHIL 0025 Food Ethics Spring
BIO 010 Plants and Humanity Fall, Summer

Three of the following courses or two if a second introductory course is taken.
Electives may be drawn from one or more of the thematic areas.

ANTH 174 Thinking with Plants Variable
HIST 103 Consumption, power, and identity Variable
HIST 154 Health and healing in medieval and early modern Europe Spring
VISC/ENV 128 Food as Sculpture Spring
BIO 118 Plant physiology Spring (even years)
BIO 185 Food for all: Ecology, Biotechnology and Sustainability Fall (even years), Summer
NUTR 215 Fundamentals of US agriculture Fall
ANTH 140 Food Justice: Fair Food Activism and Social Movements Variable
ANTH 178 Animals and post-human thought Variable
ED 014 Food and Schools Fall
NUTR 203 Fundamentals of nutrition policy and programing (w/ instructor's permission) Fall
NUTR 221 Global food business (w/ instructor's permission) Spring
NUTR 224 Community and food planning programs (w/ instructor's permission) Fall, Spring
NUTR 238 Economics for food policy analysis (w/ instructor's permission) Spring
UEP 285 Food justice: Critical Approaches to Policy and Planning (w/ instructor's permission) Fall
UEP 194-AA Public health and the built environment Spring (odd years), Summer
BIO 008 Microbiology of Food Fall
BIO 106 Microbiology Spring
BIO 116 General Physiology II Spring
NUTR 227 International nutrition (w/ instructor's permission) Fall
NUTR 313 Nutrition Assessment (w/ instructor's permission) Spring
PSY 25 Physiological psychology Fall
PSY 103 Brain and behavior Spring
PSY 128 Nutrition and behavior Fall
Students are required to take ENV 190 or an equivalent capstone experience. Enrollment preference will be given to students that have declared the Food and Nutrition minor or Environmental Studies majors completing the Food, Nutrition and the Environment track.
An alternative capstone experience might be accepted if pre-approved by the minor's advisor.
ANTH 161 Fieldwork Lab
*NOTE: Must receive instructor's permission, to receive course credits toward minor
ENV 190 Practicing in Food Systems Spring

Unlisted courses that are relevant to the minor might be requested to count toward specific requirements. In order to have an unlisted course reviewed to count toward the minor, you must complete a Course Petition form and submit it to cathy.stanton@tufts.edu.