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Center for a Livable Future


October 9, 2014

Now Available: Textbook on US Food System, Edited by CLF Faculty

textbook US Food SystemAt long last, there is a textbook that engages students in a scholarly overview of today’s food system in the U.S.

Edited by Roni Neff, a program director at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) and faculty member in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Introduction to the US Food System: Public Health, Environment, and Equity focuses on the U.S. food system’s relationships with public health, the environment, equity, and society. The textbook provides evidence-based perspectives and is rich with illustrative examples, case studies, activities, and discussion questions.

For years prior to publication, several members of the CLF had discussed on the idea of a textbook that would serve as a resource for helping students tackle the thorniest problems in the food system and for encouraging them to think critically about solutions. Student interest in the food system has grown dramatically since the new millennium, and academic courses and programs addressing the food system have proliferated.

The textbook addresses issues including food insecurity, social justice, community and worker health concerns, food marketing, nutrition, resource depletion, and ecological degradation. Contributing authors include, among many others, well-known food system experts such as Alice Ammerman, Molly Anderson, Mariana Chilton, Kate Clancy, Fred Kirschenmann, Robert S. Lawrence, Wayne Roberts, LaDonna Sanders-Redmond, David Wallinga, and Mark Winne. (Altogether there are 106 contributors to the book.)

The textbook is well suited for readers with a variety of perspectives, among them undergraduate and graduate students and professionals in the fields of public health, nutritional science, nursing, medicine, environment, policy, business, social science, and more. It is designed for use in many types of departments or schools to support educators from a variety of disciplines and their efforts to meet growing student demand for course work on food system topics. In addition, there is an online supplement for educators, which provides learning activities and slides for each chapter, as well as other resource materials.

As director of CLF’s Food System Sustainability and Public Health program, Roni has dedicated her career to thinking about and addressing food and ecological concerns as they intersect with the public’s health. She teaches two service-learning courses: Baltimore Food Systems: A Case Study in Urban Food Environments, and the Food System Sustainability Practicum course, which she co-teaches with Meg Burke. In 2012-2013 Roni was a SOURCE Service-Learning faculty fellow, and she is on the faculty of the Bloomberg School’s Environmental Health Sciences and Health Policy and Management departments.

The textbook may be purchased directly from Wiley Jossey-Bass or from other booksellers. Here is a Table of Contents and a list of all contributing authors.