This course was developed in 1995 and taught annually at 4 universities until 2009, which is the last time the syllabus was updated.
all materials are provided for educational use only.
- Christopher D. Cook, Diet for a Dead Planet. 2006: W W Norton & Co.
- C. Clare Hinrichs, Thomas A. Lyson, ed., Remaking the North American Food System: Strategies for Sustainability. 2008: U of Nebraska Press
- Angus Lindsay Wright, Wendy Wolford, To Inherit the Earth: The Landless Movement and the Struggle for a New Brazil. 2003: Food First Books
week 1: introductory class
topic 1: production
Week 2 the green revolution
week 3 scale & efficiency (is bigger better?)
- Cook, Diet for a Dead Planet pages 79-152 and 217-229.
- Marty Strange, Family Farming. 1989: University of Nebraska Press, particularly chapters 1, 2, 5, 6.
- Kevin Morgan, Terry Marsden, and Jonathan Murdoch, “Geographies of Agri-Food” 53-70 in Worlds of Food. 2006: Oxford University Press, Oxford. (this pdf includes the whole chapter; note that you only need to read to page 70)
- Andrew Kimbrell, “Bigger But Not Better: Myth Number 5: Industrial Agriculture is Efficient” 01/04/2003
- William Heffernan et. al., “Consolidation in the Food & Agriculture System”, report to the National Farmers Union. February 5, 1999.
- Peter M. Rosset, “The Multiple Functions and Benefits of Small Farm Agriculture In the Context of Global Trade Negotiations”. Food First Policy Brief No 4. 1999.
- USDA National Commission on Small Farms Report “A Time to Act” 1998.
- Ben Lilliston & Niel Ritchie, “Freedom to Fail”. Multinational Monitor 21.7/8 (July/August 2000)
- Devinder Sharma, “Farm Subsidies: The Report Card” Znet Commentary 27 November 2005.
- Patty Cantrell, Rhonda Perry & Paul Sturtz, excerpt from “Hog Wars: The Corporate Grab for Control of the Hog Industry and How Citizens are Fighting Back”. n.d.: Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Columbia MO.
- · New Internationalist issue on fish, #325 (July 2000):
· Anouk Ride, “Fishy business”.
· Meenakshi Raman, “Tree-hugging fishers”.
· John Kurien, “Behind the label”.
- Susan C. Stonich and Isabel De La Torre, “Farming Shrimp, Harvesting Hunger:The Costs and Benefits of the Blue Revolution” Food First Backgrounder, winter 2002.
organizations and resources
Week 4 organic
• Cook, Diet for a Dead Planet pages 155-173
• Peter Goering, et. al, From the Ground Up: Rethinking Industrial Agriculture. 1993: Zed Books, London.
• AND one from each section below:
synthetic pesticides and fertilizers
- Fields of Poison 2002: California Farmworkers and Pesticides, by California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO and Pesticide Action Network, 2002
- Failing Health: Pesticide Use in California Schools, by California Public Interest Research Group Charitable Trust, 1998. 28 pages.
- Toxics on Tap: Pesticides in California Drinking Water Sources, by California Public Interest Research Group Charitable Trust, 1999.
- Bhopal Survivors Protest Dow’s Presence at the World Summit on Sustainable DevelopmentSource: International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal Posted: August 28, 2002organic laws & certification organizations:
- The USDA National Organic Program website (the new federal standards, established 2000)
- California Certified Organic Farmers, with standards established in 1973.
- Oregon Tilth, established 1974
- Organic Consumers Associationorganic goes corporate:
- Phil Howard, “Who Owns What?” June 2004
- Michael Pollan, “Behind the Organic-Industrial Complex” New York Times 5.1.01
- RAFI/ETC, “Who Owns Organic? The Global Status, Prospects, and Challenges of a Changing Organic Market”. 2003.
- Melanie Warner, “What Is Organic? Powerful Players Want a Say“. New York Times 1 Nov 2005.
- PC Kevin Morgan, Terry Marsden, and Jonathan Murdoch, “California: The Parallel Worlds of Rival Agri-food Paradigms ” 109-142 in Worlds of Food. 2006: Oxford University Press, Oxford.critiques of organic
- Aimee Shreck, “Social Sustainability, Farm Labor, and Organic Agriculture” 2005
- Frederick Kirschenmann (Past President of the Organic Trade Association) The Organic Food Industry:
Where We’ve Been, Where We Are, and Where We’re Going (no date)
- Carlos S Basilio, ORGANIC AGRICULTURE: MORE FARMS, LESS HUNGER, September 2000 .
- Michael Pollan, “How Organic Is Corporate/Industrial Organic?”. New York Times Magazine May 13 2001. 
- Bill Duesing, “Is Organic Enough?” Winter 1995-96 issue of The Natural Farmer, the quarterly newspaper of The Northeast Organic Farming Association.
- Andy Rowell, “Organicised Crime”. The Ecologist 31.1 (Feb 2001): 32-36. cuba goes organic
- Peter Rosset & Medea Benjamin, The Greening of the Revolution: Cuba’s Experiment with Organic Agriculture. 1994: Ocean & Food First Books
- Hugh Warwick, “Cuba’s Organic Revolution”. Summer 2001
- Peter M. Rosset, “Cuba: A Successful Case Study of Sustainable Agriculture” Chapter 12, pp. 203-213, in: Hungry for Profit: The Agribusiness Threat to Farmers, Food and the Environment, edited by Fred Magdoff, John Bellamy Foster and Frederick H. Buttel (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2000).
- Peter Rosset, “Cuba’s Agricultural Revolution: A Return to Oxen and Organics”, World Resources 2000-2001.
Week 5 “alternative” production
• Edward Goldsmith interviews Mudiyanse Tennekoon, “Traditional Agriculture in Sri Lanka”, The Ecologist, 1982. Reprint 47-56 
• Nicanor Perlas, “Detoxifying the Green Revolution”: A Success Story From the Philippines”
• one from each section below:
- Miguel A. Altieri, (Division of Insect Biology University of California, Berkeley) Modern Agriculture: Ecological impacts and the possibilities for truly sustainable farming
- Miguel A. Altieri, Agroecology: principles and strategies for designing sustainable farming systems.
- Miguel A. Altieri & Clara Ines Nicholls Applying agroecological concepts to the development of Ecologically Pest Management strategies
- Miguel A. Altieri, Multifunctional Dimensions of Ecologically-based Agriculture in Latin America
- Miguel A. Altieri, The Potential of Agroecology to Combat Hunger in the Developing World Biointensive:
- Ecology Action, introduction to biointensive growing
- Biodynamic Farming & Gardening Association, Introduction to Biodynamics
- ATTRA, Biodynamic Farming & Compost Preparation, Alternative Farming Systems Guide
- Margaret Rainbow Web, “Re-earthing the Cities”. Permaculture International Journal 72 (Sept-Nov 1999): 8-11.  Re-earthing the Cities website (confusing but lots of info)
- Bill Mollison, “Introduction to Permaculture” Pamphlet I in the Permaculture Design Course Series
- on utube: It’s a bit hokey at times (made in 1989), but the series The Permaculture Concept with Bill Mollison,
is a great introduction to permaculture. You can now watch it on YouTube. It’s a little less than an hour long in total:
pt 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUr4uPe9WBk
pt 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7g2mmqqEn08&mode=related&search=
pt 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ye90FxJmuw0&mode=related&search=
pt 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlPZKggxZ0E&mode=related&search=
pt 5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPokZm_z9zM&mode=related&search=
pt 6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bda8TbW9MrQ&mode=related&search=
- ATTRA, Introduction to Permaculture: Concepts & Resources
- Bill Mollison, interview, Seeds of Change #25. February 2002
- Masuoko Fukuoka, One Straw Revolution (1975). for interviews with fukuoka and articles about his methods, see http://www.fukuokafarmingol.net/index.html
- Mae-Wan Ho, “One Bird, ten thousand treasures”. Third World Resurgence 110/111: 2-4. 
- agroforester.com, The Overstory #50: Animal Tractor Systems
- Plants for a Future
- fallen fruit
- participatory wiki on plants
- urban strategies:City Repair, Art/Urban Repair “city repair”in chicagoWild/other
recommended film: Global Gardener (Permaculture)
Week 6 biotechnology
what is it?
- Rachel’s Environment & Health Weekly “Biotech: The Basics” in 4 parts: Part I/Issue 716,
Part II/Issue 717,
Part III/Issue 718,
Part IV/Issue 719. February-March, 2001.
- Consumers for Education about Genetic Engineering,“Thirteen Myths about Genetic Engineering”
- biopiracy: Someshwar Singh,“Rampant Biopiracy of South’s Biodiversity”. Third World Network.
- industry’s side of the biotech story http://www.whybiotech.com
- Peter Montague, “Trouble in the Garden” Third World Resurgence 114/115: 38-40. 
- Joseph Vogel’s book, The Biodiversity Cartel
- EU-U.S. Biotechnology Consultative Forum, December, 2000: “There is a lack of substantial scientific data and evidence, often (presented) more as
personal interpretations disguised as scientifically validated statements.” what do farmers think about it?
- Farmers’ Declaration on Genetic Engineering in Agriculture, at National Family Farms Coalition
- “Farmers say ‘no’ to genetic engineering” Third World Resurgence 114/115: 36-37.  some examples
- ETC GROUP, Genetic Pollution in Mexico’s Center of Maize Diversity Food First Backgrounder Spring 2002.
- Vandana Shiva, “The Basmati Battle and its Implications for Biopiracy and TRIPS” September 10, 2001.
- “Biopiracy, TRIPs, and the Patenting of Asia’s Rice Bowl, a collective NGO situationer on IPRs on rice.” May 1998.
- Florianne Koechlin, “The ‘Golden Rice’ — a big illusion?”. Third World Resurgence 114/115: 33-35. 
- Mae-Wan Ho, “The CaMV promotor story”. Third World Resurgence 114/115: 30-35. 
regulations & policy
Mae-Wan Ho, “The End of Bad Science and Beginning Again with Life”. Lecture for Conference on “The Limit of Natural Selection”, French Senate, Paris, March 18, 2000.
topic 2 : economics
Week 7 international economics
• Cook Diet for a Dead Planet pages 229-242
• any four articles below
- “The Myth– Scarcity: The Reality– There IS enough food” and “World Hunger: 12 Myths” Frances Moore Lappe, Joseph Collins, and Peter Rosset. Food First Backgrounder Spring 1998.
- Raj Patel with Alexa Delwiche, The Profits of Famine: Southern Africa’s Long Decade of Hunger
Food First Backgrounder, Fall 2002 Volume 8, no. 4
- Richard Milton, Hung out to Dry: Disastrous World Bank intervention in Yemen Date Published: 22/11/2001
David Bacon, “Still Hungry” in Z Magazine. 10.1 (January 1997): 28-31. 
- Michel Chossudovsky, “Sowing the Seeds of Famine in Ethiopia”. The Ecologist September 2001.
- IMF/World Bank basic intro
- June 2005 G8 debt relief briefing from Jubilee Research
- Njoki Njoroge Njehû, Testimony before Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade of the House Committee on Financial Services, Hearing on U.S. Policy toward the African Development Bank and African Development Fund, April 25, 2001 .
- Stuart Hodkinson, “Oh No they didn’t! Bono and Geldoff: ‘We Saved Africa'” 26 October, 2005. UK Independent.
- Martin Khor, “Bailing out Countries or or Foreign Banks” Third World Economics No.176, 1-15 January 1998.
- Essential Action on IMF/WB & AIDS crisis “The AIDS Famine”
- Des McGillicuddy & Carol Dorgan, “Hunger, Debt, and Structural Adjustment”, The Debt and Development Coalition, Ireland.
- RADIO: Food for Thought and Food for People: Lori Wallach & Anuradha Mittal Go to A-Infos to download a broadcast quality 29-minute version Anuradha Mittal explains how the World Bank is now promoting GMO foods in the name of poverty-eradication. However, 72% of countries that report malnutrition are food-exporting countries. 80% of the food eaten in the First World comes from the Third….
- Greenpeace, “Food Aid: US Attempts to force GMO aid on Africa”. 3 September, 2002.
- Aaron Goldzimer, “Worse Than the World Bank? Export Credit Agencies–The Secret Engine of Globalization” Food First Backgrounder, Winter 2003 Volume 9, no. 1.
- Peter Robbins, “Review of the Impact of Globalization on the agricultural sectors and rural communities of ACP Countries” May 1999: Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation
- Peter Robbins, “Markets for Tropical Products”, part 1 of Tropical Commodities and their Markets: A Guide and Directory. TWIN 1995
- Martin Khor, BIODIVERSITY CONVENTION BRIEFINGS No. 2 “FAO Asian Chief Calls for Move Away from Green Revolution” Third World Network
- Martin Khor, “Debate on Feeding the World” May 2000
recommended film: Life & Debt
Week 8 free trade
required: read at least 5 articles from below
- Martin Khor, “Macroeconomic policies that affect the South’s agriculture”, Third World Resurgence No. 100/101, Dec 98/Jan 99.
- Bhagirath Lal Das, “The “Big Bang” in agriculture in the WTO”. Third World Economics, 16-31 January 1998
- Lori Wallach, “The WTO’s Slow Motion Coup Against Democracy: An Interview with Lori Wallach”. Multinational Monitor October/November 1999: 26-30. 
- Muddassir Rizvi, “Corporate Farming Comes to Pakistan: The Harvest of Globalization & Business Influence”. Multinatinal Monitor Oct 2000: 17-20. 
- Shahid Husain, “Farmers to be Hit by WTO Agreement” Daily Times, Pakistan November 24, 2002.
- Lucinda Sikes at the 21st Annual National Food Policy Conference “The Impact of Harmonization on U.S. Food Standards” March 24, 1998
- Global Trade Watch “Executive Summary NAFTA’s Broken Promises: Fast Track to Unsafe Food” Fall 1997
- Patrick Barkham, “The banana wars explained” The Guardian Friday March 5, 1999
- “Civil Society Groups Reject the WTO Agriculture Draft”, February 24, 2003
- Walden Bello, “Why Reform of the WTO is the Wrong Agenda” January 2000.
- Harry Cleaver’s introduction to Zapatistas! Documents of the New Mexican Revolution, New York: Autonomedia, 1994.
- Plan Colombia, see the Mobilization on Colombia and a report from SOAWatch
- Linus Atarah, “Playing Chicken: Ghana vs. the IMF” CorpWatch June 14th, 2005
Privatization of Water
- Gabriel Kolko, “Weapons of Mass Financial Destruction“. Le Monde Diplomatique. Oct 2006. or here
- Martin Khor, “All Doha talks suspended at WTO”. 25 July, 2006 other breaking wto news from Third World Network
- Celine Tan, “Norway to cancel ‘illegitimate debt‘ of 5 countries”. 3 October, 2006.
organizations and resources
- recommended film: This is What Free Trade Looks Like
week 9 alternative trade
C. Clare Hinrichs & Thomas A. Lyson, ed., Remaking the North American Food System. 2007: University of Nebraska Press: pages 65-344.
Herman Daly, “A Steady-State Economy“. Sustainable Development Commission, UK (April 24, 2008).
Read one from each section below.
- Josée Johnston, “Consuming Social Justice”. Arena Magazine 51 (March 2001): 42-47.
- Aimee Shreck, “Resistance, distribution, and Power in the Fair Trade Banana Initiative” Agriculture & Human Values 22 (2005): 17-29.
- James O’Nions, “Fairtrade & Global Justice“. 22 April 06. Red Pepper reposted on ZNet.
organizations: TransFair USA, Equal Exchange, The Human Bean Company
- Oxfam’s “Make Trade Fair” campaign. Walden Bello’s critiquefood sovereignty: NGO/CSO Forum for food sovereignty, “Food Sovereignty: A Right for all” 14 june, 2002. multifunctional agriculture: Brad DeVries, “Multifunctional Agriculture in the International Context: A Review”, Land Stewardship Project, October 2000.
- policy for local food
- Amory Starr, et. al., “Overview of the Local Food Movement” (second section only) in “Sustaining Local Agriculture: Barriers and Opportunities to Direct Marketing between Farms and Restaurants in Colorado”, Agriculture & Human Values.
- Community Supported Agriculture
- Jack Kloppenburg, Jr., John Hendrickson and G. W. Stevenson, “Coming Into the Foodshed” Agriculture and Human Values 13:3 (Summer): 33-42, 1996.
- Soil Association, “Developing Local Food Economies: Soil Association Policy Recommendations” 2/7/03
- City of Toronto, Department of Public Health, Food Policy Council, “The way to a city’s heart is through its stomach: putting food secruity on the urban planning menu”. june 2001
- Cardiff University’s Local food Works
- Christopher D. Cook & John Rodgers, “Community Food Security: A Growing Movement” and here’s the
- “Weaving the Food Web: Community Food Security in California” California Community Food Security Network, 2002.
- Maya Tauber and Andy Fisher, “A Guide to Community Food Projects”, 2002.
- Amory Starr, “A market where you don’t need money!: Creating currencies which serve communities”, The Post: The publication of the Parkland Institute, University of Alberta. Edmonton AB: 2.2: Summer 1998: 6-7.
- Thomas H. Greco, Jr. New Money for Healthy Communities (1994) the largest CC operation in the US: Ithaca Hours another system: local Exchange Trading System Page, FAQ
- SAIIA, “The Worrisome State of the Microcredit Movement” October, 2006.
- Russell Sydney, A History of the Farmers’ Market Movement in California. 2005.
- Jennifer Abel, “Extension’s Role with Farmers’ Markets: Working with Farmers, Consumers, and Communities” Journal of Extension Volume 37 Number 5 (October 1999).
- Allison Brown, “Counting Farmers Markets” Geographical Review. 2001;91:655-74.
- Colin Hines, Localization: A Global Manifesto. 2000.community supported agriculture
- “The History of Community Supported Agriculture, Part I: Community Farms in the 21st Century: Poised for Another Wave of Growth?”
Part II: CSA‘s World of Possibilities.” (2004) NewFarm.
- “Eating for Your Community: A Report from the Founder of Community Supported Agriculture,” by Robyn Van En. (1995) In Context, Fall 1995, p, 29.
organizations and resources
- John C. Cross, Informal Politics: Street Veendors and the State in Mexico City. 2002: Cambridge University Press.
topic 3 : consumption
- Week 10 production/consumption (commodification & enclosure)
Week 11 food culture studies
Week 12 land reform
Angus Lindsay Wright, Wendy Wolford, To Inherit the Earth: The Landless Movement and the Struggle for a New Brazil. 2003: Food First Books.
- required Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen & Maria Mies, The Subsistence Perspective 2000: Zed Books, London, excerpt.
- interview with Maria Mies
- required (photocopies) Wendell Berry, “The Unsettling of America” 3-14 and “The Agricultural Crisis as a Crisis of Culture” 39-48 in The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture. 1977 (1996) Sierra Club Books, San Francisco.
Maria Mies, “Women & Work in a Sustainable Society” conference (1995)
- Peter Rosset, Raj Patel, and Michael Courville, ed., Promised Land: Competing Visions of Agrarian Reform. Oakland, CA: Food First Books. PICK chapters that interest you and download:
- Allen Salkin, “Leaving Behind the Trucker Hat” New York Times. March 16, 2008