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Future Food: Sustainable Food Systems for the 21st Century

University of Exeter via FutureLearn


What are sustainable food systems? And why are they so important for the future? With this course, you can explore these questions and more.

You’ll learn about how our understanding of diet, health, and food production is changing, why food security and sustainable agriculture is essential, and how we can make positive future steps.

Learn how culture, sustainability, and technology is changing the future of food production

Food production has transformed our planet. Currently, 40% of the land’s surface is used for agriculture, meaning soils and freshwater are under threat, and fisheries are overexploited.

With this sustainable food systems course, you’ll discover why this means that millions of smallholders are facing economic uncertainty, and how just four transnational companies control the global grain supply.

Explore the challenges of climate change and the proposed solutions

Ultimately, by 2050, we must feed 9 billion people in the face of a changing climate. You’ll find out how agroecology sustainable food systems can help through economic, social, and environmental incentives. On this course, you’ll learn about some of the obstacles facing the future of food production, as well as some potential solutions.

Find out how changing and sustainable food systems can impact you and the planet

You’ll also learn about the global food system as a whole, as you explore everything from individual food choice to the impact of agriculture on climate change.

The future of food will be shaped by a change in our attitudes towards consumption and production. With this course, you can find out how sustainable agriculture and food systems can play a part in creating this future.

The course is designed for anyone interested in food sustainability. Whether you’re thinking about a career related to the future of food or sustainable agriculture, or simply want to find out more about these fascinating areas, this is the course for you.


  • Diets and Health
    • Welcome!
    • Food cultures
    • You are what you eat
    • Summary and reflect
  • Impacts of Food Production
    • A changed planet
    • Is fishing sustainable?
    • What about livestock?
    • Summary and reflect
  • Threats to Food Security
    • A warming planet
    • Conserving soils
    • Novel technologies
    • Summary and reflect
  • The Politics and Economics of Food
    • Farmers - powerless or empowered?
    • Trade wars and food prices
    • Protecting ecosystem services
    • Course round-up

Taught by

Steph Comley


4.7 rating at FutureLearn based on 135 ratings

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