Beyond IQ

Food: Culture, Health, Justice

Register for Food: Culture, Health, Justice here!
(sign up for 1, 2, or all 3 parts)

Return to the list of classes for Spring 2020.

Sabrina Weiss
5-10 students
Suggested Age Ranges: 13+, Parent/Student pairs/groups welcome!
Meeting: Wednesdays, 2:00 pm, 12 sessions, no class April 8th.

Students may sign up for individual parts or the entire course.

Course Description

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. This will be a “college-style,” discussion-focused course. Students will be expected to read a book about food during the term and do a project related to the course topic by the end of the course.

Topic Sections

Part 1:  Culture of Food - Starts February 12th

  • What is “normal” food to you? 
  • Why do we eat the food we eat? 
  • What are some different diets and ways that people eat or don’t eat food? 
  • How do people treat food that is different? 
  • Issues: Food Authenticity and Appropriation

Part 2: Un/Healthy Food?  - Starts March 13th

  • How do we talk about food as healthy and unhealthy?  Why? 
  • How do people decide what is healthy or unhealthy? 
  • Why do people eat unhealthy food, and don’t eat healthy food? 
  • Issues: Obesity “Epidemic” and Malnutrition

Part 3: Ethics and Justice of Food - Starts April 8th

  • What are different ways that people can’t get food they want to eat? 
  • How are these systems created? 
  • What are some ways that people are trying to fix these problems? 
  • How are people discussing what the problems are and how to really fix them?
  • Issues: Food Deserts and Food Insecurity


Livestock: Food, Fiber, and Friends Erin McKenna 

The Botany of Desire Michael Pollan 

The Omnivore’s Dilemma Michael Pollan  

Fast Food Nation Eric Schlosser

Food Politics Marion Nestle 

History of Bees in America Tammy Horn

The Violence of the Green Revolution Vandana Shiva 

Milk: A Local and Global History Deborah Valenze

The Life of Cheese: Crafting Food and Value in America Heather Paxson

Register for Food: Culture, Health, Justice here
(sign up for 1, 2, or all 3 parts) 

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