751-0013-00L  World Food System

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersN. Buchmann, R. Finger, M. Kreuzer, M. Loessner, D. Moretti, M. Siegrist, E. J. Windhab
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionGerman


AbstractKnowledge about the World Food System will be provided, based on case studies along food value chains in countries with various development stages and dependent on multiple boundary conditions. This shall generate profound understanding of the associated global challenges especially food scarcity, suboptimal diet and nutrition, food quality and safety as well as effects on the environment.
ObjectiveAttending this course, the students will recognize the elements of the World Food System (WFS) approach and the problems it this supposed to treat. They will especially comprehend the four pillars of global food security, namely (I) food availability (including sustainable production and processing), (I) access to food (physical and monetary), (III) food use (including quality and safety as well as the impact on human health and well being) and (IV) resilience to the boundary conditions (environmental, economic and political). This insight will make them aware of the global driving forces behind our ETH research on food security and is expected to alleviate motivation and understanding for the association of subsequent specific courses within a general context. The course equivalently implements agricultural and food sciences, thus supporting the interdisciplinary view on the WFS scope.
ContentCase studies on certain foods of plant and animal origin serve to demonstrate the entire food value chain from the production of raw material to processed food and its consumer relevant property functions. In doing so, important corresponding aspects for developed, emerging and developing countries are demonstrated, by use of engineering as well as natural and social science approaches.
Lecture notesHandouts and links are provided online.
LiteratureInformation on books and other literature references is communicated during the course.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course shall particularly elucidate the cross section of Agro- and Food Sciences in the context of important global problems to be solved. Furthermore the students in the first year of studies shall be given some insight and outlook supporting the development of their views and interests in agricultural and food sciences further.
The course is part of the block exam after the first study year. Paper copies can be used ("Open Book") during the on-line exam, but no other means are not allowed. The course is taught in German.