Food: Culture, Health, and Justice
Food is a great way to learn about culture, history, economics, science, and health. This class takes an interdisciplinary approach to learn about these topics using student-centered and culturally responsive approaches.
I teach from a global, multicultural and intersectional perspective that recognizes the value every culture brings to food, the importance of history and social context, and considers poverty, access, and environment when we discuss foods. I also bring in a balanced and body-positive discussion about diets and health using science to promote effective research and discussion about foods.
Students will have opportunities to dig deeper into science, history, political science, economics, health/medical, and social studies topics depending on their project (optional).
(Section 1)- January 25-March 1
(Section 2)- March 18-April 22
Age Range: 11-17 (10 with prior approval)
Full Enrollment in All Three Parts: $170
Feedback Add-On: $20
Part 1 (Culture) Only: $60
Part 2 (Health) Only: $60
Part 3 (Justice) Only: $60
Food is a universal human experience: everybody eats. Food is a way for us to connect across generations, locations, and societies. But every culture and community prepares, serves, and values food in different ways. By studying and discussing food, we can understand much about people, their values, and their traditions.
This course will explore food as a human experience, as tradition, as healthy/unhealthy, as a way that societies promote or undermine justice. We will connect food to personal values, historical events, ethics about animals and the environment, and laws and policies.
As an interdisciplinary course, this class will include synthesized explorations of science, history, social studies, health/medicine, and social justice issues as we talk about food. I teach from a global, multicultural and intersectional perspective that recognizes the value every culture brings to food, the importance of history and social context, and considers poverty, access, and environment when we discuss foods. I also bring in a balanced and body-positive discussion about diets and health using science to promote effective research and discussion about foods.
This class is offered in 3 parts:
- Part 1: Culture
- Part 2: Health
- Part 3: Justice
While all three parts fit well together, you may enroll in only 1 or 2 of these parts if you prefer. Students will have opportunities to dig deeper into science, history, political science, economics, health/medical, and social studies topics depending on their project (optional).
This is an excellent course for a student who is reluctant to learn about subjects in a traditional way because they will have a chance to bring in their lived experience and favorite foods to discuss and explore. This is also a great course for a student who is self-directed and passionate about a food-related topic because they will have room to pursue their interests in a scholarly way.
(Note: this is not a cooking course, though students will have the option of cooking a food as a project format if they choose.)
Meetings Mondays at 1pm Eastern/12pm Central/11am Mountain/10am Pacific
Part 1 (Culture): January 25-February 1
Part 2 (Health): February 8-February 15
Part 3 (Justice): February 22-March 1
Meetings Thursdays at 2pm Eastern/1pm Central/12pm Mountain/11am Pacific
Part 1 (Culture): March 18-March 25
Part 2 (Health): April 1-April 8
Part 3 (Justice): April 15-April 22
- Google Drive and Zoom required.
- Discord recommended.
- Webcam and microphone optional.
- Headphones/earphones required (to prevent feedback).
- Access to food, ingredients, cooking facilities, restaurants depending on project choices.
1-3 hours per week
- Read/listen/watch and recall relevant information.
- Communicate facts and information to peers and instructor.
- Focus attention on relevant material.
- Take initiative to research about a chosen topic as preparation for class.
- Ability to accept ambiguity and complexity in moral and cultural issues (no clear right/wrong, no good/bad people)
- Respect for different cultures, diets, and lifestyles
- Learn about history of foods across cultures
- Learn about food in a global, multicultural context
- Learn about social justice issues surrounding food (e.g. food deserts, hunger)
- Learn about different types of diets for health and moral/ethical reasons
- Learn about health issues connected to food
- Learn about food policies and practices like advertising, labeling
- Learn about science of food – fats, cooking processes, chemistry, nutrition
Choice in specific food researched for class preparation. Choice of topic/format of final project (if doing add-on)
We will discuss some difficult issues like animal welfare/rights, environmental destruction, extinction, poverty, starvation, health concerns, medical issues, racism.