The Politics of Food **(this course requires a program fee of $45)

Course Code: 
PLAP 3160
Paul Freedman

Students in this course are required to pay a class fee of $45 in addition to the regular tuition and fees.

How and what we eat is basic to who we are as individuals, as a culture, and as a polity. This course looks at the production and consumption of food in a political context. Food politics and policies in the United States have received increased attention in recent years. Legislation, regulation, and subsidies for particular products and practices have critical implications for the environment (land, water, and air), for health (including the rise in obesity, diabetes, and drug-resistant infections), and for budget priorities.

This course looks at food politics through a series of “food fights.” We will examine controversies over agricultural subsidies, labeling requirements, taxation, farming practices, food safety, advertising and education. In doing so, we will explore some of the most important features of American democracy, including legislative politics, regulation, interest group activity, federalism, public opinion, political communication, and representation.

Ultimately we will examine the ways in which the politics of food represents both a reflection and a distortion of fundamental democratic principles.