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NW Earth Institute's newest course examines our food systems

Northwest Earth Institute
"Menu for the Future" is NWEI's newest discussion course. It is a six-session exploration of the connection between food and sustainability.

Menu for the Future is NWEI's newest discussion course.  It is a six-session exploration of the connection between food and sustainability.  Books are available now -- to order, email or call 503.227.2807.


"Food is our common ground, our universal experience."   - James Beard

Discussion Course Goals:

• To explore food systems and their impacts on culture, society and ecological systems. 

• To gain insight into agricultural and individual practices that promote personal and ecological well-being. 

• To consider your role in creating or supporting sustainable food systems.


 Topics Covered:

1. What's Eating America: Given the array of food choices and advice, eating in modern industrial society can be wrought with confusion, contradictions and anxiety.  Session One considers the effects of modern industrial eating habits on culture, society and ecological systems. 

2. Anonymous Food:  Session Two traces the historical shift from family farms to industrial agriculture to present day questions surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMO) and industrial organics.  The session examines the ecological and economic impacts that have accompanied the chanes in how we grow and prepare food. 

3. Farming for the Future:  Session Three explores emerging food system alternatives, highlighting sustainable growing practices and the benefits of small farms and urban food production.  The session considers how individuals can make choices that lead to a more sustainable food supply. 

4. You Are What You Eat: Session Four explores food systems from a human health perspective.  The session considers the influences that shape our choices and food policies from the fields to Capitol Hill, and the implications for our health and well-being. 

 5. Toward a Just Food System:  The readings in Session Five examine issues of hunger, equity, and Fair Trade.  The session considers the role that governments, communities and individuals can play in addressing these issues to create a more just food system. 

 6.  Choices for Change: Individuals and communities are discovering the benefits of choosing local, seasonal and sustainably grown and produced foods.  Session Six offers inspiration and practical advice in taking steps to create more sustainable food systems.

What is a Discussion Course? Learn more about NWEI and how it works on their website.

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