Johns Hopkins University has teamed up with Coursera to provide a MOOC – massive open online course – on the public health and environmental issues surrounding the food we eat. Anyone can sign up for this free learning opportunity, regardless of their experience or academic background.
Introduction to the U.S. Food System will be taught by Robert S. Lawrence, MD, Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and academic advisor for Meatless Monday. The course, based on a class available to students at the university, will outline the historical, political and social forces that have made our food system what it is today, demonstrate the environmental impact of our food choices, and help individuals consider the future of our food system. Guest lecturers from a variety of backgrounds within the food movement will offer students a more complete look at current policy and practice. Meatless Monday’s founder, Sid Lerner, will offer advice on advocating for a healthier, more sustainable food system in the final class.
The 6 week program is offered through Coursera, a social entrepreneurship company that has recruited some of the country’s top universities to offer MOOCs on a wide variety of subjects. Weekly sessions include video lectures, readings, quizzes, an online discussion forum, and additional resources to help you expand your knowledge of the material. Individuals interested in learning even more about public health and food policy can sign up for additional Johns Hopkins Coursera classes later this year.
Introduction to the U.S. Food System officially began on January 23rd, but you still have plenty of time to join in before classes end on March 6th! So far, over 12,000 people from all over the world have enrolled, ensuring that there will be a diverse set of opinions and experiences shared in weekly discussion.