College Of Arts and Sciences | The Biology of Food
E105 | 0073 | Bonner, J.


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.