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The Changing Face of Food is an assignment developed for the SCN 240 Food and Culture course tagged as a pathways course in the Urban Studies discipline and is designated Writing Intensive. The assignment also fulfills the Global Learning Core-Competency and Written Ability. It is a high stakes assignment, accounting for 20% of the final course grade and is located at the capstone level of the Nutrition and Culinary Management Program’s Core Competency program curriculum map.

The purpose of the assignment is to help students explore and understand the changing food culture in the United States (US), New York State (NYS), New York City (NYC) and abroad where students cover topics related to the Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) seed supplier giant, heirloom foods, major food companies that shaped food choices, organic farming, Slow Food Movement (SFM), Farm to Table initiative, food insecurity, Supplemental Food and Nutrition Program (SNAP), and Single Stop on Campus.

This assignment has evolved based on feedback from the Writing in the Disciplines (WID) and the Global Learning Charrettes workshops held at LaGuardia Community College. Feedback from WID led to the provision of a letter grade to each draft reflective of the quality of work. This is particularly useful to students who do better with more concrete criteria to assess their progress. Additionally, providing clarity on the expectations for each draft served well because it was more effective to grade a smaller portion of the students work by focusing on areas for improvement rather than repeatedly having to correct consistent errors throughout the paper. Feedback from the Global Learning Charrettes, led to the tweaking of an assignment question in order to improve the ability for students to score on the rubric. For instance, in the updated assignment, students additionally explain Monsanto’s monopoly on the sale of seeds to farmers in US and abroad and identify its heavy impact (such as the mass suicides of farmers in India and lawsuits regarding re-use of seeds etc.)

LaGuardia’s Core Competencies and Communication Abilities

Main Course Learning Objectives:

  1. Research the impact of large business on agriculture.
  2. Review the impact of advertising on the US food voice/culture.
  3. Learn about the origins, and philosophy of the Slow Food Movement and its impact in the US.
  4. Explore the Farm to Table Initiative in NYS/NYC.
  5. Examine food insecurity in the NYS/NYC.
  6. Practice the use of “in-text” and end of paper citations in the APA format.
  7. Articulate personal thoughts and opinions through a reflection on topics researched.


This resource is part of the Learning Matters Assignment Library.

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