‘Food, Beer, and the Environment’: Seminar Explores the Creation and Consumption of Food

Sociology professor Daina Harvey challenges his students to look at food as more than simply fuel for their bodies
October 5th, 2017 by 

Assistant Professor Daina Harvey shows the class how to brew beer in the Kimball kitchen.
Daina Harvey, assistant professor of sociology, shows the class how to brew beer in the Kimball kitchen. Photo by Tom Rettig

When most people sip a beer, they’re thinking about taste — hops or malt, whether it’s a dark or a light beer — alcohol content, or maybe even the name on the label.

They aren’t usually considering the social, economic and environmental influences, both on the beverage itself and the people drinking it. But that’s exactly what the students in Professor Daina Harvey’s Food, Beer and the Environment class spent their summers doing.

“Most have never had a course on beer or food,” Harvey says. “So the first week is an orientation to the big questions: sociology of food, the ethics of our food, how much food we waste, factory farming, pollution and climate change.”

From there, they jump into topics as varied as lobster gangs in Maine, the industrial food system, local and organic farming, and craft breweries and wineries. And they even brewed some beer of their own in Kimball.

“There are social, cultural, economic and immigration issues that are bound up in what we eat and what we drink,” Harvey says. “Many of the students in this course are athletes and have an interest in food as fuel for their bodies, but I want them to have a deeper connection to where their food comes from and how things are made.”

The class is structured with a lecture at the beginning of the week on Monday, an event or activity on Wednesday (like brewing their own beer, or a service project), followed by a discussion on Friday.

The week that HCM visited Harvey’s class, Monday featured a lecture on how beer and wine — along with their accompanying breweries and wineries — are used to create a sense of place and belonging within a community. Wednesday they went off campus to volunteer at Community Harvest Project in Grafton, Massachusetts, a farm that provides produce to people in need. The farm relies on volunteers to harvest their fruit and vegetables, and on that Wednesday in late June, Harvey and his students assisted with weeding.

Students help out at Community Harvest, a nonprofit farm in Grafton, Massachusetts, by weeding in the fields.

Students help out at Community Harvest, a nonprofit farm in Grafton, Massachusetts, by weeding in the fields. Photo by Tom Rettig

Harvey began the Monday lecture by defining place for the students as a geographic location invested with meaning or value. In the years from 2000-2012, both craft breweries and wineries were popping up everywhere in the United States, alongside the local food movement. These breweries and wineries created community and provided a space for people to gather and engage in that movement, eating local food and drinking beverages made from local ingredients.

Harvey also suggests that DIY culture played a role.

“That’s part of why we see those spaces, because people want to be near farms and items that get produced,” he says. “They want to be part of that process in some way, because it is different than being at a bar and just seeing the end product. People want to see the tanks at a brewery and the grapes at the winery, and then become part of the process.”

Harvey finished the lecture by discussing ways that craft breweries and wineries retain their sense of place when not all of their ingredients are locally sourced — playing up their connections to local farms and suppliers, partnering with other local breweries or wineries and emphasizing the nostalgia of the “do it yourself,” American Dream culture.

Course Catalog

SOCI-299: Food, Beer and the Environment

Department: Sociology

Description: Explore the relationship between food and beer in the environment, with a particular emphasis on New England. Students learn about the social relationships among producers of food and beer, food justice movements, cultural and ecological patterns inherent to foodways, socio-economic inequalities and the risks and sustainability issues inherent in our current food system, and also consider the social problems with the production and consumption of food and beer, including environmental degradation, labor injustices and unequal access to healthy food.

Meeting Times: Monday, Wednesday, Friday; 12 – 3 p.m.

Classroom: Beaven Hall, Room 113

Summer Session: This course was offered as part of a pilot six-week summer session in 2017.

Required Reading

  • “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • “The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins” by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
  • “The Lobster Gangs of Maine” by James M. Acheson
  • “Organic Futures: Struggling for Sustainability on a Small Farm” by Brian Gareau and Connor J. Fitzmaurice
  • “Local Vino: The Winery Boom in the Heartland” by James Pennell
  • “Untapped: Exploring the Cultural Dimensions of Craft Beer” by Nathaniel G. Chapman

Vocabulary: Foodways = the cultural, social and economic practices relating to the production and consumption of food.

Assignments:

  • Two papers
  • Final exam
  • Two discussion questions per week
  • Discussion participation

Grades: Assignments, attendance and discussion participation

Prerequisites: None, open to all students

About the Professor

Daina Cheyenne Harvey is an assistant professor in the sociology and anthropology department, and also teaches environmental studies courses. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Rutgers University and has worked at the College for six years. He researches and teaches in the fields of social disruption, risk, climate, culture and cognition, suffering, urban marginality and the environmental precariat. His recent work has appeared in Urban Studies, Symbolic Interaction, Humanity and Society, Local Environment and Sociological Forum. Read more about Professor Harvey.


Written by Maura Sullivan Hill for the Fall 2017 issue of Holy Cross Magazine.

About Holy Cross Magazine

Holy Cross Magazine (HCM) is the quarterly alumni publication of the College of the Holy Cross. The award-winning publication is mailed to alumni and friends of the College and includes intriguing profiles, make-you-think features, alumni news, exclusive photos and more. Visit magazine.holycross.edu/about to contact HCM, submit alumni class notes, milestones, or letters to the editor.

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Rodin: Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections
3/9/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery 2
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Rodin: Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections
3/10/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery 2
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


MPE Meeting
3/11/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite B/C - 4th Fl
Open to the Public
See More >>


MPE Meeting (Event canceled)
3/11/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 304(05)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
3/11/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


The Living Museum Exhibit
3/12/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite B/C - 4th Fl
Open to the Public
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
3/12/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Medieval and Renaissance Studies lecture
3/13/2019
Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall Rehm Lib
Open to the Public
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
3/13/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Faculty Conversation Series-175th Anniversary
3/14/2019
175th Anniversary
Dinand Library Faculty Room
Subject: EloquenceFaculty Conversation Series on Ignatian Pedagogy. The...
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
3/14/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Holy Cross College Choir Concert
3/15/2019
Music
St Joseph Memorial Chapel St Joseph Chapel
The Holy Cross Choirs are back from their tour down the East...
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
3/15/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Rodin: Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections
3/16/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery 2
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Organ concert - Benjamin Alard
3/17/2019
Music
St Joseph Memorial Chapel St Joseph Chapel
Benjamin Alard, OrganistChurch: Saint-Louis-en-Île,...
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Rodin: Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections
3/17/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery 2
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
3/18/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


EY On-Campus Interviews
3/18/2019
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 404
Description:Visit Crusader Connections to view summer opportunities...
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EY On-Campus Interviews
3/18/2019
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 405
Description:Visit Crusader Connections to view summer opportunities...
See More >>


Reading by Emilie Pine
3/19/2019
English
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall Rehm Lib
Open to the Public
See More >>


Lecture: Rev. Orobator, S.J., on Religion and Faith in Africa
3/19/2019
McFarland Center for Religion
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall Rehm Lib
Drawing on his most recent book, “Religion and Faith...
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Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
3/19/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Lecture: Irish Advocate for Sexual Abuse Victims Talks Therapy, Treatment and Prevention
3/20/2019
McFarland Center for Religion
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall Rehm Lib
Open to the Public
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
3/20/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
3/21/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
3/22/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Rodin: Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections
3/23/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery 2
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Rodin: Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections
3/24/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery 2
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


MPE Meeting
3/25/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite B/C - 4th Fl
Open to the Public
See More >>


MPE Meeting (Event canceled)
3/25/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 304(05)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
3/25/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
3/26/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
3/27/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Lecture: Peter Phan on Theology of the Church in the Age of Migration
3/28/2019
McFarland Center for Religion
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall Rehm Lib
Peter Phan is the inaugural holder of the Ignacio Ellacuria Chair...
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Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
3/28/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


175th Jesuits and Music Concert
3/29/2019
Music
St Joseph Memorial Chapel St Joseph Chapel
Many Holy Cross musical ensembles and performers will join...
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
3/29/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Rodin: Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections
3/30/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery 2
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Rodin: Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections
3/31/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery 2
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Lecture: Cornell Historian Derek Chang on Asians in the Jim Crow South
4/1/2019
McFarland Center for Religion
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall Rehm Lib
Open to the Public
See More >>


Conference on Liberal Arts Education
4/1/2019
Political Science
Dinand Library Levis Browsing Room
What is the role of Great Books in a liberal arts education? Are...
See More >>


Once in a Lifetime
4/1/2019
Theatre
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
LOBBY TABLE - Once in a LifetimeBy George S. Kaufman and...
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
4/1/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


53rd Annual Hanify-Howland Lecture
4/2/2019
Hanify-Howland Memorial Lecture
Holy Cross Campus
The 53rd annual Hanify-Howland Memorial Lecture will be held April 2, 2019 in the...
See More >>


Conference: Readings from the Roots, on Bible Translation and Its Impact
4/2/2019
McFarland Center for Religion
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall Rehm Lib
This two-day conference highlights a new, historically-sensitive...
See More >>


Once in a Lifetime
4/2/2019
Theatre
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
LOBBY TABLE - Once in a LifetimeBy George S. Kaufman and...
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
4/2/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Once in a Lifetime
4/3/2019
Theatre
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
LOBBY TABLE - Once in a LifetimeBy George S. Kaufman and...
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
4/3/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Conference: Readings from the Roots, on Bible Translation and Its Impact
4/3/2019
McFarland Center for Religion
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall Rehm Lib
Readings from the Roots is a new, historically-sensitive translation...
See More >>


Once in a Lifetime
4/4/2019
Theatre
O'Kane Hall Fenwick Theatre
Once in a Lifetime By George S. Kaufman and Moss HartApril 4-6 &...
See More >>


Ira Sukrungruang
4/4/2019
English
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall Rehm Lib
Open to the Public
See More >>


Once in a Lifetime
4/4/2019
Theatre
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
LOBBY TABLE - Once in a LifetimeBy George S. Kaufman and...
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
4/4/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Once in a Lifetime
4/5/2019
Theatre
O'Kane Hall Fenwick Theatre
Once in a Lifetime By George S. Kaufman and Moss HartApril 4-6 &...
See More >>


Once in a Lifetime
4/5/2019
Theatre
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
LOBBY TABLE - Once in a LifetimeBy George S. Kaufman and...
See More >>


Rodin:Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Collections
4/5/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Once in a Lifetime
4/6/2019
Theatre
O'Kane Hall Fenwick Theatre
Once in a Lifetime By George S. Kaufman and Moss HartApril 4-6 &...
See More >>


Rodin: Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections
4/6/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery 2
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


Rodin: Truth, Form, Life/Selections from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Collections
4/7/2019
175th Anniversary
O'Kane Hall Cantor Art Gallery 2
The inaugural exhibition of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery...
See More >>


COPE Well Week
4/8/2019
Counseling Center
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 402(03)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


MPE Meeting (Event canceled)
4/8/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 304(05)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


MPE Meeting
4/8/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite B/C - 4th Fl
Open to the Public
See More >>


Once in a Lifetime
4/8/2019
Theatre
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 2
LOBBY TABLE - Once in a LifetimeBy George S. Kaufman and...
See More >>


Hester/Craig Debate
4/9/2019
McFarland Center for Religion
Kimball Hall Seelos Theater
Is theistic belief rational in a scientific age? Listen in on a conversation...
See More >>


COPE Well Week
4/9/2019
Counseling Center
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 402(03)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Once in a Lifetime
4/9/2019
Theatre
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 2
LOBBY TABLE - Once in a LifetimeBy George S. Kaufman and...
See More >>


COPE Well Week
4/10/2019
Counseling Center
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Once in a Lifetime
4/10/2019
Theatre
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 2
LOBBY TABLE - Once in a LifetimeBy George S. Kaufman and...
See More >>


Once in a Lifetime
4/11/2019
Theatre
O'Kane Hall Fenwick Theatre
Once in a Lifetime By George S. Kaufman and Moss HartApril 4-6 &...
See More >>


Lecture: Glenn Loury on the Ethics of Affirmative Action Policies in Higher Education
4/11/2019
McFarland Center for Religion
Carol and Park B. Smith Hall Rehm Lib
Glenn Loury, the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences,...
See More >>


COPE Well Week
4/11/2019
Counseling Center
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 304(05)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Once in a Lifetime
4/11/2019
Theatre
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 2
LOBBY TABLE - Once in a LifetimeBy George S. Kaufman and...
See More >>


Once in a Lifetime
4/12/2019
Theatre
O'Kane Hall Fenwick Theatre
Once in a Lifetime By George S. Kaufman and Moss HartApril 4-6 &...
See More >>


Once in a Lifetime
4/12/2019
Theatre
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 2
LOBBY TABLE - Once in a LifetimeBy George S. Kaufman and...
See More >>


Once in a Lifetime
4/13/2019
Theatre
O'Kane Hall Fenwick Theatre
Once in a Lifetime By George S. Kaufman and Moss HartApril 4-6 &...
See More >>


Holy Cross Jazz Ensemble Spring Concert
4/16/2019
Music
Brooks Music Center CONCERT HA
An evening of Big Band Jazz music that plays from the Classic to the...
See More >>


Holy Cross Orchestra Concert
4/24/2019
Music
St Joseph Memorial Chapel St Joseph Chapel
The Holy Cross College Orchestra will perform Tchaikovsky’s...
See More >>


Academic Conference
4/24/2019
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
Haberlin Hall 219
Open to the Public
See More >>


Academic Conference
4/24/2019
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
O'Neil Hall 112
Open to the Public
See More >>


Academic Conference
4/24/2019
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
Smith Laboratories 155
Open to the Public
See More >>


Academic Conference
4/24/2019
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
Smith Laboratories 154
Open to the Public
See More >>


H-CLEF Concert
4/26/2019
Music
Brooks Music Center CONCERT HA
Join the Holy Cross Laptop Ensemble Federation for an evening of silent...
See More >>


Holy Cross College Choir Concert
4/27/2019
Music
St Joseph Memorial Chapel St Joseph Chapel
Giacomo Carissimi was the first great composer of oratorios,...
See More >>


Chapel Artist Series Organ Concert - Pavel Kohout
4/28/2019
Music
St Joseph Memorial Chapel St Joseph Chapel
Pavel Kohout, OrganistInternational Concert Organist, Prague,...
See More >>


MPE Meeting
4/29/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(09)
Open to the Public
See More >>


Dance Concert
5/1/2019
Theatre
O'Kane Hall Fenwick Theatre
Dance ConcertMay 1 at 7:00 PM and 9:00 PMFenwick Theatre – 2nd...
See More >>


Romantic Exile and Transnational Celebrity
5/2/2019
English
Dinand Library Levis Browsing Room
Omar Miranda, assistant professor of English at the University of...
See More >>


175th Anniversary Scavenger Hunt
5/17/2019
Featured Employee
Outdoor starting at Hogan
This Scavenger Hunt is being put on by the Mission and Identity Subcommittee...
See More >>

See All