January 23, 2020

Exploration Seminar: La Dolce Vita – Comparative Food Systems in Italy

Application Deadline: January 31, 2020
Dates: 6/25 – 7/23/2020

La Dolce Vita: Comparative Food Systems in Italy is a 4-week intensive program exploring sustainable food systems in Italy using systems thinking and a variety of perspectives to understand how factors, such as culture, policy, diet, and market structure, interact to create environmental, economic, health, and social/equity outcomes. The program begins with farmstays in Tuscany, including a coastal, organic farm. Here we will learn about sustainable agriculture and will taste and cook foods. Local speakers will discuss the role of Italian food culture, and contrast production methods and policies in the E.U. and the U.S. Next, students will move to the UW Rome Center to explore the intricate history and patchwork of political, social, cultural, economic, and health drivers that have shaped food systems in Italy, particularly around regional foods. We will survey a variety of retail outlets, will shop for food and prepare meals, setting the stage for a discussion on how dietary choices influence human and planetary health. In Rome, students will meet with civic food networks (e.g., Slow Food Movement), and international food agencies focused on sustainability and food security. Finally, we will travel to the Emilia-Romagna region to tour and reflect on three important Italian products (i.e., balsamic vinegar, parmigiano reggiano, and prosciutto) and to learn about Italy’s mature and growing cooperative economy. Throughout will be a discussion on how to evaluate the evidence to make responsible personal and political choices, and comparisons and reflections of food systems between the U.S. and Italy.

Learn more here.