General Course Resources

Primarily focused on food politics, is a journalistic website that provides daily news articles with topics ranging from food systems to discussions on sustainable agriculture.

With everything from recipes to political matters, is organized in a way to allow the reader to focus on their specific concerns regarding food and sustainability. Highly recommended by NWEI.


Union of Concerned Scientists

Policy oriented, the Union of Concerned Scientist attempts to bridge the gap between scientific research and procedure with problems in political policy making.


Union of Concerned Scientists Local and Regional Food Systems Report

This is a link to an Executive Summary released by the UCS. It provides a discussion on the economic and cultural benefits of Farmers Markets.


Center for Science in the Public Interest

Serving as an advocacy group for health and nutrition, CSPI does research and policymaking aimed at representation of citizen interest. is a blog discussing the politics of food. Written with a high degree of enthusiasm, provides its readers with interesting articles accompanied by commentary. Also, it provides opportunities to share interesting articles, along with original commentary.


Teaching the Food System
For Higher Education Faculty and Staff, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Teaching the Food System website is a fantastic resource with teaching tools and tips.



Ingredients is an interesting documentary from 2009 that discusses politics, food sources, and general information about food.


Food Matters by Mark Bittman

Here’s a great cookbook by writer Mark Bittman that has recipes and also contains information about common problems within the food industry. These problems range from things such as genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) to overproduction and mistreatment of animals for the consumption of meat.


Food and Faith compiled by Michael Schut

From such writers as Wendell Berry, Bill McKibben and many others this is a compilation of articles that discuss the importance of food and how it can affect your spirituality.


Tender by Tamara Murphy

Cook up some delicious meals using this awesome cookbook. Tamara Murphy is a well-renowned Seattle based chef who is a proponent of connecting community farms directly to all culinary forms.


The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan

Here we have a do it yourself book to turn your backyard into an urban farm. The author offers a variety of ways in which you can save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and revitalize your love for the outdoors through some simple gardening practices.


Fresh Food from Small Places by R.J. Ruppenthal

If you have limited space but still want a garden, then look to this book to help organize your nooks and crannies into a flourishing food source.


The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe

This book is an economical, social, and environmental friendly guide to gardening. Coming from a multidisciplinary background, Carol Deppe incorporates as many as she can into gardening.


Session 1: The First Bite

Featured Resources

Suggested Group Activity

Before you meet for the first time, consider your food story and how your experience with food has shaped you. Using these guidelines and examples, write a short reflection or poem about your food heritage to share with the rest of your group as the opening for your first meeting.


Additional Resources

Ecocentric focuses on sustainability, including the elements of food, energy and water. This article in particular focuses on seasonal foods. It ranges anywhere from discussions on canning foods from one season to enjoy in the next to specific recipes around a type of seasonal vegetable.


Eat Well Guide’s Seasonal Food Guide

The Eat Well Guide seasonal food guide shows seasonal produce by state while explaining the importance of eating seasonal foods.


Epicurious: Seasonal Ingredient Map (Highly Recommended)Epicurious’s interactive Seasonal Ingredient Map displays not only monthly seasonal vegetables by state, but also offers recipes, cooking tips, and buying guides.


Most Good, Least Harm by Zoe Weil

In this self-reflective book, humane educator Zoe Weil offers powerful and practicable tools to face our current global crises and improve both our planet and our personal lives. Check out Zoe’s website at


Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, with Stephen L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle chronicles the story of a year in which Kingsolver’s family deliberately fed themselves on products grown close to home, as well as what they learned from the experience. Their website features updates on what they’re doing now, as well as recipes and resources for aspiring locavores.


Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit by Barry Estabrook

In his 2011 book, food writer Barry Estabrook follows the trail of the modern mass-produced tomato, from its sprouting in Florida’s chemical-ridden, slave-worked tomato fields to its tastelessness on your plate.


Sustainable Food by Elise McDonough

An introduction to ethical eating, this shopping guide illustrates and explains ways to shop sustainably for food.


Session 2: Politics of the Plate

Featured Resources

Suggested Group Activities (pg. 31)

1.  As a group, take a stand on a policy or practice by participating in letter writing campaigns or boycotts. Two organizations that follow food-related issues are Food Democracy Now and Food and Water Watch:

Food Democracy Now

Food Democracy Now is a grassroots organization which combats corporate agribusiness through government policy.

Food and Water Watch

Food and Water Watch is an organization dedicated to bringing clean water and safe foods to our tables. The main way they accomplish this goal is through lobbying efforts.


2.  In times of uncertainty people need to develop support systems. Inventory your discussion groups’ food-related skills. Consider forming a Common Security Club:

Local Circles

Local Circles is a website dedicated to developing strong small group communities.


Additional Resources

Marion Nestle, the author of Food Politics, offers a very informative blog discussing (no surprise!) food politics.


Time for a Sea Change by Paul Greenberg (Highly Recommended)

National Geographic presents an in-depth article on the problem of overfishing. Greenberg shares some shocking statistics about the world’s consumption of seafood, which should help give readers a realistic perspective on our current situation and challenge them to take action in their own lives.


The Future of ‘Wild Fish,’ the Last Wild Food

A short article and great radio story from NPR, this link leads to an article discussing the Fish Farming Industry.


EWG’s Farm Subsidies by State

Here is a chance to look at your state’s farm subsidies. EWG’s maps and statistics offer a good financial summary of how agriculture and politics are really connected.


Food Justice by Robert Gottlieb and Anupama Joshi

If you want to dig deeper into the ethical ideals within justice and find an application of those towards food, then, please, check this book out.


Session 3: A Healthy Appetite

Featured Resources

Choose My Plate

Choose My Plate is a government website that for the recently released new food “pyramid” (which is actually a plate). This website is a basic start for understanding nutrition.


Additional Resources

Food Meditation Activity


Fitness and Nutrition in College

This online guide offers tips, resources and recipes to help busy college students eat healthy and stay healthy.


Livable Future Blog

This blog presents an argument against genetically engineered (GE) foods, and the lack of government regulations regarding GE Food’s and public health.


Kitchen Literacy 

In this YouTube vidoe, Ann Villesis discusses her book Kitchen Literacy.


Jamie Oliver’s TED Talk Wish

Food celebrity Jamie Oliver, the author of The Naked Chef, gives an engaging presentation on the importance of nutrition and its role on future generations.


Harvest of Fear

A two hour FRONTLINE/NOVA documentary on GMO foods, Harvest of Fear presents both sides of the debate over GMOs.


Processed Foods: A Health Nightmare

This article from Health Ambition offers a comprehensive look at the effect of processed food on human health.


100 Days of Real Food

100 Days of Real Food is an inspirational blog that tells the story of a family that weaned themselves off of processed foods.


Seattle Local Food Infographic on American calorie intake

Seattle Local Food created a cool infographic of American calorie intake and its sources. The page also features a short article explaining the infographic.


The Food Empowerment Project

This website is dedicated to creating a world where people make a more conscious decision about their food choices, and consider more thoroughly the ethical implications their food choices have on both the environment and society.


Session 4: Just Food

Featured Resources

Suggested Group Activities (pg. 69)

Oxfam’s Hungry4Change Banquet

This is a link to Oxfam Canada’s “Hungry for Change” guidelines. In this activity, guests randomly draw tickets assigning them to income groups and are served a certain quality and quantity of food based upon their ticket assignment. This exercise illustrates the inequalities in our world and how our decisions affect others.


Featured Video (pg. 72)

Mark Bittman on What’s Wrong with What We Eat

In this fiery and funny talk, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman weighs in on what’s wrong with the way we eat now (too much meat, too few plants; too much fast food, too little home cooking), and why it’s putting the entire planet at risk.


Additional Resources

Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry Farms to Humans and the Environment by David Kirby


Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer


Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday is a public health website aimed at reducing people’s consumption of meat by 15%.


Fresh, the movie (Highly Recommended)

Fresh is a documentary that discuses the problems within our current food industry. Fresh celebrates the people that are “re-inventing” the food system through more just and prudent means.


Black Gold (Highly Recommended)

Black Gold is a documentary that focuses on the economic disparities in the production and consumption of coffee.


Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production

The Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production is a group that conducts scientific analysis on the farming industry and its effects on public health. Here’s a link to their commission report: Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in AmericaTo get the general gist of the report, we suggest reading the Executive Summary.


Food Empowerment Project

The Food Empowerment Project works to empower low-income families to take control of their diets and work for access to healthy, humane, sustainable foods.


Factory Farm Map

This is a very comprehensive map that shows the number of factory farm locations by county across the US.


Session 5: Eating for Earth

Featured Resources

Suggested Group Activity (pg. 85)

Bon Appétit’s Carbon Foodprint Calculator

Curious about how much CO2 is produced by the production of your meal? Then check out this really cool CO2 calculator developed by Bon Appétit.


NGM’s Water Footprint Calculator

For a better understanding and to see an estimate of your water footprint, please visit this National Geographic website.


Additional Resources

The Land Institute

The Land Institute is an exciting organization that devotes its time to developing ecologically stable forms of agriculture. Featured in the article Perennial Solution on page 100.


EWG’s Meat Eater’s Guide

EWG offers an excellent and informative guide to how much our eat protein sources affect the climate and our health. This article in the Huffington Post gives a nice overview of the guide, as well.


Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail by Gary Paul Nabhan


American Farmland Trust

American Farmland Trust acknowledges environmental issues surrounding agriculture, and they discuss their goals to help farmers keep from damaging water quality and affecting climate change.


The Climate-Friendly Gardener Guide

Take a look at this awesome guide to being an environmentally friendly gardener. This site has beginner level gardening tips and offers sound reasons for growing a portion of your own food.


Plate to Planet

The folks at Plate to Planet have created a user-friendly website that introduces its readers to some very enthralling reasons for rethinking our food consumption.


The Meatrix

The Meatrix is a series of fun short films and an interactive website that contains a wealth of information regarding industrial livestock production, specifically in the U.S. It’s geared toward a broad audience.


Center for Food Safety’s Cool Foods Campaign

The Cool Foods Campaign is a joint project of the Center for Food Safety and the Cornerstone Campaign. The campaign focuses on the connections between the foods we eat and their contribution to global warming. The campaign aims to inspire a groundswell of people committed to making sustainable food choices to reduce their “FoodPrint.”


Permaculture in a Nutshell by Patrick Whitefield

With a worldview towards ecosystems, Patrick Whitefield explores the role of humans within their ecosystem.


Food not Lawns by H.C. Flores

An ideal based discussion on permaculture, this book is a good read to jump start some positive activism from your own yard.


Session 6: Hungry for Change

Featured Resources

Featured Videos

Chef Dan Barber on How I Fell in Love with a Fish (pg. 118)

In this informative and entertaining TED talk, Chef Dan Barber discusses his pursuit towards finding a sustainable way to keep fish on his menus.


Ellen Gustafson on Obesity + Hunger = 1 Global Food Issue (pg. 120)

In this TED talk, Ellen Gustafson discusses how she feels hunger and obesity are intrinsically connected in our society and presents a plan for doing something to eradicate both.


Additional Resources

Livable Future blog

The Livable Future blog merges the ideas of diet, environment, public health, and food production to create an open forum. This blog updates daily with well written and informative articles.


The New American Farmer, 2nd edition

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education group have created the 2nd edition of their popular New American Farmerbook. This book is essential to all types of farmers big and small.

The Cook for Good blog focuses on affordable, healthy and sustainable home-cooking. With many free recipes, tips and resources, Cook for Good is a great resource for thriftier, healthier cooking and eating.


The Slow Cook: composting and gardening videos

Ed Bruske, a D.C. based certified master gardener, has made accessible introductory level educational and instructional videos on compost and urban farming.


Cooking Up a Story: Growing Food (Highly Recommended)

This in-depth site features a library of videos on specific topics in the realm of home gardening, like bee-keeping and raising chickens.


Mother Earth News: Building Community Food Security

The folks at Mother Earth News have written a good article on cultivating a secure community through food, featuring Columbus, Ohio nonprofit Local Matters.


American Community Gardening Association

The American Community Gardening Association is an advocate for community gardens across North America; their website contains helpful information and resources for starting, supporting, and protecting community gardens.


Life on the Balcony

Life on the Balcony is a good blog for those of us that live in an apartment with relatively little to no gardening space. They offer some very helpful tips and tricks that will allow you to grow a variety of plants to liven up your apartment and produce your own food.


Food Corps

Food Corps expands on the idea of from farm to table by incorporating education through gardening, and taking the food produced from the garden to the cafeteria


The Non-GMO Shopping Guide

Presented by The Center for Food Safety, this nifty little guide can be carried with you while you shop for delicious veggies.


Further Resources:

A Sonoma Garden

This website is just fun and awesome. The blog includes all sorts of recipes for how to make your own everything (i.e. deodorant, chapstick, and lotion), gardening, and all kinds of simple living stuff.



Hazon is the largest Jewish environmental organization. Hazon means vision in Hebrew and they create healthy and sustainable communities in the Jewish world and beyond. Their goal is to effect change in three ways: Transformative experiences for individuals and communities including an annual Food Conference; Thought leadership in the fields of Jewish and environmental knowledge; and Support of the Jewish environmental movement in North America and Israel.


Friends of Family Farmers

Friends of Family Farmers is an Oregon based group dedicated to helping independent farmers develop socially and environmentally sustainable agriculture methods.


A Comprehensive Guide From Planning to Harvesting

A comprehensive online gardening resource.


Earth as an apple
A brief illustration of how much land on the planet is suitable for agriculture.