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Certificate in Food Systems, the Environment and Public Health

Why study food systems?

Some of our most significant public health and environmental problems stem from our food system—that is, the network of activities, infrastructure, and people involved in growing, processing, distributing, consuming, legislating, and disposing of food. By creating solutions to vexing problems inherent in the food system, we take steps toward building better health for people and the planet. 

Who is the certificate for?

The certificate is designed for masters and doctoral degree students and post-doctoral trainees at the Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health and junior and mid-level professionals (non-degree students) desiring to expand their knowledge of food systems and the relationship with the public’s health and applying communication and/or public health policy analysis and advocacy skills to study and address the public health implications of food systems.

Educational Objectives

Individuals who complete a Certificate in Food Systems, the Environment and Public Health will gain competencies that will enable them to apply a systems-based approach to both understanding and addressing issues related to food and public health.

Students completing the certificate will be able to:

  1. Define and describe the food system, including identification of points in the food production and distribution processes that create risks for workers, communities, consumers, the ecosystem, and food security.
  2. Describe the history and evolution of the food system and food production practices and characterize the impacts of such practices on the public’s health.
  3. Use a systems perspective to analyze and apply critical thinking to inter-relationships within the food system, specifically among diet, food production, the environment and public health.
  4. Analyze strengths and weaknesses of political, social, and economic policies and other interventions to address food system issues including food production, consumption, and the fulfillment of the right to adequate food.
  5. Apply selected skills (risk assessment, advocacy, communication, and evidence-based decision rules) to influence legislative and regulatory policy aimed at promoting a healthy and sustainable food system.

Required and Elective Courses

The certificate can be earned onsite or via online and summer institute courses.  
Course requirements, application and enrollment information can be found here.

Related Links

Delta Omega Innovative Curriculum Award presentation and slides – January, 2017
JHSPH Announcement:  “New Certificate on the Menu”, December, 2014.