Digging into Hunger

Digging into hunger text overlaying people in a pantry and cartoon carrots


Academic Team:
Erin McKenna (emckenna@uoregon.edu
First-Year Experience Seminar Instructor
Eve Posner (eposner@uoregon.edu)
FIG Assistant

9 credits

UGST 109 First Year Experience Seminar – 1 Credit 

CRN: 16251: M: 6:00 – 7:20 PM, SC 250C 

HIST 215 Food in World History – 4 credits 

CRN: 12498: TR: 2:00 – 3:20 PM, MCK 129, +DIS CRN: 12502: F: 11:00 – 11:50 AM, CON 360 

PHIL 220 Food Ethics – 4 credits 

CRN: 15802: MW: 2:00 – 3:20 PM, MCK 221, +DIS CRN: 15803: F: 10:00 – 10:50 AM, TYKE 32 

About the FIG:

Food insecurity is a global issue, taking many different forms around the world.  In this class we will look at some of the structural issues that contribute to food insecurity, but our main focus will be on how food insecurity is experienced on the UO campus and in the greater Eugene/Springfield area. We will also explore how people in our community are trying to address food insecurity.   

Students in this FIG will work with some of the following: the campus urban farm, the student food pantry, UO Grove Community Garden, EMU produce drop and community organizations such as Burrito Brigade and Food for Lane County farms and gardens. This class will be primarily focused on experience-based reflections. Given that, this class will require some out-of-class time to engage in experiential learning opportunities.  

Deep-Dive FIG: This FIG includes multiple field trips and hands-on events. This course has been vetted by First Year Programs to ensure first-term students can achieve success. The instructor will be available to assist students along the way.

HIST 215 Food in World History - CoreEd or major satisfying course

Food has been a defining part of human experience since the dawn of humanity. The diverse plants and animals available to humans for domestication in distinct parts of the world have fundamentally shaped the cultures of each region. Foods and eating practices have also been intertwined with religious beliefs and have become integral to cultural systems and national identities. The cultivation of food crops and livestock, the marketing and processing of foods, and food and beverage consumption have linked households with regional, national, and global economies and with the natural environment in historically specific ways. Practices of food preparation and eating have often structured or illustrated gender and class relations. Simultaneously universal and historically conditioned, food thus offers an ideal vantage point for exploring relationships among culture, economy, environment, and society in world history. These subjects, all of which figure in the course, correspond to several of the university's General Education goals, including those connected to moral beliefs, the nature of the historical past and its connections with the present, the diversity of human experience, and the impact of technology.

PHIL 220 Food Ethics - CoreEd or major satisfying course

This is a class in ethics. It is not the role of ethical theory to give answers to particular problems, but to provide frameworks which challenge individuals to think critically and clearly about ethical issues and help them come to their own conclusions. Moral philosophy demands that one have reasons for moral decisions and explores possible principles one can apply in an attempt to arrive at a consistent and well thought out moral position. Most of the issues we face have no obvious or immediate answer, but much can be gained by struggling with what appears to be irresolvable.

This particular class has a focus on ethical issues related to food. Who and what we eat reflects, and has consequences for, who we are as individuals and as a society. This course will examine some of the ethical concerns related to the conditions of human and other animal beings involved in the production of food and help students arrive at their own considered opinions regarding these issues. Animal welfare and environmental issues will be a central focus. Some specific issues will include: the environmental impacts of farming, livestock welfare, food waste, food safety, and food justice. Students in this class should bring their own questions and concerns about food to shape the reading and discussion. Some questions might include: Does it make sense to love dogs and eat pigs? If I am concerned about the environment, should I eat packaged food? Should I buy food from companies that don't pay a fair wage? How should we grow, harvest, transport, and prepare food? How much should we eat? Who is responsible for our food habits? Are choices about food simply personal choices, or are there ethical, social, and political implications we must take into account?

Meet your FIG Assistant and Instructor!