ESF 563: Food System of Cuba; Implications for Environment, Livelihood and Food Security


86635 (for web registration)




Libby McCann
Jessica Sanford






Fall 2012

Meeting Schedule:

Wed 10/24 (5:00PM-7:59PM)
Wed 11/7 (5:00PM-7:59PM)
Wed 12/5 (5:00PM-7:59PM)


Competency Area: ASJS, CB, Cert, EE, SDCC, SDS – Methods
Study trip occurs in January, Thursday – Sunday, January 3 – 13, 2013.

This course adopts a systems analysis for understanding the food system and agricultural model of Cuba and how they influence the country environmentally, socially and in terms of food security. The field study portion of this class, which will take place in January 2013, will consist of visits to farms, urban gardens, farmers markets, agricultural universities, research stations and other venues to explore the Cuban food system and sustainable agriculture model. The immersion format will aid students in examining the questions of:
– Is the Cuban food system model viable/sustainable and can such a model be implemented in other cities, towns and communities?
– Would the re-integration of Cuba into theworld economy threaten the sustainable agriculture movement in Cuba?

Criteria that will be used to analyze the food system will relate to the overall health and regenerative capacity of the system as well as the following principles of a sustainable food system: (1) regionally based food production and consumption; (2) shortened food supply chain; (3) farmers, consumers, retailers, distributors and other actors exist in an interdependent community and have opportunity to form relationships; and (4) opportunities exist for exchange of knowledge and information among participants in the food system.
The trip will also consist of a service-learningcomponent both while in Cuba and upon return to the United States. This will allow students to both apply knowledge and skills as well as engage in critical thinking as to how the Cuban food system/sustainable agriculture model can be adopted to various locales.
Global Exchange: Eco Cuba Exchange is the organizational partner for this trip and has extensive experience working with U.S. colleges and universities to run education and research trips from undergraduate to post-graduate professional development. Global Exchange is licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department to provide educational trips to Cuba.