Food as the Foundation for Healthy Communities
The movement toward sustainable communities has brought into focus the centrality of food in our everyday lives and its myriad social, economic, and environmental connections. The purpose of this module, Food as the Foundation for Healthy Communities, is to position students to have engaging conversations about the social, economic, and environmental relationships between food, food producers, and health outcomes. The framework of this module is built on the platform of the food-energy-water connections in the context of community empowerment and environmental justice. This module offers students an opportunity to examine and refine their own perceptions regarding food production, good food access, and health outcomes. This module's design and format makes the conversation about good food and better health outcomes an attractive one—for both teachers and students. Students will see individual and community empowerment through sustainable food production efforts and food networks based on a range of partnerships. Engaging students in meaningful conversations and exchange of ideas about the relationships between food and health outcomes will inspire students to participate in the capacity building of their own communities with the goal of seeing fresh, affordable, accessible foods and improved health as commonplace. Participants will evaluate primary and secondary data sources, interpret findings, and synthesize information. The grand challenge is for human beings to return to a way of living that acknowledges that we will always be dependent on the natural environment and its offerings.
Strengths of the Module
- incorporates systems thinking inherent to geoscience and human/environment interactions.
- shows systems thinking in action by using real-life examples of challenges related to resource management and collaborative problem solving.
- offers a foundational option to support other more advanced and intermediate level geoscience based modules and courses.
- offers practical, first-contact learning experience for students to enter the geosciences and related fields.
- delivers its content using group learning and a variety of hands-on, interactive student-centered activities.
- presents easily accessible primary teaching materials, user-friendly for both instructors and students, and backed by a multitude of useful supporting resources.
- presents a set of learning units that areeasy to insert into a wide range of courses from geosciences and physical sciences to social sciences and humanities.
A great fit for courses in:
- environmental science
- natural resources
- environmental geology
- Earth science