Spring 2017

The Politics of Food

Listed in: Environmental Studies, as ENST-160

Moodle site: Course


Jessica N. Hejny (Section 01)


Food is a site of politics.  Eating is a social and political practice with repercussions for the relationships between people and between humans and the natural environment.  What we choose to eat, how we produce, process, market, sell, buy, consume, and discard food all involve political choices.  The formal politics of government regulation and legislation affect food in many ways.  Food policy and regulation shapes what we understand as food and how we engage with it.  But the politics of food extends beyond the formal institutions of the state to the spheres of everyday politics, ethics, and economics.  People, animals, and environments here in the U.S. and all over the world are affected by the food choices that we as American consumers make.  What are the consequences of these choices?  This course focuses our attention on our (often taken for granted) food practices and their political effects for the beings and ecosystems with whom we share the planet.  We will explore the politics of food through its life cycle—growing, selling, buying, eating, and discarding—as well as the politics of food legislation and regulation, global food politics, and food movements.  We will examine these issues through the lenses of ethics, economics, environment, and social justice, approaching our food practices with a critical eye. 

Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Hejny.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to ENST majors and juniors and seniors


Attention to Writing


2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017, Spring 2019