• University of Exeter
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Grand Challenges: Food for Thought

Where does our food come from and what impact does it have on our environment?

5,228 enrolled on this course

Grand Challenges: Food for Thought

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.

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What topics will you cover?

  • The pillars of sustainability
  • Environmental impacts of food production
  • Exploitation of the sea
  • Case studies on the production of Bananas, Coffee and Palm Oil
  • Importance of pollinators

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the term 'sustainability' in the context of food production
  • Explain the 'Pillars of Sustainability' model
  • Compare and contrast the sustainability of global coffee, palm oil and banana industries
  • Reflect on the importance of pollinators in relation to food production
  • Investigate the food available from your local area and contrast with your weekly shop

Who is the course for?

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.

What software or tools do you need?

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.

Who will you learn with?

I'm a lecturer in the Biosciences department of the University of Exeter, Cornwall campus with a broad range of interests that centre around environmental health and marine life.

Who developed the course?

University of Exeter

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university. It combines world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction.

Eden Project

The Eden Project, an educational charity and visitor destination in Cornwall, UK, connects us with each other and the living world.

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Upgrade this course for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year. Or, join this course with free basic access, limited to 6 weeks (excludes certificates).

Upgrade this course

$59

Learners who upgrade are 5x as likely to complete the course!*

  • Access to this course
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Unlimited

$15.83/month

Billed at $189.99 for a year

Endless possibilities!

  • Access to this course
  • Access to ALL eligible short courses with additional benefits, for a year
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Basic access

Free

Try before you buy

  • Limited access to course content for 6 weeks

Find out more about certificates, Upgrades or Unlimited.

Sale price available until 6 December 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Join this course for free with basic access. Access to this course only limited to 6 weeks. Excludes certificates.

*FutureLearn considers a short course complete when a learner has engaged with 90% of the content. For enrolments to short courses with the possibility of Upgrade in the year of 2020, enrolments with an Upgrade are completed 5.31 times as often as enrolments with basic access

*FutureLearn considers a short course complete when a learner has engaged with 90% of the content. For enrolments to short courses with the possibility of Upgrade in the year of 2020, enrolments with an Upgrade are completed 5.31 times as often as enrolments with basic access

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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