Transitioning to sustainable food choices: A course design

Kathleen M. Kevany, Gene Baur, George C. Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper provides curriculum ideas for increasing fluency and literacy around themoral and practical value of transitioning to sustainable diets. By combining systems theory, feminist spirituality, mindfulness, and experiential learning for a semester-long course, learners in higher education and community settings become exposed to more holistic analyses that examines moral, ethical as well as intellectual approaches to sustainable living. Analyses of food systems reveal that whole-food, plant-based diets low in processed foods-sustainable diets in short-are associated with lower premature death and chronic diseases and with lower greenhouse gas emissions, cleaner air, and water and more equitable and compassionate care for humans and animals. Yet achieving reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and climate change along with cancers, heart disease, and obesity have been elusive. Increasing opportunities to align goals for health, environment, community equity and personal values prompt the recommendation that more education for sustainability in humanities is essential. Additional research on the various implications of diets, including the moral and physical, could illuminate examples of successful transitions in diets to inform fuller academic programming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSustainability and the Humanities
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783319953366
ISBN (Print)9783319953359
StatePublished - Aug 22 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Environmental education
  • Mindfulness
  • Sustainable diets
  • Systems theory Feminist spirituality
  • Well-being and health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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