EH 212. Food and the Global Environment

In this course, we will explore the development of our modern food production and distribution system and its effects on our environment and planet.  To explore the opportunities for and challenges to achieving a sustainable food system, we will critically review published studies and other assessments that evaluate the environmental and social impact of food-related products and processes. The course will cover such topics as: agricultural and food policy, industrialization and “factory” farming, the interrelationship between climate change and food production, water quality and scarcity, the role of technology in food production and other relevant topics. The course will be taught through a series of lectures, case studies and readings that highlight recent research and trends. We will apply life cycle assessment concepts and appropriate sustainability criteria and benchmarking to current questions surrounding our global food system, and will incorporate observations from the developed and developing world. The course will emphasize the methodologies and skills needed to critically assess the sustainability of various food products and practices.

Note: This class has priority enrollment. Cross-Registrants and Non-Degree Students will be enrolled on a space available basis after the enrollment deadline for the course.

Requirement: Students outside of HSPH must request instructor permission to enroll in this course. 








Course ID: 

  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2020-2021 academic year, but may be offered in an alternate year.
  • An asterisk (*) before a course number indicates that a student must obtain the instructor's permission in order to enroll in the course.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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