Where does our food come from? Most of us can provide little more of an answer than "from the grocery store." Yet media headlines and public debates often emphasize pressing issues involving food, from eating disorders to mad cow disease. Increasingly, it has become difficult and even unwise to take for granted the foods that we eat.
Understanding our food sources allows us to feel more comfortable with ways in which we nourish our bodies and provides answers to many personal, national, and global questions. For example, how do rising petroleum costs affect the availability and price of food? Is there a connection between the decline of American farms and our nation's drastic increase in obesity? And what about our own attitudes towards food: when did we stop valuing food as a nutritious ritual and start seeing it as "fuel on-the-go"?
Food for Thought is an initiative to explore food, farming, and rural life. Below is a sample of the courses in the program, which represent virtually every aspect of the curriculum. Many of these courses offer opportunities to engage with the surrounding community. Through the program, students broaden their horizons beyond Gambier and deepen their connection to this place.
For additional information about Food for Thought, visit the Kenyon Rural Life Center website at http://rurallife.kenyon.edu. To learn more about becoming involved in this initiative, contact Professor Howard Sacks, director of the Rural Life Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association (OEFFA)-Kenyon Certificate Program in Ecological Agriculture provides students the opportunity to develop intellectual skills and practical knowledge regarding food and farming systems. Students acquire an understanding of the complex nature of agro-ecosystems; critically analyze the social, political, and economic institutions in which food and farming systems are embedded; and explore the interplay of social values, personal responsibility, and environmental and community goals.
To earn a Certificate in Ecological Agriculture, students must complete three relevant courses and undertake a ten-week summer internship on a farm that uses ecological production methods. Participating students earn $2,500 during their internship and receive a housing allowance, if needed. To apply for the program, contact Howard Sacks at email@example.com.
Courses relevant to the Food For Thought and the Certificate in Ecological Agriculture program can be found here.