First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
AVP6075263, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2016/17

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
IF0365, Degree course structure A.Y. 2008/09, A.Y. 2018/19
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination FOOD HISTORY AND GLOBALIZATION
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Agronomy, Food, Natural Resources, Animals and the Environment
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge DANILO GASPARINI

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines M-STO/02 Modern History 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 3rd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 2.0 16 34.0 No turn
Lecture 4.0 32 68.0 No turn

Start of activities 01/10/2018
End of activities 18/01/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
2 Commissione valida dall'a.a. 2019/20 01/12/2019 30/11/2020 GASPARINI DANILO (Presidente)
SCARPI PAOLO (Membro Effettivo)
1 Commissione a.a. 2018/19 01/12/2018 30/11/2019 GASPARINI DANILO (Presidente)
SCARPI PAOLO (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Students must be acquainted with the cultural assumptions underlying the different ways food has been prepared and consumed over time and in different geographical areas.
Target skills and knowledge: The aim of the course is to provide students with the following theoretical and practical knowledge:
1) the nature of the historical-economic processes that have led to the global distribution of food products, the hybridisation of dishes and flavours, and the globalisation of the agri-food supply chain from a diachronic and comparative perspective
2) the role of technical, economic and social factors in the development of global agri-food supply chains
3) the role of the various global and local players in the distribution of food products and the transformation of the agri-food supply chain in a diachronic and comparative geographical framework
At the end of the course students will be able to:
- identify the factors and processes characterising the production, distribution and consumption of food from a long-term diachronic perspective
- identify and link the various factors that have governed the distribution of food products and the construction of global value chains of food production
- take a global approach to understanding the historical roots of the current economic evolution of the various agri-food sectors
- analyse the role of food and food products in processes of globalisation
- assess the socio-economic effects of the development of global agri-food chains and the construction of global value chains from a diachronic perspective
- assess the potential of agri-food chains to foster local, sustainable, eco-compatible development
Students will also develop the following transversal skills:
- using qualitative historical data to reconstruct processes of development and to identify possible future scenarios
- setting up individual or group research activities and presenting and discussing them
- critically evaluating economic-social processes
- Communicating complex concepts within a diachronic, comparative geographical/temporal and interdisciplinary framework (history, economics, anthropology)
- Researching, gathering and analysing scientific sources and documents;
- Planning and organising work;
- Critical, independent formulation of ideas and concepts;
- Applying theoretical models to the socio-economic situation and verifying them empirically.
Examination methods: Assessment will be as follows:
Attending students:
1) written exam with five open questions, plus a worksheet on the student’s chosen readings, on the learning material posted on the Moodle platform (70% of the final mark). The oral exam will consist of three open questions, each on a different topic studied during the course. A fourth question may be asked at the student’s request. The duration of the exam will be three hours
2) a 20-minute presentation of research on a topic chosen by the supervisor (30% of the final mark)
Non-attending students:
Written exam as in 1) above
There will be no learning progress assessments during the course
Assessment criteria: Assessment will be based on the following general criteria:
1) Knowledge of the contents of the lectures and reference texts
2) Clarity of expression, ability to make critical, comparative analyses, ability to link processes, facts and developmental models
3) An in-depth and thorough dissertation
4) Ability to prepare individual coursework well and to present, discuss and defend it.
Course unit contents: The course contents are as follows:
1) the technical-economic processes governing long-term transformations of the methods of production, distribution and consumption of food;
2) the role of socio-economic, technological and institutional factors in the formation of agri-industrial chains and in the formation of global construction value chains with reference to the agri-food sector, and the globalisation of food consumption;
3) the relationships between the production, distribution and consumption of food on the one hand and socio-economic development and environmental transformations on the other;
4) the role of food in the context of processes of globalisation, with particular attention on multinational actions, migrations and institutional actions;
5) the role of agri-food supply chains in supporting local, sustainable and ecological development processes
6) the role of consumers in generating sustainable demand for food.
These contents are expounded in two parts: the first focuses on the diachronic-comparative perspective, the second on in-depth thematic studies, both analysed through the prism of the socio-economic role of the production, distribution and consumption of food.
a. diachronic-comparative perspective
- The origins of “prepared” food: the cooking revolution
- Cooking, animal raising, agriculture: planning the production and consumption of food
- Feeding the towns in medieval and modern times: Paris and Venice
- First food globalisation: the spice trade
- Second food globalization: the Columbian exchange
- The industrial revolution and the food revolution: industrialisation of the supply chain
- Feeding the world: industry, agriculture and multinationals, and building global value chains
- New frontiers in agri-industrial supply chains in the context of local eco-sustainable development: the role of the agri-industrial-food supply chain in fostering sustainable development
b) in-depth thematic studies
· Global foods: sugar, coffee, chocolate
· Food, War, Economy: the case of the First World War
· Global drinks: Champagne vs Prosecco
· Food and Migration
. Fast Food and Slow Food
· Food and Tourism, Culinary Tourism
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course includes lectures using Power Point, images, graphs.
Additional reading material will be provided and classroom discussions will be organised around texts distributed beforehand.
The course includes the following activities:
- individual and/or group talks on topics chosen by the student and approved by the supervisor
Additional notes about suggested reading: All the material presented during the lectures will be available to attending students on the Moodle platform
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • M. Montanari e F. Sabban, Storia e geografia dell’alimentazione. Torino: --, 2006. Cerca nel catalogo
  • F. Faugeron, Nourrir la ville, Ravitaillement, marchés et métiers de l’alimentation à Venise dans les derniers siècles du Moyen âge. Roma: --, 2014.
  • R. Abad, Le grand marché, L’approvisionnement alimentaire de Paris sous l’ancine régime. Paris: --, 2002.
  • G. L. Fontana, Food and the City. Il cibo e la città. Milano: --, 2017. Cerca nel catalogo
  • F. Fernàndez-Armesto, Storia del cibo. Milano: --, 2017. Uno in alternativa Cerca nel catalogo
  • T. Standage, Una storia commestibile dell’umanità. Torino: --, 2010. Uno in alternativa
  • M. Luisa Ferrari e M. Vaquero Pineiro, «Moia la carestia». La scarsità alimentare in età preindustriale. Bologna: --, 2015. Uno in alternativa Cerca nel catalogo
  • C. Ó Gràda, Storia delle carestie. Bologna: --, 2011. Uno in alternativa Cerca nel catalogo
  • C. C. Mann, 1493 Pomodori, tabacco e batteri. Come colombo ha creato il mondo in cui viviamo. Milano: --, 2017. Uno in alternativa Cerca nel catalogo
  • W. Crosby, Lo scambio colombiano. Torino: --, 1992. Uno in alternativa Cerca nel catalogo
  • Felipe Fernandez Ernesto, Storia del Cibo. Milano: --, 2010. Uno in alternativa Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Case study
  • Working in group
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
No Poverty Zero Hunger Responsible Consumption and Production