General Food Courses

Below is a list of courses that involve food and the environment. If you have a course you would like to add to this list, email

↓ Anthropology ↓ Aquatic and Fishery Sciences ↓ Biocultural Anthropology
↓ Biology ↓ Comparative History of Ideas ↓ Chicano Studies
↓ Environment, College of the ↓ Environmental Health ↓ Environmental Science – UW Bothell
↓ Environmental Science – UW Tacoma ↓ Environmental Studies ↓ Geography
↓ Human Centered Design and Engineering  ↓ Nutritional Sciences  ↓ Political Science
↓ Russian ↓ Sociology – Seattle ↓ Sociology – Tacoma
↓ Study Abroad: Food and Culture in the Hispanic World  ↓ Urban Design and Planning


  • ANTH 212 The Cultural Politics of Diet and Nutrition (5) I&S Anagnost Examines current debates within the United States about what dietary guidelines are optimal for human health; how changing conceptions of individual responsibility and political life are framing these debates; how social movements for food sovereignty are changing food practices: and how eaters define their ethics through food. Offered: AWSpS.
  • ANTH 361 Anthropology of Food (5) I&S
    Explores how foods reproduce social relations, the meanings food acquire within culture, how food systems are intertwined with structures of power and economic inequality, national cuisines and restaurant cultures, the global marketing of foods, controversies surrounding GMO foods, and alternative food communities. Prerequisite: one 200-level ANTH course.
  • ANTH 488 Agroecology (5) I&S Peña
    Cross-cultural survey of agroecological research methods, theoretical problems, policy issues, and ethical debates. Local knowledge and ethnoscientific bases of alternative agriculture. Comparative political ecology of agroecosystems with a focus on indicators of social equity and ecological sustainability.
    Instructor Course Description: Devon G Peña
  • ANTH 488 Acequia Agroecology and Permaculture Field Studies (5) Peña
    Field studies school taught in Colorado and New Mexico on agroecology and permaculture as practiced by the acequia farmers of the Rio Grande headwaters bioregion. Experiential learning of agroecology, restoration ecology, and permaculture methods and materials at historic acequia farms. (Offering Summer 2013 – Contact Devon Peña)

Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

  • FISH 424 Biology and Culture of Aquatic Organisms (5)
    Explores the concept of sustainability and the interrelationship between environment, aquatic species, and culture of aquatic animal and plant species globally. Current practices, animal biology and health, near-shore ecosystem conservation, water quality, and strategies to improve the sustainability of aquaculture for food production and species conservation. Instructor Course Description: Carolyn Friedman

Biocultural Anthropology

  • BIO A 465 Nutritional Anthropology (3) I&S/NW
    Examines the interrelationships between biomedical, sociocultural, and ecological factors, and their influence on the ability of humans to respond to variability in nutritional resources. Topics covered include diet and human evolution, nutrition-related biobehavioral influences on human growth, development, and disease resistance. Prerequisite: BIO A 201. Offered: jointly with NUTR 465.


  • BIOL 424 Plant Eco-Physiology (5) NW Ford 
  • Explores physiological mechanisms that underlie ecological observations, including how above- and below-ground microclimates develop and affect plant physiological processes. Discusses acclimation to environmental change along with species differences in physiological processes and plant’s occupation of heterogeneous environments. Laboratories emphasize field measurement techniques. Prerequisite: either BIOL 162, BIOL 180, ESRM 201, or ESRM 162. Offered: jointly with ESRM 478; W. Instructor Course Description: Soo-Hyung Kim
  • BIOL 425 Plant Physiology and Development (3) NW
    Expanded coverage of plant growth, nutrition, metabolism, and development. Prerequisite: BIOL 220. Offered: W.
  • BIOL 440 General Mycology (5) NW Ammirati
    General survey of the fungi with emphasis on life cycles, structure, physiology, economic importance. Prerequisite: BIOL 220. Offered: W.

Comparative History of Ideas

Chicano Studies

Environment, College of the

  • C ENV 110 Introduction to Food and the Environment (5) I&S/NW Hilborn 
    Relates the production and consumption of food to the major areas of environmental science including energy use, water consumption, biodiversity loss, soil loss, pollution, nutrient cycles, and climate change. Studies the basic science and how food production impacts the key processes.
    Instructor Course Description: Ray Hilborn    Course Flyer: Food and the Environment

Environmental Health

  • ENV H 441 Food Protection (3) Easterberg
    Study of identification and characteristics of chemicals and biological agents implicated in foodborne disease outbreaks and conditions or circumstances by which food contamination occurs. Examination of food protection activities conducted by local and state government at the retail level. Prerequisite: either 2.0 in CHEM 155, or 2.0 in CHEM 162, or 2.0 in CHEM 164; 2.0 in MICROM 302. Offered: W. Instructor Course Description: Charles D Easterberg
  • ENV H 451 Ecology of Environmentally Transmitted Microbiological Hazards (3)Shin 
    Focuses on the transmission of infectious microorganisms by air, food, water, and other environmental media. Provides an introduction to environmentally transmitted pathogens, and discusses factors affecting their environmental fate, transport, and persistence. Offered: A.
  • ENV H 452 Detection and Control of Environmentally Transmitted Microbiological Hazards (3) Meschke 
    Focuses on the detection and control of infectious microorganisms in air, food, water, and other environmental media. Provides a discussion on sample collection, processing, and detection for infectious microorganisms. Provides coverage of engineered controls and disinfection/decontamination processes for infectious microorganisms. Recommended: ENV H 451. Offered: W.
  • ENV H 546 Pesticides and Public Health (3) Fenske
    Examines health risks and benefits associated with pesticide use in the United States and internationally; reviews exposure, toxicity, epidemiology, and regulation of pesticides, focusing on populations such as workers and children; discusses benefits derived from vector control, food production, and food preservation. Offered: W, odd years.

Environmental Science – Bothell

  • BES 302 Environmental Problem Solving (5)
    Introduces different aspects of environmental problem solving. Uses real-world situations for thinking quantitatively and creatively about such environmental concerns as energy and water resources, food production, indoor air pollution, acid rain, and human influences on climate
  • BIS 393 Special Topics: The Cultural Politics of Food (5)
  • BIS 397 Topic in Environmental Studies: What’s the Buzz? Urban Bee Behavior (5)
  • BIS 490 Advanced Seminar: Urban Agriculture (5) 

Environmental Science – Tacoma

  • TESC 236 Sustainable Agriculture (5) NW
    Explores the sustainability of technological advances in global food production. Topics include the origins of agriculture, soil ecology and conservation, industrial vs. organic agriculture, integrated pest management, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and biofuels. Instructor Course Description: Erica T Cline

Environmental Studies

  • ENVIR 240 The Urban Farm (5) NW E. Wheat
    Develops students’ understanding the ecological connections between food production, human health, and planetary sustainability. Teaches basic skills needed for food production in urban areas and the ethics behind sustainable urban agriculture, including a hands-on component on the farm at the biology greenhouse. Offered: Sp.
  • ENVIR 243 Environmental Ethics (5) I&S Hartzell, Nichols
    Focuses on some of the philosophical questions that arise in connection with environmental studies. Topics to be considered include: the ideological roots of current issues, values and the natural world, public policy and risk assessment, intergenerational justice, and social change. Offered: jointly with PHIL 243. Instructor Course Description:Lauren Hartzell Nichols
  • ENVIR 384 Global Environmental Politics (5) I&S Litfin
    Examines the globalization of environmental problems, including climate change, ozone depletion, and loss of biodiversity, as well as the globalization of political responses to these problems within the framework of globalization as set of interlinked economic, technological, cultural, and political processes. Offered: jointly with POL S 384.
  • ENVIR 495B Farm Lunch Seminar (5) E. Wheat
    Explore issues related to urban agriculture and deepen systemic understanding of agriculture and urban food systems. Weekly guest lectures during lunch-time. Offered: W.
  • ENVIR 495A Agro-ecosystems of Northern Cascadia (5) E.Wheat. Examines local farms to better understand how human and natural systems can integrate to form healthy ecosystems.Counts for P&E: Bioregional or Natural Sciences.Course Flyer


  • GEOG 271 Geography of Food and Eating (5) I&S Jarosz
    Examines food production, distribution, and consumption issues across geographic scales. Focus ranges from the microcosm of the individual body to food and eating at national and global scales. Explores the political, social, cultural, and economic dimensions of food and eating in particular spaces, places, environments, contexts, and regions.
  • GEOG 371 World Hunger and Agricultural Development (5) I&S Jarosz
    Addresses world hunger and poverty in relation to agricultural development, food security policy, the globalization of food and agriculture and social movements. Explores the problem and historical persistence of hunger across geographic scale and examines the debates about how hunger can be eradicated. Recommended: GEOG 230, GEOG 330, or GEOG 335.

Human Centered Design and Engineering

  • HCDE 496/596 Special Topics: Conducting a User Study of Farmers Markets (3-5) Lee 
    This directed research group for course credit will give undergraduate and graduate students hands on experience conducting a user study of low-income parents with children who frequent farmers markets in King County. This study will inform potential designs that will facilitate connections between small, local food producers and local consumers who want and need access to fresher, healthier foods. Our goal is to help promote small, local farms, and to encourage a local food system that is environmentally responsible and promotes food justice.

Nutritional Sciences

  • NUTR 141 Introduction to Foods (5) NW
    Examines how foods are used by different people and cultures to deliver nutrients and energy. Explores the evolution of the global food supply, food preparation techniques, food patterns, and eating habits as they relate to diets, nutrition, and personal and public health. Offered: A.
  • NUTR 200 Nutrition for Today (4) NW
    Examines the role of nutrition in health, wellness, and prevention of chronic disease. Topics include nutrients and nutritional needs across the
    lifespan, food safety, food security, wellness, body weight regulation, eating disorders, sports nutrition, and prevention of chronic disease. Offered:
  • NUTR 241 Culinary Nutrition Science (3) NW
    Explores scientific principles behind modern culinary techniques that transform raw foodstuffs into prepared foods that have sensory appeal. Hands-on kitchen demonstrations show how physical and chemical forces acting on solids, liquids, and gases transform raw ingredients into foods with desirable taste, texture, and aroma. Requires access to a full kitchen to complete assignments. Prerequisite: NUTR 200.
  • NUTR 302 Food Studies: Harvest to Health (3) I&S/NW
    Examines the many facets of the modern food supply from production and processing to distribution, marketing, and retail. Systems approach to foods studies considers geopolitical, agricultural, environmental, social, and economic factors along the pathway from harvest to health. Prerequisite: NUTR 200. Offered: Sp
  • NUTR 303 Neighborhood Nutrition (3) NW
    Examines the food environment in the local community from the public health perspective. Explores where people get there food, what influences this decision, and various aspects of the local food movement, including access to healthy food, urban agriculture, farmers markets, and farm-to-school programs. Prerequisite: NUTR 200. Offered: W.
  • NUTR 310 Nutrition and the Life Course (4) NW
    Explores nutrient needs from infancy through adolescence and adulthood, including the physiological basis of nutrient requirements and the genetic, social, and environmental influences on food choices and nutrition status. Uses an evidence-based approach to assess the impact of nutrition across life stages and ways to improve population health by improving nutrition. Prerequisite: NUTR 200.
  • NUTR 400 Nutrition Seminar (1) I&S
    Examines emerging issues in food and nutrition as they relate to personal and public health. Reviews evidence in the context of health policy.
    Credit/no-credit only. Offered: AW. More information and current and past schedules here.
  • NUTR 406 Sports Nutrition (3) NW
    Covers the essentials of human nutrition that improve and sustain optimal performance for sport and exercise. Discusses the effect of eating disorders (in both male and female athletes), weight management, and sport nutrition resources. Prerequisite: NUTR 200. Offered: Sp.
  • NUTR 411 Diet in Health and Disease (3) QSR
    Discusses advanced topics in nutritional sciences. Includes nutrition and health, chronic disease prevention and management, and in-depth discussion of dietary patters. Draws on current topics in the media, impacts of public health policy on diet, and the most recent nutrition research. Prerequisite: NUTR 200. Offered: Sp.
  • NUTR 412 United States Food and Nutrition Policy (3) I&S
    Offers a broad introduction to food and nutrition policies in the United States and their impacts on population health. Real-world controversies and debates used to illustrate policy principles, research tools, and policy analysis. Includes topics on public health nutrition, food policy related to population health, and food security. Prerequisite: NUTR 200. Offered: A.
  • NUTR 420 Global Nutrition: Challenges and Opportunities (3) I&S
    Examines global dimensions of malnutrition, its assessment and classification, and global policies and programs to improve nutritional status in developing countries. Emphasizes global consequences of poor nutrition on health, cognition, and development with a focus on the first 1,000 days from conception to age two. Prerequisite: NUTR 200. Offered: A.
  • NUTR 446 Food Safety and Health (3)
    Presentation of emerging issues in food safety and toxicology, microbiology, sustainable agriculture, and biotechnology. Examines both domestic and global pressures on the food supply. Examines international and national polices that promote regional solutions for a safe food supply and access to nutritious foods.

Political Science

  • POL S 333 / ENVIR 485 Political Ecology of the World Food System (5) I&S
    Where does our food come from? What are the social, political and environmental roots and consequences of current agricultural practices? Who wins and who loses? To what extent are non-state actors altering the world political system? How does our planetary food web challenge our sense of personal identity and ethical responsibility? In particular, we will focus on the pivotal role of petroleum in the world food system, the political consequences of disrupting the global carbon and nitrogen cycles, the questions of meat and genetically modified food, and new social movements focusing on food. Course Website Instructor Course Description: Karen T Litfin


  • RUSS 120 Topics in Russian Literary and Cultural History (5-15) I&S
    This course examines food in Russian literature, cinema, art and memoir. Relying on the writings of food studies scholars such as Michael Pollan, we will consider food in the Russian context, from the Middle Ages to the post-Soviet era, delving into table manners; excess; holidays; vegetarianism; communal dining; Soviet home economics; and hunger. We will pay special attention to the artistic challenge of representing food in the literary and visual arts, and how Russians have responded. The reading list includes Gogol, Tolstoy, Bulgakov, Solzhenitsyn, Sorokin and Petrushevskaya. (SPR 13 description)

Sociology – Seattle

  • SOC 424 Sociology of Food (5) 

Sociology – Tacoma

  • T SOC 456 Rural Societies and Development (5) I&S
    Explores Third World development issues (economic, political, and social) which are particular to rural societies. Addresses topics such as: food production and distribution, rural labor markets, migration, rural development strategies, rural poverty, the “Green Revolution,” export agriculture, the proletarianization of peasants, and rural politics.

Study Abroad: Food and Culture in the Hispanic World

  • SPAN 393/462 or JSIS C 489/NUTR 490/GEOG 495 Food and Culture in the Hispanic World (5) Gómez-Bravo 
    Explores Hispanic cuisine through the centuries, focusing on topics including food and sociability, modes and techniques of food preparation and consumption, urban and rural traditions, and artifacts. The study of ingredients will look at biological and cultural exchanges among Spain, the New World, the Middle East and Asia. The course will explore urban and rural markets, foodways and spaces and will include visits to local markets and other food sites. Cooking sessions will be available for interested students.
  • SPAN 199/299/393/493 Intersection of Food, Culture and Politics (5)
    Provides overview of food culture in the modern world, focusing on Spain and Mexico. The course will study the intersection of food and culture in literature and film. Beyond this creative frame, the course will also explore aspects of food politics by thinking about trade agreements between developed and developing countries, food policy, and changing cultural conceptions of food in the Hispanic World 
  • SPAN 199/299/393/493 Spanish Language and Conversation (3)
    Provides overview of food culture in the modern world, focusing on Spain and Mexico. The course will study the intersection of food and culture in literature and film. Beyond this creative frame, the course will also explore aspects of food politics by thinking about trade agreements between developed and developing countries, food policy, and changing cultural conceptions of food in the Hispanic World 
  • SPAN 390/493 Independent Research Project – Spanish Food Cultures (5)
    An individual research project that will combine the use of material culture, hands-on research on relevant sites and persons, and written and visual sources. 

Urban Design and Planning

  • URBDP 598 Special Topics (1-6, max. 15) 
    Systematic study of specialized subject matter. Topics vary for each quarter, depending upon current interest and needs, and are announced in the preceding quarter. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Instructor Course Description: Branden M Born