Food Culture and Health Trends (3) Social-political, historic, and geographic roots of food patterns, featuring specific cuisine areas and nutritional disease patterns; includes foods laboratory.
NUTR 421 Food, Culture, and Health Trends (3)
Food, Culture, and Health Trends is a survey of the development of cuisine, and of ethnicity and health patterns as they are expressed through food and cuisine. This is also a laboratory course, where each week representative foods from diverse cultures are experienced, prepared by the students into dishes representative of the cuisine, and then consumed. The first third of the course follows the development of food patterns from hunter gathering and agricultural development though trade, conquest, and the globalization of foods. The second two thirds examines particular cuisine clusters as they have affected US food patterns. The course focuses on the physical, historical, social-political, and cultural factors that affect food choice in a specific area, such as geography, colonization, trade, migration, slavery, and religion. The nutritional outcomes of today's cultural food patterns, specifically the epidemiology of nutrition-related diseases, is another focus, particularly how cultural groups adjust to the US diet. The objectives of the course are to create an appreciation and understanding of the diverse origins, changing nature, and strengths of traditional cuisines, the nutritional problems arising from cuisine transitions, and a respect for the role of food in cultural expression. This course provides the cultural awareness needed by dietitians and any student of food and culture to participate in dietary exploration and change. Evaluation methods include weekly essay quizzes, laboratory participation and performance, 5 group activities, 2 essay tests, and a group library, web and informant based evaluation of one culture's cuisine. Two sections are offered each Spring Semester. Enrollment is limited to 36 students per section.