Erin Alvarez
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Plants that Feed the World provides a broad introduction to the 25 most important food crops that feed the majority of humans today. This is an introductory course for majors and non-majors who have no previous academic experience with food crop plants. The course introduces the interaction of humans and food crop plants and the role of food crops in the development of societies, along with botanical and morphological characteristics of these crops, soil and climatic adaptations, major producers and consumers, nutritional attributes, processing needs, and the cultural factors influencing use and production. Students are expected to be able to identify the crops and their seeds, know the role of these plants in the world’s food supply, where these crops are grown, where they originated and how they are utilized in various cultures. Plant identification will be a core requirement and will include the wild relatives and centers of origin of important food crops to emphasize the role of selection and plant breeding in modern crop development.