Adventures in Food Studies, Part 1

As an academic institute of the University of Mississippi, the Southern Foodways Alliance is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of food scholars. We sent Nathalie Dupree Graduate Fellows Abigail Huggins and Victoria De Leone on a mission to track down the nation’s top food studies programs. This week, Victoria highlights programs with a focus on policy and advocacy.

Fork and dollars on the wood table

Food Studies: Policy and Advocacy

Everybody wants to change the world. Food is one of the fundamental building blocks of our society, culture, and economy, and food policy affects every citizen. If you want to learn about food systems with a focus on policy and advocacy, these programs are for you.

School: Marylhurst College

Location: Marylhurst, OR

Degrees Available: M.S. in Food Systems and Society

Description: This program primarily takes place in online classes, and two five day on-campus intensive sessions a year. Students will learn to approach problems of food equity, advocacy, and policy through collaboration, critical thinking and synthesis skills.

Good for: Food activists who don’t want to pick up and move for school.

Classes: Food Politics; Food Systems Inquiry; Engagement for Social Change

Contact: Dr. Patricia Allen

School: Syracuse University

Location: Syracuse, NY

Degrees Available: Minor, B.S. and M.S. in Food Studies

Description: Students will explore the food system through topics including food justice, urban food systems, international trade, labor, science and technology, and culinary expertise. The curriculum mixes classroom work with hands-on learning through a practicum, placing students with organizations such as Slow Food, supermarkets, community farms, and food banks.

Good for: Students looking to get their feet wet in the world of NGOs and governmental organizations.

Classes: Food Fights: Contemporary Food Issues; Professional Baking; Farm to Fork; Philosophy and Practice of Locavorism; Emergency Food Systems.

Contact: Dr. Rick Welsh

School: Tufts University

Location: Medford, MA

Degrees Available: M.S. and Ph.D. in Nutrition

Description: The Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy offers a number of degree focuses and options for dual-degrees with other departments. Their Agriculture, Food, and Environment program combines studies of nutrition, agricultural science, environmental studies and public policy, while the Food, Policy, and Applied Nutrition program is designed for students seeking careers to improve food policy, security and nutrition in industrialized and developing countries.

Good for: Students who want to work in the intersection between food, policy, environment and social justice.

Classes: Fundamentals of U.S. Agriculture; The Global Food Business; Health Claims and the Food Industry

Contact: Dariush Mozzaffarian