22 Educational Programs Changing the Food System

From foodtank.com by Harriet Kim
22 Educational Programs Changing the Food System

Food Tank has rounded up a list of 22 programs, both nationally and internationally, that integrate food into their curriculums. These programs include the culinary arts, farming practicum, food security degrees, and food justice studies.

Ballymaloe Cookery School is a culinary school offering 12-week certificate courses and half-day or week-long cookery classes. The school is located on a 100 acre organic farm near Cork, Ireland, and is committed to sustainability and the Slow Food philosophy.

Educational Programs for urban eaters are hosted by the Center for Urban Education and Sustainable Agriculture to connect them to local farmers and the origins of their food. Operated at the Ferry Plaza farmers' market in San Francisco, California, the Center aims to build healthier and more just food systems.

The EARTH University offers a holistic academic experience in Mercedes, Costa Rica, to study agricultural science and natural resource management. It teaches about entire agricultural production processes, including its environmental and social impacts, in both the classroom and the field.

In Switzerland, ETH Zurich’s World Food System Center acts as a platform to bring together multidisciplinary expertise to work on research, outreach, and education about food systems. It aims to create and facilitate an interactive and inclusive space to learn about food systems through summer schools, courses, and opportunities for student theses.

The Food Business School (FBS), with its world-class, interdisciplinary faculty, provides three different, but all action-oriented, program formats (online courses, innovative intensives, and venture innovation programs). Located in California, United States, the FBS strives to empower entrepreneurs to design, deliver, and lead transformative innovations to address the world’s food challenges.

With the growing market of organic agricultural products, the Indira Gandhi National Open University in New Delhi, India, offers a first-of-its-kind initiative. It offers a Certificate in Organic Farming, teaching about organic production practices, the certification process, and organic agriculture marketing.

The Latin American School for Agroecology is located in Parana, Brazil, and is the first institute created by the Landless Rural Workers and La Vía Campesina as part of the Institute for Agroecology in Latin America. The mission of this school is to engage and train youth at the secondary and university education levels with technical assistance in agroecology.

The Mesa Community College in Arizona, United States offers both a degree and a certificate in Sustainable Food Systems. Both options provide further education on growing, harvesting and producing, preparation, and consumption of food through day and evening classes, as well as options for in-person, online, and hybrid formats.

At the New York University, in New York, the United States, Steinhardt’s Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health offer undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in Food Studies. It covers a range of issues across the food system, including public health and nutrition, food and culture, and public policy.

Ryerson University, located in Toronto, Canada, offers a Certificate in Food Security that is designed to meet the needs of today's food security professionals.

The St. Francis Xavier University’s COADY International Institute is located in Nova Scotia, Canada, and offers a Certificate in "Creating Just Food Systems: Cultural tools for local-global activism." This two week intensive program uses a participatory research model to share localized and contextualized stories and foods.

Stonybrook Food Labs, located in New York, United States, offers a holistic and collaborative take on food literacy. Whether you are looking for a farm-to-school project, a conference, or undergraduate food courses, Food Lab provides a one-stop website for food education and learning.

Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, located in Massachusetts, United States, offers both a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Agriculture, Food and Environment for students interested creating social change in the nutrition, agricultural science, environmental studies, and public policy nexus.

Looking for a course instead? Professor Julian Agyeman teaches “Food Justice: critical approaches to policy and planning" at Tufts University’s Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. This course provides an overview of the structural inequalities of our food system while contextualizing the role of food justice, planners, and policymakers in the alternative food movement.

For a more experiential, hands-on education, the University of British Columbia Farm in British Columbia, Canada, hosts the Center for Sustainable Farm Systems. The center has an eight-month Sustainable Agriculture Practicum teaching about the full growing season, from field production to farmers’ marketing activities, mixed with classroom learning, farm field trips, speakers, seminars, and workshops.

At the University of California-Davis, in California, United States, the Agriculture Sustainability Institute offers an undergraduate degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. From the farm-to-table and beyond, this major covers the social, economic, and environmental aspects of food and agriculture through the approach of “systems thinking”.

The University of Cape Coast’s College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, in Ghana, offers diplomas, and undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in the physical sciences, biological sciences, and agriculture.

University of Gastronomic Sciences is a university in Italy offering education based on practical experiences, cross-disciplinary teaching, and international study trips. It offers a three year undergraduate degree and a two year graduate degree in gastronomic sciences. Other programs offered include a Master in Food Culture and Communications, in Italian Wine Culture, and in the Slow Art of Italian Cuisine.

The University of Edinburgh offers Scotland its first M.Sc. in Food Security. With a unique partnership with the School of GeoSciences and Scotland's Rural College, students develop an interdisciplinary expertise to address global hunger, obesity, and hunger.

Also located in the United Kingdom, the University of Sheffield offers an M.A. in Food security and Food Justice. This program provides expertise and analytical skills for solutions to food security and food justice issues at the local and global scales.  The program offers lectures on theory and research design methods, field experience, dissertation, and professional skills.

The University of San Paulo’s Food Research Center, in San Paulo, Brazil, is a multidisciplinary research center focused on food science and nutrition while engaging academics with private businesses, government, and civil society.

University of Vermont’s Continuing and Learning Education has a Farmer Training Program, providing a six month training program for beginner farmers, covering sustainable land management through hands-on, experiential learning. 

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