Free U of MN online course: Sustainability of Food Systems

Wendy S. Delmater
By Wendy S. Delmater on Fri, Jun 7, 2013 - 9:08am

This is a real college course made available online for free. It runs  June 14th 2013 (8 weeks long)

sign up here

This course explores the diversity of the foods we eat, the ways in which we grow, process, distribute, and prepare them, and the impacts they have upon our environment, health, and society. We will also examine the challenges and opportunities of creating a more sustainable global food system in the future.

Workload: 3-4 hours/week
From the course description:
This course will provide you with an overview of our world’s food system and its many impacts from the individual to the global scale. You will gain further appreciation of the complex implications of choices that are made along the food supply chain. You will be challenged to think critically about how the global food system may need to change to adapt to future economic and environmental conditions.
This course is organized around fifteen questions that span our world's food system, its impacts, and its future.
  1. What is food?
  2. What foods do we eat?
  3. How do we prepare our food?
  4. How and where did our food originate?
  5. How and where do we grow our food?
  6. How do we facilitate the trade and transfer of our food?
  7. How do we process and distribute our food?
  8. How do we choose what to eat?
  9. How does what we eat affect our health?
  10. How does what we eat affect our environment?
  11. How much food will we need in the future?
  12. What challenges do we face in reforming the global food system?
  13. How do we assess the sustainability of the global food system?
  14. How can we provide more food more sustainably?
  15. How can we each contribute to a more sustainable global food system?


sdmptww's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 18 2008
Posts: 56
it should be interesting

I signed up for this quite some time ago.  I am looking forward to it and think it will complement the permaculture online course I'm taking nicely.  It apparently was of significant interest to a lot of folks.  They moved it from an early May start to next week because they had 10,000 folks sign up in a short period of time.

Coursera has some interesting courses available if you are inclined to keeping your brain active by loading it up with info.

maceves's picture
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 23 2010
Posts: 281
me too

I signed up too.

redinr08's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 21 2008
Posts: 20
Thanks, Wendy!

Sounds great--- I just signed up.  Thanks for posting about these courses, I didn't know about them (even though U of MN alumni).

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