Food, Philosophy and Culture


About this course

Food is more than a collection of nutrients. It connects people to each other and to nature. Having a meal together presupposes all kind of choices about land use, animal welfare, physical health, fair prices, social customs, and culture. Some people rely on industrial agriculture to achieve high yields and to feed a growing world population. Others focus more on organic agriculture and agroecology. They opt for healthy diets, vegetarian food, or local food movements. Over the centuries and around the world, different cultures and religious traditions have developed their own eating habits, each with their own specific obligations and prohibitions. This course gives you an introduction in the philosophy of food. Special attention will be paid to the idea of stewardship, which played an important role in the history of Western Christianity. Why is it that in the Western world food has become just a commodity? How can Christianity and other religious beliefs inspire us to relate to food in a new way?

This course covers period 1 and 2. Half of the lectures are in period 1 and half of the lectures in period 2.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • Show knowledge about the main authors and about the most important approaches in the philosophy of food
  • Understand how culture and worldview influence the production and consumption of food
  • Formulate an elaborate and critical view on the various approaches that are discussed in the course
  • Formulate an articulated and substantiated opinion on food practices, focusing on a specific topic

Link to more information

  • Credits
    ECTS 3
  • Level
  • Contact coordinator
  • Selection course
If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    2 September 2024

    • Ends
      25 October 2024
    • Term *
      Period 1
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      1 Jun, 00:00 - 4 Aug 2024
These offerings are valid for students of Utrecht University