180.655.01 | AY 2012-2013 - 3rd Term | 4 Credit(s)
WF 10:00:00 AM
  • Contact Information
    Roni Neff
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Discuss key factors that have shaped food systems in Baltimore and other urban locales, including within the domains of policy, business, agriculture, and society
    • Describe from first-hand experience selected food system sites in Baltimore, including their offerings, clientele, and operations, and key opportunities and barriers to improving their healthfulness and economic and environmental sustainability
    • Analyze responses to particular challenges and opportunities within Baltimore 's food systems, including considering the potential of innovative food system interventions being considered in Baltimore and elsewhere
    • Conduct and document oral history interviews
    • Provide assistance targeted to a community organization’s needs, and reflect on the experience.
  • Course Description
    Students look closely at Baltimore City's complex food environment using discussion, experiential learning, discussion, lectures, service learning, and related texts. Students consider improvements to these systems to assure access to nutritious, adequate, affordable and sustainably produced foods, and to increase supply and demand of these foods; to address diet related disease; and to reduce food system environmental harms. Students "go backstage" with tour guides at sites around the city. Class sessions are primarily discussion-oriented, but also include lectures and guest visits. Students consider the relative impacts of access, demand, cost, stakeholder interests, administrative issues, history, and power, and consider the relative strengths of voluntary, governmental, legal and other strategies. They also consider applicability of lessons from Baltimore to other area food systems.
  • Intended Audience
    students interested in food, sustainability, and urban issues.

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    This course is recommended for students interested in food, sustainability and urban issues. 

  • Methods of Assessment
    Students are expected to attend the trips and class sessions. Grading is based on class participation and participation in service learning project, an oral history project, and a written final paper.

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Participation (based on both quality and quantity): 30%

    Reading responses: 20%

    Oral history paper and presentation: 20%

    Service learning reflections: 10%

    Final paper: 20%

  • Required Text(s)

    Additional Faculty Notes:


  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Course topics



    • Baltimore local and state food policy
    • History
    • Community food security
    • Supermarkets
    • Corner stores
    • Federal Food Policy as it affects Baltimore: Food Assistance and Farm Bill
    • Emergency food
    • School food 
    • Maryland food system map
    • Oral histories
    • Food choices – demand, behavior change, marketing
    • Agriculture – conventional and  sustainable
    • Interventions to build food security in Baltimore
    • Direct marketing and regional food systems
    • Urban agriculture
    • Issues of race, class in the food system
  • Contact Information(from old syllabus)

    Roni Neff, PhD
    Office: JHSPH W7010

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at