Foodstuff: Food & Culture
COLL-C 104 with Professor Ipsen
Just as food plays a central role in everyday life – malnutrition; hunger; mental health; pleasure; entertainment; national, regional, and ethnic identity – so has it played a central role in human history. Foodstuff will focus on key “moments” in food history: the mastery of fire and the invention of cooking (about 1.8m years ago); the invention of agriculture a.k.a. the Neolithic Revolution (about 10,000 years ago); the development of grain and root cultures that followed and the global empires they generated; the “Columbian Exchange” that brought wheat and cows to the “New World” and tomatoes and corn to the “Old” (about 600 years ago); the Industrial Revolution that developed new methods of food preservation and transportation (2-300 years ago), and the Green Revolution that proposed to solve world hunger in the late 20th century. We’ll conclude with a look at contemporary global issues: GMOs and the so-called second green revolution, persistent hunger and malnutrition, and the spread of a Western diet of processed and fast foods that lies behind the present-day health crises of obesity and diabetes.
- First 8 weeks, MTWR 8:00 AM–9:15 AM