Student Writer: Zoe Smolen


Name: Zoe Smolen
Home University: Portland State University
Summer Courses at DIS: Sustainable Food Systems: Ecology, Economy, and Ethics

While I’m in Copenhagen I’m studying food sustainability. The full title of my class is: Food Systems: Ecology, Economy, and Ethics. After a week of being in class so far I am absolutely in love with it. Though I came into class thinking I knew little about the topic, I am quite surprised by how little I know and how much my thoughts on food and agriculture are changing already. Also, my classmates and teachers are wonderful. There are a variety of viewpoints in the class, which leads to an interesting discussion, especially since everyone is so respectful to one another. On Friday our teacher brought us Danish Apple Juice – it was absolutely delicious!

Local Apple Juice

What you might not know is that Denmark is the largest producer of pigs in the world – though my DIS buddy told me all the good bacon goes to Britain. Though we haven’t done much fieldwork in Denmark, we have learned lots of awesome facts about Danish agriculture and food. One fun activity that we did do included groups of us observing either McDonald’s or Nettos. My group went to the McDonalds right by campus. It was interesting to see the differences between a McDonald’s in Denmark and one in America.

In my time between classes I like to explore the city, be it with friends, classmates, or on my own. Being in such a central part of town I love to get ice cream on the hot days between breaks. I’ve also discovered a love for Danish pastries – even if they come from 7-11. They are exponentially better than the ones we have in America. I like to convince myself it’s important to try all of the new foods for my class even though cuisine hasn’t been something we’ve learned about yet. There are lots of fun cafes around campus that are fun to go to between classes. Studenterhuset is just down the street and has great discounts for DIS students.



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