Hostos Food Studies program in South Bronx

A growing movement of students and faculty have fueled the evolution of what’s now a Food Studies degree at Hostos, a community college of the City University of New York in South Bronx. The program, which started from a single writing course about food, offers its first official class in Fall 2015. Read The Atlantic story here.

When the program starts in the the fall, it will be the first of its kind in the country. Kristin Reynolds, who will be teaching two sections of Intro to Food Studies and leads similar courses at The New School in Manhattan, surveyed existing offerings across the country to help Hostos design the program. Community colleges, including Hostos often have programs that are more vocational in nature, focusing on fields such as hospitality, agriculture, and the culinary arts. Though a number of four-year institutions have launched similar programs, Reynolds found no other two-year institutions taking a liberal arts approach to food studies.

From The New York Times story (read the complete piece here).

 Hostos’s program is intended to train a new generation of professionals in the food industry and empower them to address longstanding socioeconomic issues involving food in their communities. At a time when the Bronx, the city’s poorest borough, faces a growing health crisis from diabetes and obesity-related illnesses, many residents say they do not have convenient or affordable access to fresh fruits and vegetables….

Hostos’s dean of academic programs, Felix Cardona, said that the idea for the food studies program grew out of faculty and staff discussions about the importance of food to the Bronx’s future. In 2013, the college started offering a certificate program in how to run a green market. This spring, it will offer a similar program in the culinary arts.

“It was a glaring gap in our curriculum and I think we needed to be responsive to that,” Professor Cardona said.


The curriculum includes four tracks of study: Food Policy, Social Issues in Food, Health & Nutrition, and Environment & Sustainability. Click here for a link to the college.