This pre-college course is for students passionate about cooking, sustainable farming, the agricultural economy, and the whole ecosystem of food. An understanding of regional food systems can improve our access to healthy, locally grown food while promoting economic development, regenerative agriculture, and community well-being. From the field to the kitchen, this program uses a systems thinking framework to explore our regional food system, including: historic and cultural food values; milling, processing, and baking grains; new farmers and food entrepreneur viability; and small-scale vegetable and livestock production. As we tackle each topic, we will discuss key changes that could make our regional food system—tracing every step from the farm to the market–more sustainable and more equitable. In addition, we will experience the power of cooking and eating together to impact social, cultural, economic, and environmental change.
This program emphasizes experiential learning through virtual field trips to local farms, food processors and distributors, as well as hands-on cooking and baking at your homes and ours, great opportunities for using locally sourced ingredients. Guest lectures on a range of topics from nutrition science to food justice will provide students with opportunities to develop professional relationships across disciplines at Tufts University and beyond. Students will be exposed to a variety of career pathways in the food system. For the final project, groups of students will present their vision of a future regional food system that is sustainable and just.
- Explore the regional food system from place to plate
- Discover what it takes to sustainably produce local, nutritious, vegetables, grains, and livestock and get them from the field to the market.
- Use an interdisciplinary lens to investigate food system sustainability from cultural, social, economic, and environmental perspectives.
- Learn about the range of professions and disciplines that engage with the food system from soil scientists to cultural anthropologists.
- Demonstrate interdisciplinary knowledge of linkages and interactions across the food supply chain
- Awareness of the intersection between food insecurity, access, and nutrition in our local communities.
- A proposed regional food vision to improve food system sustainability and community health and well-being, developed as a final group project.
- Make informed decisions about professional and academic pursuits with a holistic understanding of food systems sustainability and nutrition science.
Program at a Glance
Program Dates: July 26-August 6, 2021
Location: Tufts University's Virtual Campus. Please note: there will be no physical on-campus element to this program in Summer 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students will not come to Tufts' campuses in Medford/Somerville, Boston, or Grafton.
Eligible Students: Entering grades 10-12 *or* a Spring 2021 high school graduate
Credit: Not available
Program Fee: Virtual: $3,800. Financial Aid: Limited scholarships are available.
Applications Open: December 1, 2020
Applications Close: June 1, 2021 or when the program fills. Priority deadlines may apply. Admission granted on a rolling basis.
Application Requirements (core):
- Academic transcript and history
- 1 letter of recommendation
- Parent permission
Disclaimer: This program is not related to Tufts University Undergraduate Admissions. Participation in this program does not result in admission to a Tufts University degree program. Tufts reserves the right to admit as requested, to deny admission, or to offer provisional admission. The program will not provide feedback to applicants if admission is denied.