Summer course is a tasty way to learn

April 7, 2014 10:00 AM

Deirdre Boling

The Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is repeating its successful Public Health Summer Institute focused on the topic of food and nutrition. Food: Farm to Table will run from June 2 –26, encompassing two consecutive but interconnected courses taught by assistant professors Lorelei Cropley and Elisabeth Gleckler.

Ye Olde College Inn

During the 2013 Public Health Summer Institute, students Emily Cardinas, Victoria Novak and Merritt Van Meter and teaching assistant Lori Anderson learn about an urban farm on Carrollton Avenue from Ronnie Taylor, gardener for Ye Olde College Inn restaurant. (Photo by Elisabeth Gleckler)

“Nutrition has become a very big area,” says Cropley. Poor nutrition is one of three behaviors, along with physical inactivity and smoking, which are leading contributors to death in the U.S. and worldwide. Poor nutrition poses a dual burden to health, encompassing both obesity from over-nutrition and malnutrition from under-nutrition.

The course builds on many of the same components as last year’s course, including numerous field trips to food processing facilities, area markets, urban farms and local restaurants, Cropley says. Emerging topics in nutrition will be covered. The approach, however, will be to offer best-practice, evidence-based views on the hot topics.

“We have to remember that in public health we serve populations, not individuals,” says Cropley. 

Cropley and Gleckler will use a socio-ecological model, often focusing on populations that don’t have the political capital or economic means to follow popular trends in nutrition. The media may make a lot of noise about an issue that ultimately is not critical to health and is impossible for some populations to follow in areas that may not even have a full-service grocery store, Cropley says.

The course has obvious appeal to students pursing the Bachelor’s of Science in public health, but other majors and those outside of Tulane University also are eligible to apply. 

Cropley says the course will attract “people interested in food policy issues as well as those interested in the cultural aspects of food and nutrition.” 

Dee Boling is director of communications for the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Citation information:

Page accessed: Monday, May 30, 2016
Page URL:

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000