Politics of Food

Course Code
PLAP 3160
Credits
3
Department
Paul Freedman
Associate Professor

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 have critical implications for the environment, for public health, and for social justice and political equality. This course looks at food politics through a series of “food fights.” We will examine controversies over agricultural subsidies, taxation, farming practices, food safety, labeling requirements, and nutrition guidelines. 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, 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. We will also examine a number of current issues confronting food politics and the food system in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.