The Science of Food, Flavors, and Farming
This course is for food lovers who want to learn about the biology and chemistry that turn our daily meals into more than simple sustenance. We begin by studying the chemistry of food, including basic principles of food metabolism, food pathogens, food preservation, and the chemistry of cooking. We then explore the biology of taste and smell, the role played by genetics in producing distinct food experiences for different people, and the possible link between these sensations and memory in the brain. Finally, we examine the sources of food in our society: global versus local or seasonal foods, industrial versus organic farming, and traditionally cultivated versus genetically modified crops. We consider the effects of these choices on farmers, the environment, food, taste, and nutrition.