Foodspan, Unit 2: Farmers, Factories, and Food Chains

Date of Review: February, 2019

This curriculum introduces information on food systems and agricultural production in the United States. It was originally developed as a curriculum for high school students, but contains information that may be of interest to medical school students or a general health care audience. Lessons 1 & 2 from unit 2 each consist of a lesson that can be taught in under an hour. Both contain limited amounts of slides/information meant to stimulate discussion and student learning. In my opinion, Lesson 1 is NOT relevant to social determinants of health, as it focuses more on crop-related ecology and environmental issues, with little if any discussion of human health. It therefore does not need to be considered within a curriculum on the social determinants of health. Lesson 2, however, focuses on the reasons underlying many lifestyle-based causes of morbidity in the US population, namely that of industrialized agriculture and inexpensive meat/dairy products. In addition, this lesson presents information on the trade offs of this system, both economic and health-related, and information about rural communities and environmental hazards of modern farming practices. This easy-to-implement lesson could be delivered in a 30-55 single session, depending on the preferences of the instructor and audience. Note: lesson 2 also includes an optional ~30-minute video, which focuses on alternative farming/animal husbandry practices and is not directly related to social determinants of health– Dave Liss, PhD, NCEAS


Center for a Livable Future, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Where Was the Curriculum Implemented?

Baltimore, MD

Source of the Curriculum/Resource:



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