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HIST-203 Global/local foods and food systems
Offered academic year 2015-2016
This is a survey of contemporary global food system -- and its critics -- through the lens of history, economics, and science. We introduce the major themes in the history of 20th-century agriculture, including the move toward industrial food production in the developed world, agricultural commodity production for export in the developing world, the Green Revolution, and the emergence of biotechnology in agriculture. We will then turn toward the criticisms of this global and industrial food system and its alternatives. We explore such topics as agrarianism, ecology, and conservation in both the U.S. and around the world, critiques of the Green Revolution in the developing world, the rise of ‘fair trade,’ organic, and the current debates over GM crops. Although the class will focus on the scientific and social aspects of agricultural production, students will also be exposed to debates about marketing and consumption and ethical considerations of food and agriculture. The class will include trips to nearby farms and guest speakers.

Topics
Agricultural History of the last Century
Green Revolutions
CGIAR
Major crops and their derivation
Seed banks
Soil fertility and degradation
Water demands of agriculture: water footprints
Carbon footprints of farming
Agroecology and Permaculture
Livestock and livestock raising systems
Conservation and Sustainable systems
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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