Community Food and Agricultural Systems
Environmental Studies and Agriscience 343
Section 730 - Online Course (course management: www.schoology.com)
Spring 2013
Credit hours: 3.0
Instructor: Phil Howard
Office Phone: 355-8431
Office Address: 316 Natural Resources
Office Hours: By appointment
E-mail: howardp@msu.edu


Required Text:
McMillan, Tracie. 2012. The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table. Scribner.
(Additional weekly readings as assigned)


Description: Food and agricultural systems. Inputs, production, processing, distribution, consumption and disposal. Industrialization, globalization and centralization of power. Community goals including ecological sustainability, social justice, economic viability and democracy.


Goals of the Course:
  • Investigate the paths food takes from fields to forks, both here and abroad
  • Explore the intersections of community, food, agriculture and the environment
  • Analyze dominant trends in food systems, and responses to these trends
  • Critically assess strategies to achieve sustainable food systems
Assignments (100 points possible for each of the following):
  • Weekly readings and discussion of readings
  • Weekly brief reflections on field trips, videos or presentations
  • A critical review of The American Way of Eating, due Feb. 20
  • A critical review of 1 additional book or 3 films, due April 10
  • Final Self-evaluation, due April 30
Total – 500 points

Grading scale for the course (by percentage of the 500 points obtained):
94 to 100% - 4.0
87 to 93% - 3.5
80 to 86% - 3.0
75 to 79% - 2.5
70 to 74% - 2.0
65 to 69% - 1.5
60 to 64% - 1.0
<60% - no credit