Food Studies Courses at the University of Toronto campuses

The University of Toronto's three campuses offer many courses focusing, in sum or in part, on food from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. We have gathered them here for the convenience of students interested in developing a strong food focus through their undergraduate and graduate education. Check the calendar for the next offerings of these courses!

Calendars:

Scarborough Campus

St. George Campus

Mississauga Campus

 

Course name

Department/Program of Study

Course code

Description

Scarborough Campus

     
The Anthropology of Food Anthropology ANTB64H3 This course examines the social significance of food and foodways from the perspective of cultural anthropology. We explore the beliefs and behaviours surrounding the production, distribution and consumption of food, and the role of food in shaping or revealing cultural relations, identities, political processes, and forms of globalization.
Food Microbiology Applied Microbiology; UTSC IMCB04H3 An introduction through theory and laboratory work to microorganisms of importance to the food and dairy industries. Quality control of raw materials and finished products, microbial metabolism, food and drug regulations and guidelines, theory of Good Manufacturing Practice for food manufacturers and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Programs (HACCP). Limited to students in the Joint Program in Applied Microbiology.
Food Chemistry Applied Microbiology; UTSC IMCB07H3 The principles of food preparation science including HACCP, organoleptic evaluation and survey techniques, tools for the measurement of food, and the physics of food preparation. Food components and their sources, and an introduction to food additives and contamination. Limited to students in the Joint Program in Applied Microbiology.
Cuisine and Culture in Bengal & South Asia Global Asia Studies GASD71H3 Examines the central place of cuisine in Bengali culture and society. This course uses practical experience in cooking to understand the importance of cuisine for nation-building, family, modernity, and history in South Asia, with special attention to West Bengal, Orissa, Bangladesh, and the diaspora.
History of Mexico Historical and Cultural Studies HISB37H3 This class will examine Mexico’s social and cultural history from the ancient Aztecs through the Spanish Conquest to the twentieth-century revolutionary movements led by Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata. It will also focus on Mexico's connections to the wider world through trade, migration, and cuisine.
Drink in History Historical and Cultural Studies HISC04H3 This class seeks to recover a celebratory side of human experience that revolves around alcohol and stimulating beverages. Although most societies have valued psychoactive beverages, there has also been considerable ambivalence about the social consequences of excessive drinking. Students will examine drinking cultures through comparative historical study and ethnographic observation.
Feeding the City, from Babylon to Brampton Historical and Cultural Studies HISC05H3 This course puts urban foods in world historical perspective using case studies from around the world and throughout time. Topics include provisioning, food preparation and sale, and cultures of consumption in courts, restaurants, street vendors, and domestic settings. Students will practice historical and geographical methodologies to map and interpret foodways.
Edible History: History of Global Foodways Historical and Cultural Studies HISB14H3 An exploration of how eating traditions around the world have been affected by economic and social changes, including imperialism, migration, the rise of a global economy, and urbanization. Topics include: immigrant cuisines, commodity exchanges, and the rise of the restaurant. Lectures will be supplemented by cooking demonstrations.
Global Commodities: Nature, Culture, History Historical and Cultural Studies HISC29H3 This course explores familiar commodities in terms of natural origins, everyday cultures of use, and global significance. It analyses environmental conditions, socio-economic transactions, political, religious, and cultural contexts around their production, distribution, and consumption. Commodity case studies will be selected among tea, opium, chocolate, rice, bananas, cotton, rubber, coffee, and sugar.
History of Empire and Foods Historical and Cultural Studies HISD70H3 A transnational history of how the rise of modern, global empires reshaped how the world produced and consumed food. This course, through cooking practicums, offers a hands-on approach to imperial and culinary histories with emphasis on plantation economies, famine, the tropical commodity trade, and the rise of national cuisines.
Culinary Ethnography Historical and Cultural Studies HISD71H3 This research seminar uses Scarborough as a laboratory for examining continuity and change within diasporic foodways. Students will practice ethnographic research and mapping skills to document a family meal, restaurant, market, festival, dish, or other culinary icon. They will also write an essay setting it within an appropriate analytical framework.
History of Beer and Brewing Historical and Cultural Studies HISD72H3 This research seminar examines the history of beer, including production techniques, gender roles, and drinking cultures, from ancient times to contemporary microbrewing. Students will produce a major paper or digital project on a chosen case study. Class will include a practicum on historical technologies of malting, mashing, and fermenting.
The Political Economy of Food International Development Studies IDSC14H3 Examines how institutions and power relations shape the production and distribution of food, particularly in the global South. The course evaluates competing theories of hunger and malnutrition. It also explores the historical evolution of contemporary food provisioning and evaluates the viability and development potential of alternative food practices.
Gender in the Kitchen Women and Gender Studies WSTC24H3 Across cultures, women are the main preparers and servers of food in domestic settings; in commercial food production and in restaurants, and especially in elite dining establishments, males dominate. Using agricultural histories, recipes, cookbooks, memoirs, and restaurant reviews and through exploration of students’ own domestic culinary knowledge, students will analyze the origins, practices, and consequences of such deeply gendered patterns of food labour and consumption.

St. George Campus

     
Food Matters I New College NEW101H1 How do we produce and ensure access to nutritious and environmentally sustainable food? Can we achieve ethical food production and global food security? What is the relationship among food science, local food movements, and global food systems? Science and social advocacy perspectives will be brought together to consider alternative food systems and topics such as the role of biotechnology, animal rights, and health and wellness. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.
Food Matters II New College NEW111H1 What is at stake in achieving ethical food production, access to nutritious and environmentally sustainable food, and global food security? Building on integrated learning from any New One I course, this course engages more deeply with such questions, along with community-led alternatives to dominant food systems, animal rights, biotechnology, and health and wellness.
Introduction to Equity Studies New College NEW240Y1 An interdisciplinary study of social justice issues in local and global contexts. Examines ongoing and new forms of inequity and various approaches to social change. Topics include the origins of inequities, critical anti-racism, global labour patterns, economic restructuring, gender variance, disability studies, food security and the politics of resistance.
Theory and Praxis in Food Security New College NEW342H1 Explores the concept of food security in the context of equity issues related to global food systems. Students participate in food-related field work activities outside of regular classroom time.
Food Systems and the Politics of Resistance New College NEW442H1 Examines the food we eat in the local and global context of food systems, food sovereignty and food movements. Explores the possibilities for food as a catalyst for learning, resistance and social change.
Biochemistry I: Proteins, Lipids and Metabolism Biochemistry BCH210H1 Proteins, enzymes, membranes and the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids.
Anthropology of Food Anthropology ANT346H1 Social anthropological perspective on the nature and meaning of food production, culinary cultures, industrial food, food as metaphor, and famine and hunger.
Prehistory of the Near East Anthropology ARH360H1 From earliest times through the rise of complex hunter-gatherers, and the food producing revolution to politically complex societies in Southwest Asia.
Human Nutritional Ecology Anthropology ANT371H1 A detailed review of human dietary adaptations, subsistence strategies and the suite of cognitive, cultural and life history traits that make humans so adaptable. Focus is on the relevance of the past to understanding the modern world food system and finding solutions to contemporary problems in population, food, and health.
Prehistory of the Near East Anthropology ARH360H1 From earliest times through the rise of complex hunter-gatherers, and the food producing revolution to politically complex societies in Southwest Asia.
Advanced Topics in Diaspora and Transnationalism (Foodways - Diasporic Diners, Transnational Tables and Culinary Connections) Diaspora and transnational studies DTS403H1 Food links people across space and time. As it spirals outward from parochial sites of origin to articulate with new sites, actors and scales, it assumes new substance and meaning in new locales. This movement of food gives rise to new ‘foodways’ t help us to understand the past in terms of temporally connected sites of intense interaction. Food also plays a strong role in shaping translocal identities. As peoples have moved in the world, food has played a central role in (re)defining who they are, reproducing myth and ritual, and bounding diasporic communities. This course seeks to address questions surrounding the dynamics of the food ‘we’ eat, the ways in which ‘we’ eat, the meaning ‘we’ give to eating, and the effect of eating in a transnational world. Recognizing that culinary culture is central to diasporic identifications, the focus is on the place of food in the enduring habits, rituals, and everyday practices that are collectively used to produce and sustain a shared sense of diasporic cultural identity.
Environment, Food and People Geography GGR107H1 Examines the relations between food, nature, and society. Food is fundamental to human existence, and central to most cultures; it also has significant and widespread effects on the physical environment. This course uses food as a lens to explore human-environment interactions locally and globally. It serves as an introduction to environmental geography.
Physical Aspects of the Canadian Arctic and Subarctic Geography GGR308H1 We will explore the climate geomorphology, soils, hydrology, biogeochemical cycling, limnology and food web structures of the Arctic and Subarctic. Current stresses of climate change and pollution are discussed along with scientific and political solutions.
The Global Food System Geography GGR329H1 Explores the changing global geographies of food by tracing international movements of food through both mainstream and 'alternative' supply chains. The implications for sustainability, food security, community autonomy and health are investigated.
Rice and Spice in Southeast Asia: a Regional Food History History HIS346H1 This course examines the importance of food products in the livelihoods of the inhabitants of Southeast and in the world economy. It traces the circulation of these products within the Southeast Asian region in the pre-modern period, into the spice trade of the early modern era, and the establishment of coffee and sugar plantations in the late colonial period, and the role of these exports in the contemporary global economy.
Cook the Books: Modern Food Literature English ENG434H1  
Active Healthy Living Kinesiology & Physical Education PHE110H1 This course increases student awareness of issues related to a healthy lifestyle and to the role of physical activity in promoting health across the lifespan. Important concepts in anatomy, physiology and nutrition are introduced, and the whole body benefits of physical activity are emphasized. Personal nutrition and lifestyle practices are examined and self-improvement plans developed. First class is mandatory. Full participation in physical activities including aquatics is required. Not offered in 2011-2012.
Basic Human Nutrition Nutrition Sciences NFS284H1 An introductory course to provide the fundamentals of human nutrition to enable students to understand and think critically about the complex interrelationships between food, nutrition, health and the environment.
Nutrition Literacy: Sorting Science from Snake Oil Nutrition Sciences NFS301H1 This course will help students learn how to recognize the strengths and limitations of various nutrition research methods, find reliable nutrition information on the Internet and develop systematic thinking skills to critically evaluating the quality of nutrition information in both the scientific literature and popular media.
Nutrition, Athletics, Performance and Behaviour Nutrition Sciences NFS302H1 This course will give an overview of the emerging and advancing role of chronic diet and supplements in athletics, performance and behavior.
Vitamin and Mineral Metabolism Throughout the Life Cycle Nutrition Sciences NFS382H1 Micronutrients are essential for health throughout the life cycle. This course examines the role of micronutrients during development and ageing with some emphasis on disease prevention and pathogenesis. Students develop critical appraisal skills, an understanding of the principles of study design and learn to write in a scientific style.
Food Chemistry Nutrition Sciences NFS386H1 Structure, composition and chemical and biochemical reactions in foods during postharvest/postmortem, processing, storage and utilisation. Implications for organoleptic properties, nutritional value, toxicity and human health.
Research Course in Nutritional Science Nutrition Sciences NFS394Y1 Credit course for supervised participation in faculty research project. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.
Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals in Human Nutrition Nutrition Sciences NFS400H1 This course will demonstrate the rationale, including health benefits, development and marketing of functional foods and nutraceuticals.
Advanced Nutrition Nutrition Sciences NFS484H1 Physiological and biochemical features of nutrient needs. The roles of nutrients in the development and adaptability of the whole body, organs and cells. Interpretation of current research data.
Diet, Microbiome and Health Nutrition Sciences NFS485H1 Provides an integrated approach to how prokaryotes modulate nutrient availability and how they interact with the host to impact human health from a molecular perspective.
Obesity: Metabolic and Clinical Aspects Nutrition Sciences NFS486H1 Current issues relating diet to the prevention or treatment of disease, with a focus on obesity, illustrated with references to general pathophysiological and biochemical principles and current literature.
Nutrigenomics and Personalized Nutrition Nutrition Sciences NFS487H1 The impact of the human genome on nutritional science. Experimental approaches to investigating gene-diet interactions. Understanding how genetic variability affects nutrient response, and how dietary factors regulate gene expression.
Nutritional Toxicology Nutrition Sciences NFS488H1 Occurrence, mechanism of action, safety and health implications of chemicals naturally present in or added to foods. Interactions of nutrients and toxicants and the effects on their metabolism and utilization. Food safety evaluation and regulatory control.
Nutritional Neurosciences Nutrition Sciences NFS489H1 This course provides an integrated approach to how brain function regulates and in turn is regulated by nutrition from a biochemical perspective.
International and Community Nutrition Nutrition Sciences NFS490H1 This course focuses on current issues in international and community nutrition including global and domestic food security, micronutrient deficiencies and other forms of undernutrition, maternal and infant/child nutrition, dietary guidance, and food and nutrition policy. The course will consider the environmental, sociopolitical, cultural and biosocial contexts of nutrition.
Research Projects in Nutritional Science Nutrition Sciences NFS494Y1 Research experience under the supervision of a Departmental staff member. The course entails designing and carrying out a small research project and the preparation and presentation of both a research proposal and a final report. Note that the research project NFS494Y1 requires the prior consent of a staff member who will supervise the project and departmental approval before enrolment. The student is responsible for locating a supervisor and must consult with the course instructor before the beginning of the term. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.
Fasting and Feeding in Hindu Traditions Religion RLG475H1 An upper-level undergraduate and graduate course. Will look at a wide range of narratives and ritual practices as well as philosophical reflections from classical Indian thought on the relationship between food and religion and how this relationship plays out in the context of feasting and fasting in Indian/Hindu traditions.
Special Topics: Italian Regional Foodways and Culture Anthropology; Summer Abroad; Woodsworth College ANT396Y  
Hunter-Gatherers Past & Present Aboriginal Studies ANT410H1 Examines the diversity of recent hunter-gatherer societies, as a source of analogues for understanding the archaeological record of past foraging peoples.
Cultural History of Food in East Asia East Asian Studies EAS219H1 This course introduces historical, literary, and anthropological issues related to the consumption of food in East Asia. Through a wide variety of reading material, it focuses on the relationship between various foodways and trade, ritual, religion, medicine, and cultural identity.

Mississauga Campus

     
Introduction to Diaspora and Transnational Studies I Diaspora and Transnationl Studies DTS201H5 An interdisciplinary introduction to the study of diaspora, with particular attention to questions of history, globalization, cultural production and the creative imagination. Material will be drawn from Toronto as well as from diasporic communities in other times and places.
Introduction to Diaspora and Transnational Studies II Diaspora and Transnationl Studies DTS202H5 A continuation of DTS201H5. An interdisciplinary introduction to the study of diaspora, with particular attention to questions of history, globalization, cultural production and the creative imagination. Material will be drawn from Toronto as well as from diasporic communities in other times and places.
Geography of Food: Geographical Pattens and Environmental Impacts Environmental Studies ENV420H5 This seminar course examines the geographic patterns and environmental impacts of our food production and distribution system. Topics include the sustainability of the current system as well as alternatives to the norm. The geographic focus is Southern Ontario. Topics such as food miles, urban agriculture, and small scale production systems are also evaluated. This course fulfills 1 field day.
Food and Globalization Geography GGR287H5 A broad overview of the historical development of the global food economy and a survey of recent trends and controversies. Topics discussed range from basic food staples, food markets and trade liberalization to food security, environmental sustainability and alternative agricultural systems
Geography of Food: Geographical Patterns and Environmental Impacts Geography GGR419H5 This seminar course examines the geographic patterns and environmental impacts of our food production and distribution system. Topics include the sustainability of the current system, as well as alternatives to the norm. The geographic focus is Southern Ontario. Topics such as food miles, urban agriculture, and small scale production systems are also evaluated. This course fulfills one field day. [24S]
Cucina Italiana: Italian History and Culture Through Food Italian ITA234H5 The course describes the history of food in Italy, throughout the centuries. The course will also analyze the formation of different regional traditions. The historical, cultural and linguistic culinary traditions will be illustrated by a series of pertinent literature on the topic. Special attention will be dedicated to the relationship that existed between the various cultures who controlled the country (pre-Resurgence) and the traditions and recipes left in their wake (post Unification). In addition, the course will examine the effects that Italian immigration had in North America, especially on the Canadian and American culinary experience. Students will also have the opportunity to investigate and explore their own regional (Italian or otherwise) culinary history. This course does not count towards any Italian program. It will count only as an elective. Offered in English.
Philosophy of Food Philosophy PHL284H5 What obligations do we have in light of the effects of our food choices? Do we have any obligations to non-human animals; are we obliged to spare them painful lives and deaths? Are we obligated to spare their lives altogether? What about our obligations to our fellow humans, and to the environment that future humans will live in? Are we obligated to choose foods that minimize harm to the environment and to other communities?
Cultural Sociology Philosophy SOC202H5 Formerly SOC302H5: This course introduces students to the field of cultural sociology, which seeks to understand how ideas, meanings, values and beliefs are created, and how they are also implicated in foundational sociological issues such as inequality, identity, social change, and social organization. These linkages are examined through topics such as popular culture, the mass media, science, religion, art, language, knowledge, public opinion, food, advertising and consumerism.
Sociology of Food Philosophy SOC349H5 Sociological analysis of food in global, regional and intimate contexts. It links cultural and structural aspects of the food system, historically and in the present. Students will investigate and report on inter-cultural food practices in Canada.