Foodie IQ and the politics of what we eat have become standard dinner party conversation material, and chances are if you're reading this website you're likely more educated on the ins and outs of culinary culture than your average Joe or Jolene. But if you want to take your knife and fork know-how to the next level, here's something that might tickle your fancy: Marylhurst University has just announced a graduate program that will put students a few steps ahead of even the locavoriest gourmands around.

The two-year Master of Arts in Food Systems & Society program, debuting fall 2013, will tackle the sustainability and social justice implications of our regional, national and international food systems, focusing on policy changes in the non-profit, corporate, and government spheres.

“This truly is a unique model we are building,” said David Plotkin, Marylhurst University provost in a press release. “Portland and the Northwest are food meccas, and our region is seen as a pioneer in developing innovative strategies to address many different food challenges... This is the time and the place to be engaged in building more knowledge and capacity about how to advance social change on an issue of fundamental importance to our collective health.”

The Department of Food Systems & Society will be helmed by Patricia Allen, Ph.D., who put in nearly three decades of mentorship and teaching at University of California, Santa Cruz's Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Applications are now being accepted for the predominately online degree. Want to find out more? Head to the Marylhurst website.