Spring 2024
GOV 1318
January 22 - April 24
Tuesday, 3:00 - 5:00PM
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The Great Food Transformation: Food Systems and Politics


This course will explore the costs, politics, and solutions in our global food system, with a focus on the United States. This course is partnered with UC Berkeley’s Plant Futures Initiative’s Challenge Lab. It is also an ‘engaged’ course, affiliated with Harvard’s Mindich Program in Engaged Scholarship, meaning there are outside events and speakers who will be brought into the class. The course will have three units. In the first unit, students will learn about the environmental, health, and ethical costs of our food system (with a global focus, though the United States will be highlighted). In the second unit, we will investigate the politics behind the problems overviewed in the first unit. Our final unit is intended to showcase the vast array of actors who are part of the food systems shift, which is bubbling with activity in private markets (the burgeoning alternative proteins sector), in politics, in health, in advocacy, and in science/academia. There are opportunities to be a part of this shift, and the engaged aspects of this course are designed to expose you and connect you to all the different groups and stakeholders, across a vast array of sectors, who are working to make the Great Food Transformation a reality. Instead of weekly discussions, you will be enrolled in a parallel (challenge) lab through the Plant Futures Initiative. The Plant Futures Challenge Lab is an applied learning experience in plant-centric food systems. `

Faculty of Arts & Sciences
Course Level
Interest Area
Law & Policy
Cross Registration