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Undergraduate Food Studies Minor & Courses

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Minor Program in Food Studies (Arts)

In addition to the opportunity to focus on food as a part of your primary degree, the University of Toronto also offers a MINOR PROGRAM IN FOOD STUDIES (ARTS) to add to your home degree.The FS Minor is offered through the Department of Historical & Cultural Studies at the UTSC and the required courses are typically held at the UTSC campus in the Culinaria Kitchen Lab SW313.

It focuses on five basic themes: food systems, cultures, industries, health, and the environment while drawing from a number of disciplinary methodologies. Courses span all of human history & across global geography, examining diverse cultural traditions of farming, cooking, and eating. Particular attention is given to the material nature of food, the way it tastes and smells, and the changes caused by cooking, preservation, and rotting. The program also leverages the university’s urban location, using Scarborough as a classroom to understand the rich traditions and special challenges involved in feeding diasporic communities.

Food Studies provides both theoretical understanding and practical knowledge for professional careers in health care, business, communications, government service, non-governmental organizations, teaching, and community programs. The FS Minor at the UTSC is an opportunity to join a robust network of students, scholars, and community partners operating in partnership with the Culinaria Research Centre and including institutions and publications from around the world.

Click here for more information about the MPFS & Food Studies at UTSC



Program Requirements
Students must complete at least 4.0 credits in Food Studies-focused courses*, including the following:

1. FSTB01H3 Methodologies in Food Studies

2. An additional 3.5 credits, of which at least 2.0 credits must be at the C- or D-level; among the D-level courses, at least 0.5 credit must come from courses taught in the Culinaria Kitchen Laboratory*

Undergraduate Advisor:

Food Studies Courses Table:









1. Courses marked with an * are taught in the Culinaria Kitchen Laboratory.
2. Students are advised to consult the prerequisites for B-, C-, and D-level courses when planning their individual program.
  Experiential Learning and Outreach
For a community-based experiential learning opportunity in your academic field of interest, consider the course CTLB03H3, which can be found in the Teaching and Learning section of the Calendar.



Food studies is an interdisciplinary field that enables undergraduate students from a variety of home departments--STEM & Humanities alike--to take food-centered and food-related courses across the three campuses. See below for a sample of archived & current courses featuring a focus on food.


Archived & Active Food-Related Courses (Tri-Campus)

Archived & Active Food-Related Courses (Tri-Campus)

Course Title

Department/ Program of Study

 Course Code


Scarborough Campus


The Anthropology of Food



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



Proteins, enzymes, membranes and the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids.

Anthropology of Food



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



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



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



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


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



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



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



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



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




Active Healthy Living

Kinesiology & Physical Education


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


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


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


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


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


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


Credit course for supervised participation in faculty research project. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals in Human Nutrition

Nutrition Sciences


This course will demonstrate the rationale, including health benefits, development and marketing of functional foods and nutraceuticals.

Advanced Nutrition

Nutrition Sciences


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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



Hunter-Gatherers Past & Present

Aboriginal Studies


Examines the diversity of recent hunter-gatherer societies, as a source of analogues for understanding the archeological record of past foraging peoples.

Cultural History of Food in East Asia

East Asian Studies


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.

Italian Regional Foodways and Culture

Summer Abroad


A participatory seminar course introduces students to the central place occupied by food, agriculture, cooking and eating in modern Italian culture. The goal of the course is to foster a deep and sensitive understanding of the historical development of Italian cuisine and to instil an appreciation of the critical importance of local climate and ecology to Italian cuisine through comparison of various regional foodways. Course description

Mississauga Campus


Introduction to Diaspora and Transnational Studies I

Diaspora and Transnational Studies


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 Transnational Studies


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 Patterns and Environmental Impacts

Environmental Studies


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



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



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



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



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



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



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.