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Case Studies in Food Production and Public Health

4th Term
Environmental Health and Engineering
Academic Year
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method
Asynchronous Online
Auditors Allowed
Yes, with instructor consent
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor(s)
Contact Name
Frequency Schedule
Every Year
Next Offered
2024 - 2025
Focuses on food production practices in the United States and the associated public health risks and benefits; discussions on animal and crop agriculture and food processing encompass both historical practices and modern methods. Presents case studies which delve deeper into specific topics, including industrial food animal production and worker health, aquaculture, climate change, urban food systems and sustainable production methods. Challenges students to think critically about the impact of food production methods on ecosystem and human health and apply a "one-health" lens to analyze strategies to reduce public health risks from food production. Draws lectures from the literature, and from the firsthand experiences of lecturers in research translation and agricultural production.
Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Visualize key components of the food system, including inputs, supply chains, outputs and drivers, and the relationships among them.
  2. Identify practices associated with food supply chains, from farm to retail, that may threaten or protect public health.
  3. Connect the dots between sources of pollution, agricultural practices, environmental pathways, affected populations, and associated health outcomes.
  4. Gain insights from real-world stories about research, practice, and policy and apply them to their own work.
  5. Apply a nuanced, evidence-based lens to understanding food system challenges and the tradeoffs associated with potential solutions.
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 30% Group Project(s)
  • 20% Quizzes
  • 20% Written Assignment(s)
  • 20% Participation
  • 10% Discussion Board