With the growth of the world’s population and the increasing awareness that our natural resources are limited, development of sustainable systems to produce food is essential. Globally, the food industry is one of the largest industrial sectors, consumes tremendous amounts of energy and water, and can result in large quantites of waste; thus food has a critical impact on the environment, including greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
Historically, the criteria for food choice amongst consumers has been based on taste, price, availability, quality, and nutritional attributes; however, evidence now suggests that consumers are increasingly interested in the environmental impact of foods. Students will learn about these issues (both in the US and in France), and they will have many opportunities to experience French cuisine and French culture as related to food, and will obtain different perspectives in terms of diet, food production, food preparation, food consumption, and the major role of food in French culture. Students will also be immersed in French history, and will understand how cathedrals and castles have been, and continue to be, key to French culture and cuisine.