College Of Arts And Sciences | The Biology of Food
E105 | 0183 | Crouch
2:30-3:45 TR EP 220
The most intimate relationship people have with other organisms is to eat
them. We kill animals, plants, and microbes, put them into our mouths,
break them down into components, and then build them into our own bodies.
We literally are what we eat. However, so few of us raise our own food even
these close relationships are invisible. For example, what do you know
about the life of a chicken, a cow, or an orange tree? Where do they live,
what processes regulate their lives, and how does their use as human food
affect them and us? The knowledge of how eating, a daily act, connects you
with other organisms will give you the information necessary to appreciate
and control these interactions in a more meaningful way.
By studying how organisms we use as food evolve, grow, reproduce, and
interact, we will study many basic principles of biology. Among the foods
we will study are milk, eggs, meat, vegetables, fruits, fermented products,
and chocolate. On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, by
Harold McGee, provides background reading, supplemented with handouts.
Students will write a paper on a topic of their choice, participate in class
discussions about current food controversies, and analyze their own diets.
There will also be three exams.