‘Foodie’ Culture Leads to New University Programs

“Foodies” studying in the California system can rejoice over new food-oriented courses and minors as higher education responds to a bicoastal cultural trend.

According to the Los Angeles Times, schools like UCLA, University of California Berkeley, the University of the Pacific and others have introduced classes and programs that incorporate food and nutrition into the educational curriculum and provide students with skills to apply their love for dining and culinary arts.

The courses are not vocational chef training, but broader studies of the food industry and trends affecting it.

The Times notes that the University of the Pacific, which has a main campus in Stockton, recently established its food studies master’s program in San Francisco. This fall they enrolled 14 students. Course reportedly include “food and literature” and “business of food,” including a “food justice” class emphasizing field work at community gardens and kitchens.

UC Davis also established a World Food Center research facility and a major in sustainable agriculture and food systems, while UC Santa Cruz offers a concentration in “agroecology & sustainable food systems,” notes the Times.

Across the bay at UC Berkeley, the school’s 3-year-old Food Institute think tank uses scientific and policy research to engage students, according to the Times.

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