Minor Requirements

Overview

18 units are required for the undergraduate minor in Food Studies.

Core Courses

  • Complete 9 units total
  • Choose any three core courses
Practice in writing business letters, reports and proposals.
This transdisciplinary course examines human interactions with food across various domains. Students will learn about food’s intersections with histories, arts, and cultures; basic concepts in food governance and food economics; and survey sociocultural issues related to food justice, sovereignty, and ethics.
This course examines the U.S. food system from production to consumption. Students will learn about drivers of the food system including policy, economics, and food culture, as well as outcomes of the food system including human and environmental health, food insecurity, and food waste.
Students in this course will explore cultural, environmental, and ethical disputes around food production, distribution, and consumption, including local and global food (in)security, the role of food in cultural preservation and revitalization, and approaches to sustainable food production (including Traditional/indigenous).
Our current food system significantly impacts our environmental and physical health. This course examines overarching concepts related to global, national, and regional food security, the consequences and challenges we face today, and tools to help us better navigate and respond to change to build a healthier and more equitable tomorrow. Students will unpack the complexity of our food system. In this process they will confront topics including values, language, systems of distribution, myths, assumptions, food assistance, and food movements. Students will explore best practices for...
A culminating experience for majors involving a substantive project that demonstrates a synthesis of learning accumulated in the major, including broadly comprehensive knowledge of the discipline and its methodologies. Senior standing required.

Thematic Courses

  • 9 units total
  • Choose 1 course from each of the three thematic areas (3 units each)

Gastronomy in Arts, Culture, and Heritage 

Explore how food is intertwined with identity formation, including individual, social, and cultural identities.

The exchange of scholarly information on important disciplinary topics, usually in a small group seminar setting with occasional lectures. The course content, as taught in any one semester, depends on student need and interest, and on the research/teaching interests of the participating faculty member. The scope of work shall consist of research by course registrants, with the exchange of results through discussion, reports, reviews, and/or papers.
What did people eat and drink in the past, and why? This course introduces students to the archaeological study of food. Topics include techniques for reconstructing past diets from material remains, and the social, economic and political roles of food.
This course offers a review of approaches to understanding and documenting human diversity through the lens of food practices. Students will learn to think about food in new ways to gain a better understanding of the diversity of social and cultural norms, beliefs, and habits that shape foodways and our relationships to food.
Physically, culturally, and socially, humans live through food and drink. Spanning the globe, as nearly limitless omnivores, humans have developed myriad ways of collecting and cultivating food and taking advantage of local environments. We also put food to work socially by creating cuisine. Through cuisine, humans have forged and nourished relationships, communed with deities, and through luxury choices, demonstrated "taste" and laid claim to status. Through the cultural practices of production and consumption of food and drink, individuals and groups have wielded power locally and...
Food is of wide-ranging interest because it makes up a significant part of the cultures that bind people together into national communities. Food is central to cross-cultural studies of behavior, thought, and symbolism. This course explores the connections between what people in Latin America eat and who they are through cross-cultural study of Latin Americans' food production, preparation, and consumption. Readings are organized around critical discussions of what people cook and eat in Mexico, Tucson-Mexico Border, Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, and...
Mexico has one of the world's most accomplished food heritages. Many people in the U.S. are unaware that in ancient times the country's native peoples domesticated many important food crops that are of great importance today: corn, tomato, avocado, squash, pinto beans, and cacao (chocolate), to name a few. As in other countries, Mexican food is not an incidental component of life, but an essential part of how Mexico is structured; what people eat represents a confluence of power, culture, technology, and taste. In this course, we take a critical look at Mexican food production,...
This course will examine different "foodscapes" created over time in the region. We will examine the interactions of variety of factors in the development of culinary cultures: geography and environment; religion, language and cultural practices; history; social organization, ethnicity, status and gender; science and technology and consider particular ritual practices, feasting and fasting customs and dietary rules. How have authors used the topic of food in their writings?
Food is a highly diversified, yet personal experience that binds all cultures. Through this course students will experience the role of food in a variety of cultures and learn how the surrounding environment influences the tastes and flavors of a region. The course will combine assignments with readings and activities to help students begin to understand commonalities as well as diversities in cuisines and cultures. By completing assignments and activities each student will gain an appreciation of regional crops and how they contribute to both cuisine and culture.

Food Systems, Governance, and the Environment

Explore food systems from different perspectives and scales, including the role of ecology, policy and economics in influencing the structure and outcomes of food systems.

This course is a survey of basic issues and concepts in natural resource management and the environment in Native communities using integrated case studies that survey all the major varieties of environmental issues in Indian Country in the 21st century. A central theme will be developing tribally-specific solutions to rebuilding the resiliency of degraded ecosystems. We will consider particular case studies such as: tribal sovereignty, land tenure, reserved rights and Native claims; Native knowledge systems and Western science; co-management and restoration; water; fish and wildlife;...
*Course still pending approval* Everybody eats – but do we know what we're eating? In this course, you'll learn the fundamentals of writing about food and food production. We will investigate local food production as well as broader food system issues, including food waste, resource consumption, and food security in southern Arizona and the borderlands. We'll also touch on issues related to covering food and nutrition, food and culture, and the economics and politics of local and global food chains.
The exchange of scholarly information on important disciplinary topics, usually in a small group seminar setting with occasional lectures. The course content, as taught in any one semester, depends on student need and interest, and on the research/teaching interests of the participating faculty member. The scope of work shall consist of research by course registrants, with the exchange of results through discussion, reports, reviews, and/or papers.
This course uses beer and other foods and beverages to examine fundamental geographical questions of change, globalization, and human-environment relations. Using a spatial perspective, we explore the history, economics, cultural, and environmental aspects of beer and brewing to better understand our world. We’ll explore the links of beer to colonization, globalization, and commodification; migration and national identities; the impact of transportation and technologies on the spatial economies of beer; consolidation, neo-localism, and beer tourism; the impact of climate change and the...
Physical and cultural basis of Tucson's geographic patterns, with emphasis on the city's site, situation, settlement patterns and problems of growth and change.
Does food have a history? While seemingly a mundane aspect of everyday life, food has been central to cultural meaning, political conflict, religious life, and economic and social systems. Food has also been closely connected, both materially and in the realm of ideas, to bodily health and the natural environment, which will be the key themes of this course. Topics may include: the food production and consumption patterns of early America, health and food under slavery, the role of food in the Civil War, the creation of the modern food system, the relationship between food production and...
Mexico has one of the world's most accomplished food heritages. Many people in the U.S. are unaware that in ancient times the country's native peoples domesticated many important food crops that are of great importance today: corn, tomato, avocado, squash, pinto beans, and cacao (chocolate), to name a few. As in other countries, Mexican food is not an incidental component of life, but an essential part of how Mexico is structured; what people eat represents a confluence of power, culture, technology, and taste. In this course, we take a critical look at Mexican food production,...
Agriculture and ranching have had a significant impact on the history and environment of the western United States. In popular culture, ranching is viewed both as a romantic representation of our western, pioneer heritage and as a symbol of environmental destruction. This course examines how modern agriculture and ranching fits with these perceptions by developing an understanding of what has been termed "conservation ranching." We will review how agriculture is practiced in the Southwest and the relationship between agriculture and sustainable land use. The focus is on ranching because...

Sustenance, Health, and Wellness

Evaluate how food systems and nutrition impact health outcomes, community wellness, and overall sense of well-being.

Biocultural approach to human nutrition. Explores factors that influence what and how we eat emphasizing an understanding of nutritional adaptations, population differences in food utilization, and nutrition problems in the contemporary world.
This workshop-based course is designed to enable UA undergraduates and graduate students to work in Tucson-area schools helping students and teachers to undertake the design, construction, planting, harvesting and preparation of foods from a local school garden. The workshop also involves preparing or assembling curriculum materials to enable teachers and students to teach and learn about food production, food histories and geographies, and food politics. The course includes an intensive workshop sponsored by the Tucson Community Food Bank. In addition to attending that workshop,...
Role of nutrients in human development. Physiological bases for changes in nutrient requirements throughout the life cycle (pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence and aging).
Application of basic nutritional principles in the selection of normal and therapeutic diets; designed for students in the health sciences.
The goal of this course is to present a systems approach to obesity prevention - i.e. understanding the complex task of trying to change the way people eat, move, and live, and sustaining those changes over time. Students will learn causes and correlates of diet, physical activity, and obesity, data and methods related to assessment of obesity, the health and financial consequences of the obesity epidemic, and will gain insights into obesity prevention, treatment and policy approaches. Students will read peer-reviewed publications on obesity, participate in class discussion and debates,...
The course will span basic physiology as it applies to nutrition and sport, nutrient utilization, body composition, & application of nutrition for different sports in training & competition. It will look at strategies for optimal performance in endurance, court & power sports. Practical applications & guest lectures will be included.
This course is designed to build the knowledge and practical skills needed to motivate, communicate, and effect positive nutrition, physical activity, and health behavioral changes in the general population. Students will learn to create nutrition programs, perform physical fitness assessments, set realistic health goals, build rapport, and identify weight management challenges. Topics including nutrition and digestion, obesity physiology, and nutritional programming will be discussed and practiced within case studies. In addition, this course prepares students for the American Council...
Current knowledge of human nutrition and genes has created a unique opportunity to use diet and other biologically active food components in the diet to improve the quality of life of people by the prevention and treatment of human disease. Also called Nutrigenomics, the identification and understanding of how nutrients and bioactive food components interact with the genome will be discussed.
Bioactive food compounds (BAFC) are components in food that have biological activity in the body, yet have no disease associated with their absence. Food additives are usually meant to affect a food quality, but by proxy can also have biological effects on the body. These topics are covered in detail so that students are not limited to the basic 6 nutrients.

Other Options