You Are Doing What Again?

When I tell people I am moving to Italy, I receive looks of excitement and mountains of questions. When I tell people I am moving to Italy to study food policy, I tend to get a lot of blank stares. I figured on the eve of my departure, surrounded by half-packed boxes and unfinished lists, I would try to explain what my year will look like.

I chose this specific program because I have become very passionate about food; who grows it, why and how they grow it and how it got on my table. This curiosity became an obsession. I live in a food wonderland. I can get anything I want to eat and the majority of it is produced right here in Oregon. I need to understand why people in my own community don’t always feel they have access to this food. Why does a tomato grown 3 miles from my home need to cost five times more than the tomato shipped up from Mexico?! Why are local small farms unable to keep up with the mass produced products that sit uneaten and rotting in dumpsters behind Walmart and yet students go without a good meal? Why are there still people in my community going without food at all?

All of these questions have complex webs of political, economic and environmental layers.  In order for us to develop and sustain ourselves, there must be accessible solutions and we are in a time when those solutions are being actively devised. There are networks of people all over the world, participating in this future and simply put, I want to become one of them. I want to be part of the process at its core and be surrounded by others who have this same drive and commitment.

I added my course studies, because it not only makes me realize the massiveness of what I am about to undertake, but also reminds me where I have come from to get to this place.

This will be my life for the next twelve months, in a nutshell. A year of complete immersion into the world of food in a place that thrives in its existence.

Communication, Media and Journalism
Semiotics of Gastronomy
Professional Food Writing
Food Documentary
Video Editing Techniques
Travel and Food Photography
Techniques of Food Photography
Enogastronomical Communication

History and Cultures
Introduction to the Study Trips in Italy
Food in Consumer Culture
Ethics and Aesthetics of Food
History of Food and Locality
Medieval Food History
Social History of Food: Networking, Hierarchies and Identities

Food Policy and Sustainability
Food, Environment, and Sustainability
Sustainable Gastronomy
Food Justice
Food Economics

Sociology and Anthropology
Theory and Method in the Anthropology of Food
Food in Popular Culture

Productions, Technologies, and Sensory Analysis
Elements of Food Technology
Wine Technology
Molecular Basis of Taste
Food Sensory Analysis
Wine Sensory Analysis
Nutrition and Public Health

Tasting Lectures
Sense of Smell
Beer
Cheese
Chocolate
Cured Meat
Olive Oil
Wine

Environmental Studies:
Ethnobiology
Landscape Ecology
Biodiversity Conservation
Strategies of Nature Conservation

Human Ecology:
Women’s Role in Sustainable Food Systems
Environmental Anthropology
Indigenous Perspectives in the Management of Natural Resources
Migrants’ Diet and Health

Sustainability and Food Policy:
Sustainable Agriculture
Public Health, Nutrition and Food Policies
The Slow Food Approach to Food Systems
Systemic Design Applied to Gastronomy
Economic Sustainability
Food, Environment and Sustainability

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