Sustainable Food Production
Full course description
This course assumes a basic understanding of the concept of sustainability and related scientific models. We discuss the situation of today's global food production system and analyze the factors that make it unsustainable. We consider different concepts of changing the structure of the system with a distinction between restructuring and disruption. In addition to the lectures, which provide insights into research projects and subject areas, individual models are discussed week after week. Each course participant chooses their own topic to deepen and explains the underlying sustainability model and an application. In addition to a pitch, a written work and a video are made to spread the topic.
This course addresses the challenge of making our global food production sustainable. After attending the course, students should be able to:
- Identify and evaluate factors along the food supply chain that make the system unsustainable.
- Identify and evaluate concepts that support the sustainable development of food production.
- Expressing and presenting recommendations and active support measures for sustainable development in a target group-oriented manner.
- VSC1501 Sustainable Development
- VSC2203 Food Technology and Processing
- OR motivation letter with evidence for knowledge on basic sustainability concepts
Our food system is not designed to adapt to major disruptions like climate change and temporary crisis like Covid 19. But, farmers, entrepreneurs, and academics are rethinking food systems to forge a new path forward. Traditional farming methods like permaculture and using native plants on the one hand and new technologies like CRISPR and vertical farming on the other are promising parts of the solution. Changing our eating habits and implementing alternative proteins in global supply chains are big challenges. There are skeptics about each of these different approaches, but the future of a sustainable food system depends on bringing these ideas together.
Mandatory readings :
- Simons L. (2015). Changing the Food Game. Greenleaf Publishing limited.
- Nierenberg D., (2018). Nourished Planet, Sustainability in the global food system, Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition, Island Press.
- Robertson M. (2017). Sustainability Principles and Practice (2nd.ed.), Routledge.
- De Zwarte I., Candel J. (2020). 10 Miljard Monden. Prometheus Amsterdam.
- Baldwin C.J. (2015). The 10 Principles of Food Industry Sustainability, Wiley Blackwell.
- Collinson P., Young I., Antal L., Macbeth H. (2019). Food and Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century, Berghahn, New York, Oxford.
Original research articles are recommended during the course.