Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Biological Sciences

Program or Major

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems and EcoGastronomy

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Alberto Manalo

Second Advisor

Daniel Winans


Food is an integral part of everyday life for human beings, thus meriting particular attention from research and education. Looking further in depth at the factors that influence food, it becomes apparent that this is a complex topic that is related to several systems within the constructs of society. Here, the food system is approached with the understanding that several systems influence food consumption options and decisions including the agricultural, economic, education, energy, health, and political systems. To identify the relationships more closely, a three-dimensional model was built to represent the food system and depict several key factors, their relationships, and feedback loops that exist within the system. Overall, 20 factors, 50 relationships, and 4 feedback loops were defined. These relationships were then explored to define not only their existence, but also what influence each factor imposes on the others.