Field Experiences for IDLS 400 Students

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In the spring semester, 2015, students in Erica Cavanagh's IDLS 400 class got to experience first hand what they have been talking about in their class, Food: An Exploration of Family, Culture, Production, and Globalization. This semester guest speaker Patricia Foreman, author of City Chicks and Chicken Tractor, talked to the class about the benefits of raising backyard chickens and their role in creating and maintaining healthy top soil for sustainable food growth. The class also visited Polyface Farms in Swoope Virginia, and a Pilgrim’s Pride industrial chicken operation in Fort Seybert, West Virginia.

The class gave the students opportunities to see how food affects quality of life. In brief, how one eats is inseparable from physical and emotional health and in part determines how well one will be able to learn and move about the world. To be sure, genetics play a role in personal health, but while we don't have much control over our biological inheritance, adult Americans do have varying degrees of control over what they eat and how it was produced. To have control means that one has choices and to have choices involves ethics. What relationship does food have to ethics? And what are ethical choices when it comes to food? These were two core questions IdLS students addressed in this course. 

The field experiences of this course offered students real-life information about food and how we come to eat what we eat, what that food says about us, how it affects us, others, animals, and the environment, and finally, how the food we eat arrives in our hands and on our tables.  

Click here to see and hear more about their amazing experiences. 



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Published: Monday, June 29, 2015

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2019

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