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Case Studies in Food Production and Public Health

4th term
Environmental Health and Engineering
4 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Asynchronous Online
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Keeve Nachman

Introduction to Online Learning is required prior to participating in any of the School's Internet-based courses.


Focuses on food production practices in the United States and the associated public health risks and benefits; discussions on animal and crop agriculture and food processing encompass both historical practices and modern methods. Presents case studies which delve deeper into specific topics, including industrial food animal production and worker health, aquaculture, climate change, urban food systems and sustainable production methods. Challenges students to think critically about the impact of food production methods on ecosystem and human health and apply a "one-health" lens to analyze strategies to reduce public health risks from food production. Lectures draw from the literature, and from the firsthand experiences of lecturers in research translation and agricultural production.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe in detail the major steps of the food production process, from farm to retail
  2. Identify practices associated with crop and food animal production that may threaten public health
  3. Apply an ecological perspective to explain the connections among farm animal health, ecosystems and public health
  4. Categorize impacts of food production practices by affected population subgroups
  5. Identify alternative farming and distribution practices that may protect public health
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 40% Quizzes
  • 35% Written Assignment(s)
  • 25% Participation

Instructor Consent:

No consent required