Introducing UA's Newest Food Programs!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Across the country, the need for leaders with food-related policy, food culture, and affordable food access expertise is rapidly increasing. The University of Arizona, through the partnership of CALS and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS), is meeting that need with the creation of two new food-focused programs.

These new degrees, a B.S. in Nutrition & Food Systems and a B.A. in Food Studies, offer distinct pathways for students by providing them with two potential viewpoints on food in America. Nutrition and Food Systems focuses on the system of food from production to consumption; Food Studies focuses on the social, historical, and cultural dimensions of food.

Both degrees will put science, and social science, to work to give students a new perspective on food. Together, CALS and SBS support students through a collaborative curriculum and engagement opportunities in research, service learning, and more.

In combination with Nutritional Sciences and Food Safety majors in CALS, these new degrees will add to the menu of food-focused academic options to make the UA a top destination for passionate students interested in understanding the connection between food, society, nutrition, and health. These degrees will also strengthen the relationship between students and the Tucson community by collaborating with Tucson organizations including the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona; Native Seeds/SEARCH; Yuma Regional Health Center; the Pima County Food Alliance; and the Mayor’s Commission on Food Security, Heritage, and Economy.  

Students earning the B.S. in Nutrition and Food Systems will examine Arizona’s food production, distribution and consumption issues and have the opportunity to directly assist in solving associated challenges. “We have a long history of partnering with Arizona communities to solve health problems,” states Scott Going, head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences. “This degree will enhance our students understanding of the cultural and community influences on an individual’s well-being.” Students will learn how to manage and enhance the food system to ensure sustainable production by dealing with regional food problems (such as in an arid desert region), utilizing local foods in product development, and understanding the relationships between food security, nutrition, and overall health.

Students obtaining a B.A. in Food Studies will learn the historical evolution and cultural significance of food within the context of region, internationally and in the U.S., and how food is affected by the social, political, economic, and environmental factors in those locations. They will be prepared to resolve issues within food deserts, food insecurity, food sovereignty, food and environmental sustainability, and entrepreneurial and cultural activity surrounding food.

“Food is at the heart of the world’s most pressing social and environmental issues as well as some of the most promising innovations for change,” states Laurel Bellante, assistant director of the Food Studies degree program and assistant director of the Center for Regional Food Studies.


To learn more about Nutrition and Food Systems, visit

To become a Nutrition & Food Systems or Food Studies major, see the contact information to the right! (Michelle Mendoza and Nita O’Cansey -; Alison Ewing-Cooper,

Michelle Mendoza
Nutrition & Food Systems Academic Advisor
(520) 621-2017
Nita O'Cansey
Nutrition & Food Systems Academic Advisor
(52) 621-1186
Alison Ewing-Cooper
Food Studies Academic Advisor