Concurrent food, energy, water, and climate crises, and a global rise in obesity amidst
widespread hunger and undernutrition, have re-focused public attention on the deficiencies and
complexities of the global food system. Yet, a diversity of ‘alternative’ food systems
demonstrates that food systems can be nutrition sensitive, socially just, and conserve natural
resources. Transforming food systems will require coordinated effort across scales, drawing
upon diverse disciplinary and practical perspectives, and understanding how value systems
shape food and agriculture. Linking theory and practice is also essential, involving the full range
of actors moving food from farm to fork.
This new course offers a unique opportunity for students to gain an interdisciplinary introduction
to food system issues through a weekly seminar series bringing high profile speakers to campus
from diverse sectors: policy, academia, grassroots movements, public health, conservation, and
more. Students will integrate theory and practice through this partnership course that connects
campus and community, led by a UM faculty member together with a community partner
working to develop urban agriculture and enhance food justice and food sovereignty in Detroit.
Students will develop competencies and cognitive skills in the area of food system sustainability
including critical and systems thinking, community engagement, creativity, and analytical ability.