Alternative Food Networks
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Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Undergraduate Studies
Department: Food Studies
Course Number: NFDS 3203
Course Format: Lecture
Permission Required: No
In recent decades, alternative practices of food production and consumption have emerged in response to concerns about the environmental and social impact of the global industrial food system. Farmer’s markets, community-supported agriculture, food co-ops, and urban farms are examples of alternative food networks, which are place-based, socially embedded, and intended to change the way we grow, know, and get our food. In this class, we examine the history of these and other alternative food enterprises. Using critical theory, we evaluate the promise and limitations of alternative food networks as a means of creating more sustainable and just food systems. Readings are drawn from the fields of economic geography, rural sociology, community psychology, critical theory, and public health. Case studies from the popular press serve as a basis for class discussions about the practices brought together under the umbrella of alternative food networks.