Hiroshima University Syllabus

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Academic Year 2022Year School/Graduate School School of Integrated Arts and Sciences
Lecture Code AQS00801 Subject Classification Specialized Education
Subject Name Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (持続可能な農業とフードシステム)
Subject Name
Subject Name in
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
ゾレット シモーナ
Campus Higashi-Hiroshima Semester/Term 2nd-Year,  Second Semester,  3Term
Days, Periods, and Classrooms (3T) Weds3-4:IAS K104
Lesson Style Lecture Lesson Style
(More Details)
The class is lecture and discussion based. The class will be face-to-face in principle. If problems related to the COVID-19 situation persist, we will conduct the class in a hybrid way. 
Credits 1.0 Class Hours/Week   Language of Instruction E : English
Course Level 2 : Undergraduate Low-Intermediate
Course Area(Area) 24 : Social Sciences
Course Area(Discipline) 05 : Sociology
Eligible Students All undergraduate students from any faculty and discipline interested in the many aspects of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems but with no in-depth background in this topic. A basic understandi
Keywords Sustainable Agriculture, Global and Local Food Systems, Sustainable Production and Consumption, Food and Agriculture Ethics, Ethical Food Consumption, Organic Agriculture, Agroecology, Climate Change, SDG_02, SDG_11, SDG_12, SDG_13, SDG_15 
Special Subject for Teacher Education   Special Subject  
Class Status
within Educational
Criterion referenced
Integrated Global Studies
(Knowledge and Understanding)
・The knowledge and understanding to fully recognize the
mutual relations and their importance among individual
academic disciplines.
(Abilities and Skills)
・The ability to collect and analyze necessary literature or data among various sources of information in individual academic disciplines.
(Comprehensive Abilities)
・The ability to think in an interdisciplinary way to discover issues based on ethical research practices and subjective intellectual interests, and propose a plan to solve them. 
Class Objectives
/Class Outline
This course will give students the basic information to understand contemporary issues related to global and local agriculture and food systems and their sustainability. During the class we will explore the relationships between contemporary patterns of food production and consumption with the natural environment and human society. Food is a basic human need, but we rarely understand or question the way food is produced, the path it travels before reaching our tables, and the consequences its production and consumption have on people's health and on the environment. Industrial agricultural production is one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss and climate change, and contemporary 'Western' diets are linked to multiple negative health outcomes. Changes in food production patterns are also linked to the decline of rural communities worldwide. The course will examine 1) the political, social, and economic processes that have influenced both agricultural production systems and patterns of food acquisition, preparation and consumption, with their associated social and environmental impacts; 2) the emerging alternatives and sustainable practices both on the production side (e.g. organic farming, agroecology) and on the consumption side (e.g. sustainable diets, local food systems); and 3) the community-level responses seeking to create a more sustainable and resilient future, with concrete examples from Japan and other parts of the world.
The course is interdisciplinary and will give students a variety of perspectives on food production and consumption, from the sociology of food and agriculture to sustainability economics, to environmental sciences.

The main goal of this course is to encourage students to connect their everyday experiences of buying, preparing, and eating food to a broader perspective and obtain a deeper understanding of the implications of these choices, especially from a sustainability (environmental, social, cultural, and economic) perspective. Moreover, by discussing both production and consumption aspects together, the aim is to give students an idea of the interrelations and complexity of agriculture and food issues, and the need for a system thinking perspective. The ability to think about systems and to embrace complexity is fundamental for understanding and tackling contemporary sustainability issues in their multiple dimensions.  
Class Schedule Lesson 1: What is the ‘agri-food system’? What makes agriculture and food system (un)sustainable? And why should we care about this stuff anyways?
Lesson 2: What shapes the food we eat? Socio-cultural patterns of food production and consumption and their evolution
Lesson 3: The ethical dimension of food production and consumption 1: the environmental implication of industrial farming
Lesson 4: The ethical dimension of food production and consumption 2: livestock farming and the ethical treatment of farm animals
Lesson 5: The ethical dimension 3: Who produces our food? Social justice issues in food systems; From ‘food security’ to ‘food sovereignty’
Lesson 4: Redesigning food systems 1: Agroecology and organic farming: the basics of environmentally friendly and socially sustainable food production
Lesson 7: Redesigning food systems 2: case studies (urban farming, social farming, food policy councils, transition towns and organic communities, rural revitalization efforts through agriculture and food, etc.)
Lesson 8: Students’ group presentation and final discussion 
Readings will be announced before the class 
PC or AV used in
(More Details) PC or tablet necessary;  
Learning techniques to be incorporated  
Suggestions on
Preparation and
Before class: think about the role that food plays in your life, and also about the topics that you’re interested about in relation to food, farming, and their role in the environment and society.
During class: Bring an open mind and your curiosity! Be willing to discuss and share your ideas.
After class: write your learning journal as soon as possible after class and note down any extra questions you have.
Read recommended articles and any extra material on topics that you want to deepen your knowledge about. 
Grading Method Active participation in class and group discussions (30%), learning journal (20%), assignments: final report and presentation (50%) 
Practical Experience Experienced  
Summary of Practical Experience and Class Contents based on it Six-year research engagement with sustainable food and farming issues. Extensive fieldwork connected to these topics and to rural revitalization. Previous experience in teaching classes on similar subjects. 
Please fill in the class improvement questionnaire which is carried out on all classes.
Instructors will reflect on your feedback and utilize the information for improving their teaching. 
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