Course code:



IM - Introductory/Intermediate

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • HS - Human Studies

Lab fee:


Typically offered:



This course explores possibilities for transformative change across local and global food systems. It centers on the questions: What would it take to ensure access to healthy, safe, affordable, culturally appropriate foods for all people? The first part of the course critically examines capitalist food systems with particular attention to the ways culture, politics, and economics shape our interactions with food. Through readings and exercises, we explore issues such as nutrition, worker safety, contested agricultural and land use policies, hunger, and environmental and community health. The second part of the course examines case studies of transformative food movements around the world, from the Zero Hunger programs in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, to La Via Campesina global campaign for agrarian reform. We focus particularly on food sovereignty and agroecology movements. The final third part of the course focuses on transformative work in Maine and at COA. Students take multiple field trips to participate in local movements and to learn about their philosophies, objectives, and activities. By the end of the course, students will be able to analyze how power shapes food systems and articulate a theory of change for addressing a food systems problem of their choice. Students are evaluated based on participation in class discussions and field trips, a series of reflection papers, and a final project including a paper and an audio-visual presentation.



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.