The Food Lab offers and supports food literacy at all age levels, from collaboration with farm-to-school projects as part of our Young Agrarians program to undergraduate courses in food studies in conjunction with the Stony Brook departments of Nutrition, Sustainability, Marine Sciences and other interested programs. As convener of conferences and dialogues, the Food Lab also serves to organize discussions around food issues on the East End and for the ecosystem of food studies programs around the world.

The Food Lab is proud to offer its first course in food education. In conjunction with the Nutrition Division of Stony Brook University and Southampton Graduate Arts program, Brian Halweil will teach “Contemporary Issues in the Global Food System,” a 3-credit e-course for the coming fall semester. This graduate level course is intended for those who will pursue a career in food or related fields (healthcare, education, environmental policy) as well as those looking to inject food into their existing career path.

For questions, please contact To register as a non-matriculated student, please contact

Contemporary Issues in the Global Food System

Taking a multi-disciplinary approach, this online course will draw on everything from economics and ecology to sociology, anthropology, and the arts to demonstrate why agriculture and food are the single biggest way that humans touch the planet. Each week, we will examine topics ranging from organic agriculture, school lunch reform, food safety, animal welfare, hunger and food security, farm bill reform, farm-to-school efforts, urban agriculture, food sovereignty and local food economies. Students will gain the ability to evaluate and understand contemporary food issues as they relate to local and global challenges. Course materials will draw on current events, popular media and published research in food and drink, and also be guided by the student’s own interests and particular career needs.

Designed for majors in nutrition, sustainability studies, marine biology or any students interested in deepening their food knowledge and incorporating food into their careers, the coursework will include real-world learning based on a subject of the student’s choosing, a project of their design, and pairing with appropriate mentors/advisors in the food/drink/farming/business world.

Instructor: Brian Halweil. (See bio here.)

Additional Course Information:

  • Designator/number: HFN502
  • 3 credits
  • Taught in Fall semester
  • Taught exclusively online
  • Will be offered as a graduate course in spring of 2016.

Below is a list of food-related courses available to students at Stony Brook University.

  • ANT 260 how we eat 
  • ANT 357 the agriculture revolution 
  • ANT 359 the archaeology of food (also offered as grad courses ANT/DPA 559)
  • BIO 368 Food microbiology 
  • CME 372 Colloids, micelles and emulsion science 
  • EHM 390 Humanity’s Quest for Food Security: The Last 10,000 Years in the Turkana Basin (sustainability studies)
  • HAL 376 Intro to nutrition
  • HIS 256 Latin american popular culture 
  • HFN 502.01 Contemporary Issues in the Global Food System – Fall 2016
  • PHI 384 Bioethics
  • SBC 115 intro to human demography