FOOD STUDIES MINOR STUDENTS

Students within the Food Studies Minor possess one thing in common—a passion and drive for exploring, evaluating, and examining the many complexities surrounding food and its production, preparation, sharing, consumption, and disposal.  The Minor’s diverse curriculum allows for students to understand issues surrounding food from an individual, socio-cultural, and global perspective.  Students in the minor come from many academic disciplines, including majors in:

  • Communication Studies
  • Physiological Sciences
  • English
  • Chicana/o Studies
  • Human Biology and Society
  • Sociology
  • Psychobiology
  • Environmental Science
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Dance
  • Geography/Environmental Studies
  • Psychology
  • Economics
  • Biology
  • Anthropology
  • Global Studies

Graduates are well-versed in the ever growing field of Food Studies and equipped with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to pursue careers in fields such as: the arts, education, government agencies, medicine, public health, law, medicine, non-profit and philanthropic organizations, urban planning, and public policy.

STUDENT HIGHLIGHTS

Meet a few of the students enrolled in the Food Studies Minor and learn about their experiences!

Courtnie Ly

Courtnie Ly

COURTNIE LY

Major: Human Biology and Society, B.A.
Minors: Food Studies and Public Health
Extra and Co-Curricular Involvement: UCLA’s Healthy Campus Initiative, SCOPE Patient Health Advocates, Project Health at UCLA, Mobile Clinic Project and the Society and Genetics Undergraduate Organization
What are three words that you feel best describe the Food Studies minor?: Diverse, Dynamic, Inspiring
Why minor in Food Studies?: Growing up, I wanted to become a physician, but as I grew older, realized that my passion and interests lie more in the realm of public health. The Food Studies Minor has provided me with the opportunity to explore food through multiple lenses, including biology, medicine, public health, society, and the environment. With my own interests and experiences in mind, I became particularly interested in food and how food can be used within the field of medicine to help prevent illness. In addition, I also wanted to meet other likeminded people who are interested in food.
Favorite Food Studies Minor Related Course Thus Far: My favorite course so far is CIVIC/FOOD ST  M170SL: Food Studies and Food Justice in Los Angeles.  It is a service learning class, so you get the opportunity to go out into the Los Angeles community and learn more about food justice.
Post-Graduate Goals – how do you feel the Food Studies minor will support you in these goals?:  Upon graduation, I hope to work as a medical assistant for 1-2 years before applying to Physician Assistant (PA) programs. As a future Physician Assistant, my goal is to provide care for underserved communities.  I feel that the Food Studies Minor has provided me with a broad understanding of food and how it affects different communities, thus helping me to better understand how I may be able to make a positive impact on the world. Minoring in Food Studies has allowed me to recognize the ways in which food influences our everyday lives and, specifically, our health. I believe learning more about pertinent issues such as food justice, food insecurity, and nutrition has informed me about how I can better serve my patients as a future Physician Assistant.

 

Shelly Dieu

Shelly Dieu

SHELLY DIEU

Major: Geography/Environmental Studies, B.A.
Extra and Co-Curricular Involvement: CalFresh Initiative at UCLA & Community Programs Office,  Global Food Initiative, UCLA’s Healthy Campus Initiative & EatWell Pod, Net Impact Food Fellowship, and a Geographic Information Systems Internship at the City of Santa Monica
What are three words that you feel best describe the Food Studies minor?: Love, Community, Inspiration
Why minor in Food Studies?: I took the GE Cluster: Food Lens: Environment and Sustainability and learned that the food system is one of the largest contributors to climate change. After I caught myself teaching everyone I knew about the effects of animal agriculture to our planet, I knew I had to continue to pursue the Minor.
Favorite Food Studies Minor Related Course Thus Far: My favorite food studies course is SOC GEN 134: Food and Health in a Global Perspective with Dr. Kim. Dr. Kim laid a strong foundation for food – from the history, biology (how bodies respond to food), and modern trends. I highly recommend every Food Studies minor to take this course.
Post-Graduate Goals – how do you feel the Food Studies minor will support you in these goals?:  Ideally, I would love to work in Washington D.C. in the heart of our nation’s policies working in public health, GIS research, and food policy advocacy on anti-hunger issues. In the interim, I am going to take a few years off from school to work full-time and apply to Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. The Food Studies Minor provided me with invaluable knowledge and a community of foodies at UCLA. It sparked an ambition to really want to enact change for a better food system. Professors and friends have inspired me to keep working in food security and to mobilize for a better food system.

 

Carlos Meza

Carlos Meza

CARLOS MEZA

Major: Geography/Environmental Studies, B.A.
Extra and Co-Curricular Involvement: Senior Student Supervisor at ASUCLA, Youth Empowerment Program, SCOPE Fitness and Nutrition Program
What are three words that you feel best describe the Food Studies minor?: Multi-cultured, Revolutionary, Community
Why minor in Food Studies?: I decided to minor in Food Studies because I wanted to learn more about the food industry—particularly, about the key issues that certain communities face in relation to food access and how we can improve upon them.
Favorite Food Studies Minor Related Course Thus Far: ENVIRON 25: Good Food for Everyone: Health, Sustainability, and Culture, with Professor James Bassett. Upon completing this course, I knew that that I wanted to minor in Food Studies! In this class, I learned about food in relation to health, sustainability, and culture. The class exposed me to different cultural practices in relation to food. In addition, I learned about the different ways of preparing and making food, while also considering the environmental benefits and sustainable practices.
Post-Graduate Goals – how do you feel the Food Studies minor will support you in these goals?:  My current post-graduation goal is to attend graduate school to obtain a Master’s in Public Health in Community Health Education. I want to help low-income communities obtain proper resources to have the opportunity to live a healthy, holistic life.  The Food Studies Minor will help me obtain this goal because it has set the foundation for my learning with regard to food related issues that a community can face.

 

Hannah Jeon

Hannah Jeon

HANNA JEON

Major: Psychology, B.A.
Minors: Food Studies and Gerontology
Extra and Co-Curricular Involvement: Hunger Project at UCLA, Belmont Village Retirement Home, Care Extenders at Ronald Reagan Hospital, and SOON Movement
What are three words that you feel best describe the Food Studies minor?: Engaging, Eye-opening, Hands-on
Why minor in Food Studies?: I decided to minor in Food Studies because I saw that the courses would teach me not only about where my food comes from but also the culture and production of it. Learning about food is interesting because it is relatable, and in a sense, it is learning about ourselves because we are what we eat. It opened my eyes to see that food is a big part of our lives. Food gives us nutrition, but it is nutrition given from nature and it is our job to preserve and be kind to what nature provides for us.
Favorite Food Studies Minor Related Course Thus Far: I really enjoyed ENVIRON 25: Good Food for Everyone: Health, Sustainability, and Culture, because it opened my eyes to so many different aspects of food. There are different ways to grow food, choices we can make at the supermarket and specific places we can go for our produces. The course had an impact on the choices I make when I am grocery shopping and make me more aware of my environment.
Post-Graduate Goals – how do you feel the Food Studies minor will support you in these goals?:  After graduation, I am hoping to further my studies in the field of nursing, focused on geriatrics. Nutrition is part of nursing education and I believe that Food Studies will benefit me in furthering my knowledge in the area of food within unique cultures.  Food Studies has made me realize that the kinds of food we put into our mouth can make a great difference in our health. I believe that it is important for patients to receive the right treatment, but also having the knowledge of good nutritional choices is important. I believe that prevention is more important than treatment and I hope to play a role in educating patients that prevention is possible through the food we place on our tables. I believe that my knowledge in Food Studies will extend out too many patients that come from different cultures to incorporate healthier lifestyles into their unique backgrounds.

 

Courtney Shojinaga

Courtney Shojinaga

COURTNEY SHOJINAGA

Major: Geography/Environmental Studies, B.A.
Extra and Co-Curricular Involvement: Leader in InterVarsity Bruin Christian Fellowship, Intern with Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement
What are three words that you feel best describe the Food Studies minor?:Engaging, Holistic, Exciting
Why minor in Food Studies?: I decided to minor in Food Studies because I felt it would allow me to gain a much better understanding of the role that food plays in our society. Initially, I just had an interest in food and cooking, but the classes for this minor has allowed me to gain more wisdom on how food pervades all aspects of our lives- from art and culture, to science through diet.
Favorite Food Studies Minor Related Course Thus Far: ENVIRON 25: Good Food for Everyone: Health, Sustainability, and Culture, was my favorite course because it was my first exposure to education on food sustainability. Professor Basset also taught us about mindful eating through taste tests of different foods in class.
Post-Graduate Goals – how do you feel the Food Studies minor will support you in these goals?:  Currently, I am intending to work in urban settings to increase nutrition education among youth. This minor has helped me to realize the great disparity in food access, which causes enormous ramifications on health in certain communities. I find it particularly important that we educate youth about healthy eating. It increases their access to fresh foods, gives them a solid basis of health in their formative years, and grows their taste buds for unprocessed foods. My internship at APIFM currently allows me to work with preschoolers, ages 3-5, in Koreatown where they have a school garden. We have the students plant, water, and harvest the produce that we grow there, in addition to doing cooking demonstrations to learn about different fresh foods and how they can eat them. I want to continue to grow young children into healthy eating habits and teach them to love fresh foods that can fuel their bodies.