Sustainable Food Systems Minor

Drought resistant beans

Drought resistant beans
A Columbian farmer holding drought resistant beans. Photo courtesy of Neil Palmer (CIAT Columbia)


photo courtesy of Coanri Rita

People harvesting UMSPF

Harvesting on Campus
Students harvest vegetable at the campus farm, which is part of the UM Sustainable Food Program

Corn Harvest, by TumblingRun Aug19.2012

Corn Harvest
photo courtesy of Tumbling Run

Root Veggies. Photo courtesy Skånska Matupplevelser.

Root Vegetables
photo courtesy of Skånska Matupplevelser

This minor is intended for students with a keen interest in expanding their study of sustainable and equitable ways to produce and deliver nutritious food so as to improve people’s health and livelihoods.

Why Was A Food Minor Created?

What To Expect From The Food Minor

The minor consists of courses analyzing the current food system across a range of disciplines, documenting some of its more unsustainable characteristics and proposing alternatives. There are no prerequisites for this minor.

Requirements Of The Minor

To complete this minor, students must complete at least five courses, for a minimum of 15 credits, from the three categories below. At least two classes must be taken at the 300-level.

A. Introductory Courses (choose at least 1 course): 

ENVIRON/BIO 101: Food, Energy and the Environment
ENVIRON 139: Local Food Systems and Sustainability
ENVIRON 270: Our Common Future
ENVIRON 290: Food – The Ecology, Economics and Ethics of Eating
UC 254 - *Much Depends on Dinner* OR *Obesity: Fatness in America*
Courses with * must contain that topic title only

B. Topical Courses (choose at least 3 courses):

ANTHRBIO 364: Nutrition and Evolution
ANTHRCUL 458: *Topic titled: Anthropology of Food and Eating*
ARCH/UP 357: Architecture, Sustainability and the City
ARTDES 250: Art-Design Perspectives III: Tech/Environment
BIO 102: Practical Botany
CLARCH/CLCIV 382: Food in the Ancient World
Earth 154: Ocean Resources
Earth 159: Toward a Sustainable Human Future
Earth 333: Inexhaustible Seas? Marine Resources & Environ Issues
EHS 540: Maternal and Childhood Nutrition (with perm of instructor)
EHS 642: Community Nutrition (with perm of instructor)
ENGLISH 225.009 *Understanding and Making Arguments about Food*
ENVIRON 242.001 *2.5 Million Years of Human Food and Foodways *
ENVIRON 302/UC 370: *The Measure of our Meals*
ENVIRON 317: Conservation of Biological Diversity
ENVIRON 390: Environmental Activism
ENVIRON 421: Restoration Ecology
ENVIRON 462.001 *Foundations of Sustainable Food Systems*
ENVIRON 462.002 *Localization: Transitional Thinking*
NRE 501: *Urban Agriculture* (if offered with perm of instructor)
NRE 565: Principles of Transition – Food, Fuel and Finance (if offered with perm of instructor)

C. Synthesis Courses (choose at least 1 course):

ENVIRON 302/UC 370: *The Measure of our Meals*
ENVIRON 462.001 *Foundations of Sustainable Food Systems*
ANTRHCUL 458: *Food, Politics and the Environment*
ARTDES 300: *Sustainable Food System Design*
EEB 498: Ecology of Agroecosystems
RCIDIV/ENV/EEB 316: Introduction to Food Systems RCIDIV/ENV/EEB 316: Food, Land and Society
Courses with * must contain that topic title only

View the printable version of the Food Systems Minor Requirements and list of courses that can fulfill these requirements.


How To Declare This Minor

Students must attend an information session to learn more about the requirements and declare with an advisor. Until then, students can refer to the Sustainable Food Systems Minor Worksheet to track courses completed.