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Grand Challenges: Food for Thought

University of Exeter via FutureLearn


Our demand for food from natural systems is changing the world we live in from the soil beneath our feet to the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea. Unsustainable practices of production (overfishing or monoculture) and consumerism are to blame. Widely publicised examples include mere decades of soil fertility for crop growth and drastic declines in pollinating insects. This course aims to educate you in the way that every human being can reduce their impact on our planet and inspire you to make global connections to tackle sustainability issues.

No previous experience or qualifications are required. The content will complement interests in science, nature and the environment and works well at any stage of education.

You will need access to an internet browser. You will also be encouraged, with our guidance, to use simple online tools to aid, collate, publish and share your findings.


  • Global food production and sustainability
    • Welcome!
    • The Pillars of Sustainability
    • Food and the environment
    • Food Markets
  • Growing and catching our food
    • Growing our food
    • Catching our food
    • Week 2 roundup
  • Destruction and exploitation of our resources
    • Rainforests for food or fuel?
    • Soil destruction and land degradation
    • Exploitation in a supply chain
    • Overfishing our oceans
    • Week 3 roundup
  • Steps to sustainability
    • Growing sustainably, protecting our pollinators
    • Sustainable Seas
    • Course roundup

Taught by

Isabel Drury


4.4 rating at FutureLearn based on 27 ratings

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