Molly D. Anderson

William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Food Studies

 work(802) 443-3644
 Fall 2018: Wednesday 2:00-4:00 and by appointment (email is best)
 Robert A. Jones '59 House 202

Molly Anderson is organizing a program in Food Studies at Middlebury College in Vermont, where she teaches about hunger and food security, fixing food systems, and sustainability. She is especially interested in multi-actor collaborations for sustainable food systems, sustainability metrics and assessment, food system resilience, human rights in the food system, food security and the right to food in the US and other industrialized countries, and the transition to a post-petroleum food economy.  She is also interested in bridging interests and concerns of academicians and community-based activists.  She is involved in food system planning at the state and regional scales, participates in the regional Food Solutions New England network and the national Inter-Institutional Network for Food, Agriculture & Sustainability, and is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food).  She was a Coordinating Lead Author on the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science & Technology for Development (IAASTD) and served on the Board of the Community Food Security Coalition for 6 years. She has worked as a private consultant for domestic and international organizations, with Oxfam America, and at Tufts University, where she was the founding Director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment Graduate Program in the School of Nutrition Science & Policy and directed Tufts Institute of the Environment for 2 years.  Molly earned an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Systems Ecology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.S. and M.S. in natural resource management and a certificate in Latin American Studies from Colorado State University.

Courses  developed for or taught at Middlebury:

INTD 280 Middlebury's Foodprint:  Introduction to Food Systems (Fall 2015, Fall 2016)

INTD 281 Food Power & Justice (Spring 2016)

INTD 480 Hunger, Food Security & Food Sovereignty (Fall 2015)

ENVS 401B Environmental Studies Capstone - Food and Agriculture (Spring 2016)

INTD 310 Agroecology (Fall 2016)

INTD 311 Fixing Food Systems (Spring 2017)

SUMR 1002 Exploring Food Systems (SUMR 2016)



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

ENVS 0401 - Community Engaged Practicum      

Community-Engaged Environmental Studies Practicum
In this course students work in small groups with one of a variety of partners and organizations to complete a semester-long, community-engaged project. Project themes vary by term and typically focus on local and regional environmental issues that have broader application. Projects rely on students’ creativity, interdisciplinary perspectives, skills, and knowledge developed through their previous work. The project is guided by a faculty member and carried out with a high degree of independence by the students. Students will prepare for and direct their project work through readings and discussion, independent research, collaboration with project partners, and consultation with external experts. The course may also include workshops focused on developing key skills (e.g., interviewing, public speaking, video editing). The project culminates in a public presentation of students’ final products, which may various forms such as written reports, policy white papers, podcasts, or outreach materials. (Open to Juniors and Seniors) (ENVS 0112, ENVS 0211, ENVS 0215, GEOG 0120 or GEOG 0150) 3 hrs. sem./3 hrs. lab

Spring 2016

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INDE 0800 - Ind Scholar Thesis      

Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018

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INTD 0280 - Intro to Food Systems Issues      

Middlebury's Foodprint: Introduction to Food Systems Issues
Food systems encompass all activities, people and institutions determining movement of food from input supply and production (on land and water) through waste management. The dominant U.S. food system is responsible at least in part for some of the nation’s most troubling environmental and health challenges. What do we eat at Middlebury? What difference does it make? How do we know? We will examine impacts of how Middlebury sources and consumes its food, and disposes of food waste, as a lens to understand sustainable food systems and how they can be achieved. 3 hrs. lect./disc. SOC

Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

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INTD 0281 - Food, Power, & Justice      

Food, Power, & Justice
Students in this course will learn to analyze power and justice in relation to the food system. We will explore cases in which groups of people are experiencing injustice in opportunities to make a living through food production or other food system activities, inequitable access to food and resources, inequitable health outcomes related to diet (e.g., diabetes, obesity), and silencing or lack of political participation. Students will investigate organizations of their choice that are working to remedy inequitable power relations in the food system, and will present their findings to the rest of the class. SOC

Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

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INTD 0310 - Agroecology      

In this course students will learn about agroecology as a set of practices, a philosophy, and a social movement, with an emphasis on the first two perspectives. Agroecology takes advantage of natural processes to the greatest extent possible, using biological inputs rather than purchased pesticides and fertilizers. In addition to having major benefits for poor farmers in developing countries, it is attracting increased attention as an alternative to industrialized agriculture in wealthy countries. The course will include field trips to farms, lab exercises, and discussion of readings. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Fall 2016, Fall 2018

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INTD 0311 - Fixing Food Systems      

Fixing Food Systems
This course addresses the innovation in food systems and how it is changing the ways that we eat; how we produce, process, and distribute food; how we manage food system inputs and waste; and how we imagine food alternatives. We will unpack what is meant by "innovation" and why technological innovation frequently gets more attention than social, cultural, and political innovations at scales from the community to the international. We will explore how to assess the risks and value of innovations and their implications for social justice and participation of emerging streams of innovation. (INTD 0280 or INTD 0310). 3 hrs. sem.

Spring 2017, Spring 2019

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INTD 0312 - Food Policy      

Food Policy
Food policy is about how decisions are made in the food system, affecting who eats what, who grows food and how.  In this course, we will investigate important current topics in food policy, such as issues under consideration by the U.S. Congress (e,g., the Farm Bill, Child Nutrition Reauthorization); the United Nations; or other organizations.  Using a range of readings and academic background sources on food policy, students will debate contentious issues affected by policy (antibiotic resistance due to livestock feeding practices, incentives for healthy eating, limits on concentration in agribusiness, food safety rules, etc.). (Approval Required) 3 hrs. sem.

Spring 2018

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INTD 0480 - Hunger/Food/Sovereignty      

Hunger, Food Security, & Food Sovereignty
Why have no countries—including the U.S.—been able to ensure universal food security, even though more than enough food is produced for everyone? To examine this question, we will analyze historical famines, the "food price crisis" of 2008, and debates about how to address hunger and food insecurity including calls for food sovereignty. We will read Julian Cribb's The Coming Famine as well as other sources. Students will select international or domestic food security as their emphasis, and examine an organization trying to tackle hunger and food insecurity. This course is open to juniors and seniors. 3 hrs. sem. SOC

Fall 2015, Fall 2017

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INTD 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
Approval Required

Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019

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SUMR 1002 - Exploring Local Food Systems      

Exploring Food Systems—Middlebury, Vermont
In this course we explore ways that activities across the food system from production (and fish capture) through waste disposal affect ecological integrity, individual and public health, community well-being, and society’s potential to meet human needs for food and adequate nutrition now and in the future. We combine current and background readings; discussion; field trips to visit innovative Vermont food system projects attempting to improve environmental, social, economic and health impacts; and group work on a project relevant to Middlebury’s food system

Please contact Molly Anderson at mollya@<a href=""> with any questions about applying for the Exploring Food Systems course.

Please contact Sophie Esser Calvi, Global Food Studies Coordinator at Middlebury, at with any questions about the associated FoodWorks internships. non-standard grade Summer Study

Summer Study 2016, Summer Study 2017

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Program in Environmental Studies

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest
531 College Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753