Philosophy of Food Spring 2022 Class Notes and Reading Schedule

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Contents

1. JAN 12: Course Introduction

  • Welcome - personal introduction and welcome.
  • First Day Food Survey.

About the Course (course content and research questions)

  • What's so exciting about studying food deeply at this time? Start a list....
  • Philosophy of Food Course Research Questions
  • Disciplines represented in the course: gastronomy, food history, bio-history, evolutionary psych, economics, politics, nutrition, microbiology, soil agronomy, food ethics.
  • Major Course Topics (see reading list): Microbiome, Macro-nutrition, Dietary Guidelines, Western Industrial Diet, Gastronomy, Food philosophy, Food History, Food and Animal Ethics, Environment and Agriculture, Food and Power, Food and Religion, Organic Diets and Organic/sustainable agriculture.
  • Practical Outcomes for you from the course: This is an academic course, but you have the option of doing a "practicum" involving specific goals you may have for your personal diet and practical approach to food. This has been added to your default grading scheme, but it is an optional assignment. You could do a Research Paper instead. (Student Introductions)

About the Course (technical information and course management)

  • Course Websites: Wiki & Courses.alfino.org (linked from alfino.org). How to log in.
  • Overview of Teaching Approach.
  • 1. Grading Schemes.
  • Required Assignments and Default Grade Weights for your Grading Scheme
  • Points 30-65% Default: 40%
  • Philosophy of Food Practicum or Research Paper 10-25%. Default: 20%
  • Ethics of Food 10-20% Default: 15%
  • Final Paper 15-35% Default: 25%
  • You will be able to make some choices about what you are graded on and the weight of different assignments. This is your "grading scheme." You can customize up to 35% of your grading scheme to suite your learning style or motivations in the course. You will also have some grade information about "Points" assignments that will allow you to raise or lower the weight of "Points". This allows you to work on early difficulties without a big effect on your final grade.
  • 2. Transparency of student work and grades.
  • In this course we use pseudonyms to allow sharing of grade information and student work - You will see most of the writing and scoring for required writing assignments, including my assessments of other student's work. This has many benefits. (Show ids and grade pseudonyms.)
  • 3. Approach to Developing Expression (Verbal and Written) .
  • a. Looking at reading comprehension. I no longer use reading quizes, but you should compare your "recall" from reading in class with others'. Comment on reading comprehension and its role in performance.
  • b. Learning to assess writing. Writers improve when they acquire skills in evaluating their own and others' writing. We will cultivate these skills directly and through peer review.
  • c. Building from small, short writing, to longer, more complex writing. The writing skills in this course are sequenced and early assignments give you performance information without affecting your grade much. (Some student introductions.)
  • Succeeding in the Course:
  • There is no final exam in this course, so your success depends upon demonstrating the philosophical skills we build toward in required and optional assignments.
  • Prep Cycle - view reading notes as you are reading, read, note, evaluate preparation against other students' access to reading content in class and small discussions. Hierarchy of skills and goals.
  • Reading - Keep track of the time you spend reading for the course. Mark a physical text. Contact me if your reading quiz scores are not what you expect. There are lots of ways to improve your reading skills.
  • Speaking and Discussion - Don't underestimate the importance of practicing the articulation of your views. This happens in class together and in small groups. Speaking well is at least as important as writing well. Small group discussions provide your most extensive opportunities to improve your articulateness ahead of writing assignments.
  • Writing - We will train on the rubric early on, you will be able to read lots of other students' writing and compare scores, and discuss your writing with me, especially during office hours. Because everything is transparent, you can compare your work to slightly higher and lower evaluated student work. This often leads to productive office hour discussions. (Some student introductions.)

Food Biographies: 1st Writing and Dropbox practice

  • Please write a 200-300 word maximum answer to the following question by Friday, January 14, 2022, 11:59pm. This assignment will give us some initial writing to look at and give you practice with the dropbox protocol for turning in pseudonymous writing in the course. For this assignment, the writing itself is ungraded, but you will receive 15 points for following the instructions accurately and meeting the deadline.
  • Topic: ::*Topic: What kind of eater are you? How would you describe your relationship to food? The following questions are meant to help you develop your answer. Do not answer the questions directly, but prepare a well-written paragraph drawing on some of the questions that are relevant to you.
  • Here are some prompts for you to consider as you prepare your food biographies:
  • How would you describe your diet? What categories of foods will you eat or not? On principle or preference?
  • Do you like foods related to your ethnicity? Do you cook?
  • How important or prominent is food in your memory as a child or your current life or both?
  • Do you engage in food related social media activity?
  • Are you a good cook? Do you dance when you cook?
  • Did your parents or guardians cook from scratch for you? Did they cook? Did you learn to cook?
  • How knowledgeable are you about nutrition? Is your experience of food connected to concerns about nutrition and dietary disease or not so much?
  • Topic:
  1. To assure anonymity, you must remove your name from the the "author name" that you may have provided when you set up your word processing application. For instructions on removing your name from an Word or Google document, [click here].
  2. Format your answer in double spaced text, in a typical 12 point font, and using normal margins. Do not add spaces between paragraphs and indent the first line of each paragraph.
  3. Do not put your name in the file or filename. You may put your student ID number in the file, but not in the filename. Always put a word count in the file. Save your file for this assignment with the name: FoodBio.
  4. To turn in your assignment, log into courses.alfino.org, click on the "#0 1st Writing and Dropbox practice" dropbox.
  5. If you cannot meet a deadline, you must email me about your circumstances (unless you are having an emergency) before the deadline or you will lose points.

To Do List from 1st Day

  • Make sure you can find the two course websites and that you understand what information and tools each provides.
  • Fill out the "First Day Food Survey" if you did not do so in class.
  • Read Nutrition, Satisfaction, Practicality and Dietary Change (also linked from main wiki page)
  • Write up your Food Biography and submit it (up to 15 points) by Friday. (see wiki notes)
  • Make plans to visit during office hours to discuss your Practicum or Research option.
  • Keep an eye out for Food News!

2. JAN 19: Unit 1: Food, Health, and Nutrition

Assigned Work

  • Sonnenbergs, C 1, "What is the Microbiota and Why Should I Care?" (26)
  • Food biographies due by midnight before this class.
  • View this movie on the Microbiome:
  • Microbiota: The Amazing Gut. 2019. Sylvie Gilman. "Hidden deep in our intestines, 100,000 billion bacteria are keeping us healthy by producing a range of molecules. Although their names may be perplexing: Fecali bacterium, Roseburia, Akkermansia mucinifila, Eubacterium halli, as well as being invisible to the naked eye, they could revolutionize the future of medicine. That is, if our modern lifestyle doesn't wipe them out first." On Amazon Prime. [1]

In-Class

  • Review of 1st Day Food Survey
  • NSP segment

Using the NSP model to think about dietary design and dietary goals

Visual Aids for thinking about your Microbiota

Intestines.jpg

Microbiomepic.png

Sylvie Gilman, "Microbiota: The Amazing Powers of the Gut"

  • Opening scene: Birth of a child. We are colonized at birth.
  • Microbiota research -- stools. Sequencing technology. The microbiome is the collective 100,000 billion. More than # of cells in your body. Why? (extended genome hypothesis -- example Vitamin C)
  • Meet the Sonnenbergs! 5:10 - Microbes manufacture compounds, drugs for us. Digestion, disease protection, vitamin production, brain effects (serotonin). Analogy to a forest.
  • Effects of modern diet - less genetic variety. More thinning. Switches to African aboriginal eaters. Jeff Leach, “Dr. Shit”. Hudza in Tanzania. 2x diversity of gut microbes. Amazon study, also. 50% more diverse. Ancestral lifestyles maintain microbiome diversity.
  • 14:15 — effects of antibiotics. Can cause extinction of species. Like a bomb. Mouse studies - even short courses of antibiotics can affect metabolism — weight gain. Immune system changed. Asthma. Effects on young mice more profound. Possible hypothesis: early exposure < 6 months predicts obesity and asthma.
  • 18:14 — Caesarean births. More research by Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Rutgers. New practice of feeding c-section babies with mix of vaginal germs.
  • Back to Hudza — high fiber diet may be a variable. 22:30. Short chain fatty acids SCFAs (also discussed in Sonnenberg reading. Erica Sonnenberg — mouse study of low fiber diet over 4 generations. Loss of 1/2 of diversity.
  • 25:05 — Effects of food additives: Emulsifiers in industrial ice cream and other industrial foods. E433 and E466. Two widespread emulsifiers in industrial foods. MOuse studies again - loss of diversity and thinning of gut mucus. 28:05. Produces intestinal inflammation, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. >anxiety! (Note how this affects your perception of the supermarket).
  • Obesity research suggest microbiota differences. Same diet, different outcomes, correlated with M diversity.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease — also Crone’s disease. Absence of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii implicated. More mouse studies. FP has protective effect. Edge of research: Can we add missing bacteria to remedy these conditions?
  • Fecal transplants 37:30. Clostridium difficile infection causes 30,000 deaths a year. Often following heavy antibiotic treatment. High cure rate.
  • 41:30 Fecal Bank. Open biome, USA. Very selective. 44:15: Segment on Crone’s patient. Tom Gravel. Approached his neighbor for donor stool. 200 donations!
  • Oncology segment — immunotherapy. Impoverished microbiota may diminish a role in efficacy of anti-cancer treatments. In human study, effects from anti-biopics prior to cancer treatment. A specific bacterium identified: Akkermansia Muciniphila. More mice.
  • Terlingua - Also a site for Leach. Think like an ecologist about your gut. 6 week high fiber diet can increase diversity by 30%. 56:00 Listen to the Sonnenberg. Treat your gut like a pet!

Sonnenbergs, C 1, "What is the Microbiota and Why Should I Care?"

  • How the world looks to a microbiologist! "Without microbes humans wouldn't exist, but if we all disappeared, few of them would notice." 10
  • Introduction to the Tube and digestion
  • Microbiota Case against the Western Diet
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease. People on Western Diet wo/IBD may still not have healthy M
  • Sets the history of human diet in context. Agriculture already a big change, but then industrial ag / industrial foods
  • Adaptability of M remarkable. Makes us omnivores. “Microbiota plasticity”
  • Baseline M - cant' be health Western Diet eaters. studies of groups like Hadza -- far more diverse.
  • 19 - Evolved Symbiotic relationship between us and bacteria --
  • Microbiota — Microbiome (the collective genotypes of the residents intestines). Example of Japanese seaweed consuming bacteria.
  • types of symbiotic relationship - parasitic, commensal (one party benefits, little or no effect on the other), mutualism. Microbiota and us have a symbiotic, mutualist relationship. Think of them as an extension of our genome. !
  • The heart warming story of Tremblaya princeps and Moranella endobia. (21) -- why we should be happy mutualists. Delegation and division of labor might create resiliance. But our fates are linked!
  • 22-30 - Cultural History and History of Science on Bacteria -- or, how germs got such a bad name.
  • Pasteur -- germ theory of diseases.
  • The Great Stink 1858 London, Miasma theory disproved, Cholera bacterium, not isolated until near end of century. Dr. Robert Koch. Because of this history we tend to think of bacteria as threats.
  • 60-70's: Abbigail Salyers: early pioneer, 2008: Human Microbiome Project. Note how recent this field is. One of the pioneers was still working in 2005.
  • Note research questions on p. 28.
  • Contemporary research: gnotobiotic mice. early fecal transplant studies of.[Dr. Jeffrey Gordon].


  • Some functions of the Microbiota:
  • Harvesting calories from MACs
  • immune system support
  • resistance to harmful bacteria
  • regulation of metabolism
  • production of seratonin
  • production of SCFAs, which affect weight control
  • involved in production of anti-carcinogenic compounds.
  • prevention of IBS and other disorders of the gut.

Some implications of Microbiome research

  • Food feeds you and your extended genome. You are eating for trillions!
  • Macronutrient information is only part of assessing the potential nutrition from food. MACs (next class)
  • It’s all about the tube!

3. JAN 24

Assigned Work

  • Sonnenbergs, C 5, "Trillions of Mouths to Feed" (111-136) (25)

In-class

  • Review of food biographies
  • The N, S, P model

The NSP Model for Dietary Change: Comparing notes on variety expectations

  • Today we will start discussing how the NSP model helps us think about dietary change.
  • General “false practicality” point: How practical is the drive-through fast food option? How much time does it take? How does it makes you feel while eating, after eating? Do you notice blood sugar spikes from ff? How long until you feel hunger again?
  • Small group exercise. Today we’ll focus on some “Satisfaction-Practicality” connections relevant to designing / re-designing your diet. Specifically, consider these questions as you head into small group discussion to hear others’ approaches and thinking.
  • How much variety do you expect from breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
  • How many different dinners would you need in your repertoire to feel like you had plenty of good choices?
  • Types of variety:
  • I want to come home knowing that I can choose from X different dinners depending on mood and conditions. (Home menu model)
  • I want my shopping to give me X dinners to choose from. It’s ok if variety decreases as the week goes by. (Variety Shopping model)
  • I’m ok scheduling each dinner by the days of the week. (Days of week meal planning.)
  • Other variety considerations:
  • I don’t want to repeat meals much within a week.
  • I’m fine eating the same thing for 2-3 nights or alternating 2 dinners over 4 days.
  • Other sources of variety
  • Seasonal rotations
  • Make shift dinners. (I can sometimes just make a salad and side veg for dinner.) Note the nutrition/practicality issues here. Easy to do and very practical if you are on top of your nutrition.

Sonnenbergs, C 5, "Trillions of Mouths to Feed"

Microbiota extinction
  • Not just from change in foods, fewer fermented foods, more sterile food and sterile environments.
  • To improve gut diversity, eat ferments and fiber. whole grains and rice. Don't sterilize your home environment. Pets and gardens help with our microbiota. (Elsewhere, food provokes an immune response. That's a good thing.)
  • Introduces acronym: MAC -- microbiota accessible carbs -- these are really complex carbs.
Our Microbiota: Recyclers
  • Microbiota mechanisms: You are what you eat. Your microbiota are what you eat.
  • Nice metaphor of intestines to waste management. Note diffs bt small intestine and large in function. 118
  • Life is hard for our M germs: no oxygen down there and transit time is fast (hopefully!). So they make short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that can metabolize in the blood stream where there is oxygen. You do get some calories from them once they are in an aerobic environment. But they are more important for us now (given that we don't have food insecurity) for their pharmacological and metabolic functions. (A reason why the "N" in NSP, should be an "H" for health.)
  • Why feed the gut? Isn't that just more calories? (116) - No. people with high scfa diets lose weight (Why? Satiety), decrease inflammation, less Western diet disease. Back to the connection between satiety and nutritional health. (N - S - P). For S, think of mouth satisfaction, stomach satisfaction, and gut satisfaction.
  • Sig. claim: 117: "Providing more..."
History of research on fibre
  • Field doctors: Thomas Cleave, 70s "The Saccharine Disease" "Bran Man"; Denis Burkitt (and Hugh Trowell) studied Westerners and Africans on fiber, stool quality, and health. 5x fiber, 2x transit. Overconsumption of refined carbs. (S&S mention here that public health attention didn't stay on refined Carbs. fear of fat, elsewhere "lipidphobia" took more attention.)
  • Digression on industrial granola bars. False nutrition image. [2]
  • Early researchers didn't have the mechanisms. Now we do, sort of.
Carbohydrates' Bad Reputation
  • Carb chemistry/metabolism basics -- 120: mono, di, poly-saccarides. also in our nutrition textbook chapters. Starches usually break down in small intestine, alot like sugar.
  • Oligosaccharides: 3-6 monosaccharides. Note unique types of saccharides in particular foods: read 121 and 126; Oligosaccharides (3-9, found in legumes, whole grains, fruits and veg. also pectin and inulin (in onions) ferment in gut.
  • Insulin resistance. Sugars and many starches cause insulin spikes leading to resistance. Big point here. At the level of MACs, plant chemical diversity is reflected in diversity of M. and it's products.
  • 122: glycemic index and glycemic load. (We'll cover this later.) show how to look up food values. note that glycemic index isn't really an issue with most whole fruits and vegetables.
Measuring MACs
  • no standard measure of dietary fiber (note discrepancies from above.) 124. So author’s prefer MACs as a term since it focuses on what the M can eat from your carbs. Roughly, carbs not mono or di-saccarides.
  • Undernourished gut bacteria can start eating the mucus lining of the gut. (This was also in a segment of one of the gut movies.). Feed them or they'll eat you!
  • RDAs: 29/38 grams. Actual Americans average: 15 grams/day. (Recall our African brothers and sisters at 100+ /day! 126: Notes that not all complex carbs are available to the M.
  • Research discovering enzyme in nori, a seaweed based sushi wrapper: found in Japanese guts. Helps digest fish. Note: Terrior. Local adaptation of the M.
  • 128: Dutch research on rich and poor M. richness of M correlates with anti-inflammatory effects, thinness, low insulin resistance, metabolic potential for pro-carginogenic compounds. French study interesting because it suggests that dietary change can quickly alter M diversity (richness).
  • Gordon's twin study on obesity. also famous 2013 FMT mouse research: need M and M-supporting diet, not just the bacteria. Note caveat 129. Can't just benefit from the microbes alone. Fecal transplant with poor diet killed off beneficial bacteria.
Refining MACs out of the diet.
  • What's wrong with refined cereal seeds (130). Wheat bread vs. Wheat berries. The form of the food matters to the fiber count. Highly milled whole wheat flour will behave differently in your gut that rough milled. Much industrial whole wheat is very finely ground.
  • Industrial bread products even if they are called "whole wheat" must removes oils for shelf life.
  • CF. whole wheat bread: 2g fiber. Cooked unmilled wheat berries (like my Farro/veg salad).
  • What about the Inuit?
  • What about excess gas? Interesting consolations.
  • 135: Note their dietary advice. A high MAC, non-industrial omnivorous diet.

4. JAN 26

Assigned Work

  • Sonnenbergs, C 6, "A Gut Feeling"

In-class

  • Practicality: Comments on food budgets
  • Satisfcation/Practicality: A 50cent egg lesson

Practicality: Comments on Food Budgets

  • Some country comparisons: [3]. Generally, American's spend under 10% of disposable income on food vs. about 14-17% for Italians, French, etc. These are rough comparisons because of wealth effects and geographic effects. Norwegians are wealthier than Americans, Italians a bit less wealthy, but Mediterranean cultures have closer access to inexpensive fresh food.
  • Still, at $20/hr, if you spend 14% of net monthly income on food, you would have about $400 to spend.

Satisfaction/Practicality: A 50cent Egg Lesson

  • The original 50cent egg lesson.
  • A new 50cent egg lesson.

The Enteric-Central Nervous System Axis

File:Microbiota-gut-Brain image1.jpg

Microbiota-gut-Brain image2.jpg

Sonnenbergs, C 6, "A Gut Feeling"

  • documents the two-way comm bt brain and gut (enteric nervous system). Gut brain is "listening" in on the trillions of microbes in the gut.
  • Central nervous system (sympathetic and parsympathetic). Autonomic functions like heart rate include "transit rate" of food, secretion of acid in stomach and mucus in intestines. Hypothalmoic-ituitary adrenal axis (HPA) controls hormones that affect digestion.
  • Gut bacteria can influence our perception of the world and behavior:
  • serotonin production
  • toxplasma gondii (rodents and cats)
  • microbe free mice are bigger risk takers. Critical phase in correcting for this.
  • mice with impaired microbiota had worse memory (141)
  • Speculate symbiotic relationship -- microbes likely improve fitness through risk aversion and memory.
  • Mechanisms -- gut bacteria produce chemicals that go into blood stream.
  • More evidence of effects on perception and behavior:
  • 2011 McMaster study: fecal transplants between anxious and gregarious strains of mice partially reversed behavior. Brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) - associated with depression, schizophrenia, and OCD. Gregarious mice has increase in BDNF after transplant. Intermediate mechanisms not completely clear.
  • 144: MACS (microbiotically available carbs) produce SCFAs, but also many other compounds, including toxins that normal kidneys filter. Lots to learn. Some stimulate appetite. Many products may be netural with respect to fitness.
  • hepatic encephalopathy -- treatments target microbes that produce toxins.
  • TMAO - trimethylamine-N-oxide. produced by microbes. implicated in cardiovascular disease. Red meat and fatty foods increase TMAO. Vegans and vegetarians have low TMAO production. Study on long term vegan who eats a steak. Still low TMAO. Might be lacking those microbes. (might argue for low meat consumption as nearly healthful as abstinance).
  • Two-way communication between "brains"
  • induce stress in mice and their microbiota change. threat slows motility and digestion. (maybe prep for action)
  • some stress events have long term effect on microbiota. 150
  • IBS - read - could be a stress induced imbalance that is hard to correct. also heightened pain perception! Some evidence in animal models that probiotics can help. Some studies in humans suggest this as well. Better studies needed.
  • ASD - autism spectrum disorders. Increasing dramatically. [4] Note connection to rise of industrial diets!
  • ASD research 2013 Caltech studies by Mazmanian - looked at maternal immune response to infection during pregnancy. Treatment with b. fragilis helped somewhat in mice. Effect might involve other microbes. B. fragilis affected over 100 other compounds in blood. Human/mice diffs are significant here. Caution.
  • 2013 UCLA fMRI study on probiotic yogurt and response to negative facial emotions.

5. JAN 31

Assigned Work

  • Nix, Stacy. Chapter 2: "Carbohydrates" Williams' Basic Nutrition and Diet Therapy (pp. 13-30).
  • Complete Carbohydrate Worksheet.
  • SW1: What's important about your microbiota?

SW1: What's important about your microbiota?

  • Stage 1: Please write an X hundred word maximum answer to the following question by TBD, 2022, 11:59pm.
  • Topic:
  • Advice about collaboration: Collaboration is part of the academic process and the intellectual world that college courses are based on, so it is important to me that you have the possibility to collaborate. I encourage you to collaborate with other students, but only up to the point of sharing ideas, references to class notes, and your own notes, verbally. Collaboration is also a great way to make sure that a high average level of learning and development occurs in the class. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to NOT share text of draft answers or outlines of your answer. Keep it verbal. Generate your own examples.
  • Prepare your answer and submit it in the following way. You will lose points if you do not follow these instructions:
  1. To assure anonymity, you must remove your name from the the "author name" that you may have provided when you set up your word processing application. For instructions on removing your name from an Word or Google document, [click here].
  2. Format your answer in double spaced text, in a typical 12 point font, and using normal margins. Do not add spaces between paragraphs and indent the first line of each paragraph.
  3. Do not put your name in the file or filename. You may put your student ID number in the file, but not in the filename. Save your file for this assignment with the name: [filename].
  4. To turn in your assignment, log into courses.alfino.org, click on the [dropbox name] dropbox.
  5. If you cannot meet a deadline, you must email me about your circumstances (unless you are having an emergency) before the deadline or you will lose points.
  • Stage 2: Please evaluate four student answers and provide brief comments and a score. Review the Assignment Rubric for this exercise. We will be using the Flow and Content areas of the rubric for this assignment. Complete your evaluations and scoring by TBD, 2022 11:59pm.
  • To determine the papers you need to peer review, open the file called "#Key.xls" in the shared folder. You will see a worksheet with saint names in alphabetically order, along with animal names. Find your saint name and review the next four (4) animals' work below your animal name. If you get to the bottom of the list before reaching 4 animals, go to the top of the list and continue.
  • Use [(Link) this Google Form] to evaluate four peer papers. Submit the form once for each review.
  • Some papers may arrive late. If you are in line to review a missing paper, allow a day or two for it to show up. If it does not show up, go back to the key and review the next animal's paper, continuing until you get four reviews. Do not review more than four papers.
  • Stage 3: I will grade and briefly comment on your writing using the peer scores as an initial ranking. Assuming the process works normally, most of my scores probably be within 1-2 points of the peer scores, plus or minus.
  • Stage 4: Back-evaluation: After you receive your peer comments and my evaluation, take a few minutes to fill out this quick "back evaluation" rating form: [backeval link]. Fill out the form for each reviewer, but not Alfino. You must do the back evaluation to receive credit for the whole assignment. Failing to give back-evaluations unfairly affects other classmates.
  • Back evaluations are due TBD, 2022, 11:59pm.

Nix, Chapter 2, "Carbohydrates"

  • Nature of
  • Carbs are a source of short term energy. All Carbs break down into sugars during metabolism.
  • Scale of simple to complex. Simple sugars (monosacharides) don't even require digestion. Starchs are complex and "slow burning".
  • Limits to the "energy" metaphor:
  • carb levels and types help regulate other processes like insulin response,
  • fiber helps with useful bacteria production, appears to reduce colon cancer, helps with bowel function and avoidance of diverticulosis.
  • carb types and level signal body to break down protein for energy or not.
  • soluble fiber binds bile acids, lowering cholesterol
  • per capita HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) up from .12 tsp daily in 1970 to 11.18 tsp in 2008. p. 15
Note warning on high fiber low iron-rich diet. Phytic acid in this diet can cause iron deficiency. You can get too much fiber, but most Americans don't.
  • Functions of p. 21.
  • reserve fuel supply is stored as glycogen in muscles [[5]] and blood sugar. Roughly 1-2 hours of aerobic exercise. glycogen also stored in the liver to regulate blood sugar.
  • carbs keep us from going into ketosis, but as we've noted, you can have a diet based on having your body in a state of ketosis.
  • Digestion
  • primarily in small intestine, through enzymes such as amalyse from the pancreas, and from the "microvilli" of the intestine which contain specific disaccaridases: sucrase, lactase, and maltase. (digression from p. 26 text box on dairying as textbook case of gene-culture co-evolution.)
  • As we learned earlier in the term, you can think of carbs as feeding both you and them (the other 15 trillion organisms you walk around with in your gut). Neither fat nor protein get into the large intestine in significant amounts. We feed our gut bacteria with carbs.
  • Recommendations
  • decrease added sugar to less than 10% of calorie intake. Current ly 28 teaspoons of added sugar a day.)
  • increase proportion of complex carbs.
  • Two practical take aways:
  • Calculating Carb amounts for your diet and noticing carb types and values in your diet. Think about your "carb profile". Is it tilted toward a high glycemic diet?
  • Understanding carb related advertising and health claims. How and why does industrial food tend toward refined carbs?

6. FEB 2

Assigned Work

  • Nix, Stacy. Chapter 3: Fats Williams' Basic Nutrition and Diet Therapy (pp. 31-46)
  • Fill out Fats Worksheet (Points)

In-class

  • Some "Fat" Details

Some "Fat" Details

  • We'll study Fats in some detail from a Nutrition textbook later in the term. For now, we should learn a bit about your "fat budget" and reasons why you might want to track the proportion of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats in your diet. This is relevant to choices of basic foods as well as the choice to eat industrial food.
  • Your fat budget: 2000 calories, 20-35% from fat, 9 grams/calorie, 44-72 grams per day. Below 22 grams. Less than 10% incompatible with health. Recommended less that 7% from saturated fat (15 grams). Let's use the Starbuck Carmel fudge brownie as an example!
  • Tracking O6 / O3: The two essential fatty acids (ones we need and can't make).
  • Go back to Pollan notes on O-6/O-3. Old nutrition news focused on reduction of saturated fat, which is still important, but new research is focused on proportion of O6/O3.
  • Go ahead to Nix, "Fats"
  • Important functions of fat: energy storage in apipose tissue, lipoproteins (lipid transport system), cell membrane structure, satisfaction!
  • Follow-up exercise: Compare various Trader Joe's packaged and prepared foods with your fat budget. TJ's trades on its healthy image, but some of its product are very high in saturated fat.


Nix, Chapter 3, "Fats"

  • Nature of lipids:
  • C, H, O -- note that Carbs are different arrangements of these.
  • fatty acids are chains of C-H bonds with a methyl group on one end (so-called the "omega") and an acid on the other (which bonds to a glycerol)
  • Saturated (so called because no spaces in the C-H string), mono-unsaturated (space at the 9th H), polyunsaturated (spaces after 6) (linoleic acid) and, if after 3, Omega-3 or (alpha-linolenic acid)
  • Visible fats: saturated fats are dense, form solids at room temp.
  • "trans" in structure and implicated in health risks, largely removed from processed foods.
  • Functions of Fats
  • Essential fatty acids: linoleic acid (omega 6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). We can produced saturated fats and cholesterol, but we cannot produce these two fatty acids.
  • 34: diet of less than 10% calories from fat not consistent with health.
  • Lipoproteins: the body's way of moving fat through the blood stream. Wrapped in protein these bundles of fat can be relatively high density (lots of fats) or low density. High density lipoproteins are important because the help with the process for removing carry cholesterol out of the body. C. 19 for more!
  • Some interesting detailed functions in phospholipids such as lecithin (for cell membranes), and eicosanoids (signaling hormones that relate inflammatory and immune response, and cholesterol, which we need for cell membrane health. Phospholipids also transport fats.
  • Fats essential for tissue strength, cholesterol metabolism, muscle tone, blood clotting, and heart action. As with carbs, you can think of fats as energy sources, but don't forget other metabolic functions.
  • Storage of energy.
  • Source of fat soluble vitamins.
  • Saiety!
  • Food Sources
  • Fat from meat is compatible with a healthy diet, but better when taken with fiber and balanced with high ratio of polyunsaturated fats. Trade up to lean meats, without skin.
  • Fish have mostly unsaturated fat [6] compared to red meat [7] or chicken [8] or a Starbuck's caramel brownie [9]! Think about your saturated fat budget goal.
  • Visible and invisible fats - similar point as the Dutch study in Moss.
  • Note pull out box on fat metabolism by ethnicity -- still very open research areas as far as mechanisms. Interesting to look into further. Hypotheses....
  • Digestion
  • In the mouth: Ebner's glands secrete lingual lipase, mostly designed for non-chewing infants.
  • Enzymes in small intestine (from pancreas), bile from gallblader, bile emulsifies fat, increasing surface area for enzymes to act. Pancreatic enzymes also enter the small intestine.
  • Frying foods at high temperatures makes digestion harder and compounds can break down into carcinogens. (Recall Lancet article.)
  • Recommendations
  • US overconsumption of sat. fats. should have less than 7% of calories from sat&trans fat combined. Some progress: US eaters went from 13 to 11%.
  • Very low fat and fat free diets are dangerous to health (p. 43). Essential fatty acid deficiency.
  • DRIs: 20-30% of calories from fat. DRI for linoleic acids at 17 g. alpha linolenic acid 1.1 g/day. Not something a person on a plant based diet needs to track. (notion of "can't miss" diet).
  • Note recommendations on p. 44.

7. FEB 7

Assigned Work

  • Nix, Stacy. Chapter 4: "Proteins" Williams' Basic Nutrition and Diet Therapy (pp. 47-63).
  • Fill out Proteins Worksheet (Points)

Nix, "Proteins"

  • Nature of
  • 20 amino acids, 9 essential; proteins are polypeptides -- chains of amino acids 100s of links long. Proteins exist in specific forms in foods (ex. casein is milk protein) and are broken down by us into amino acids and resembled as protein in metabolism.
  • Classes of amino acids: indispensable (9), dispensable (5), and conditionally indispensable (6).
  • Conditionally dispensable: Example: If low on Mthionine(essential), then you need cysteine (cond. indis.) from diet.
  • About 16% nitrogen; protein is a primary source of nitrogen in diet. Catabolism and Anabolism. 49. Nitrogen Balance is shown when excretion of urinary nitrogen occurs as by product of protein metabolism (ratio of 1 g of urinary nitrogen to 6.25 g of protein). Negative nitrogen balance can be a symptom of protein deficiency.
  • Tissue proteins, plasma proteins, and dietary protein. You dietary protein is contributing to a much larger and complex protein manufacture and delivery service. Again, consider a practical philosophical intuition here. (the PKU aspertame story is interesting in this connection.)
  • Functions of Protein Metabolism
  • Tissue growth/repair: largest component of tissue by dry weight. 75%.
  • Water and pH balance; plasma proteins can exert osmotic pressure to help circulation of tissue fluids (I think this is the "interstitium", but I'm not sure).[11] [12]
  • Proteins can take up acids to contribute to blood Ph management.
  • Metabolism, transport, immune system, energy system. Wide range of functions here. We have already met "lipproteins" that help carry fats around. Here you learn that enzymes, transport agents, and hormones also have protein structures.
  • Proteins also help make white blood cells, so support your immune system.
  • Food Sources
  • Complete proteins mostly from animal sources, including dairy, cheese.
  • Soy is the only complete plant protein.
  • Completing proteins: p. 52. also compare links ceci beans [[13]], lentils [14], peanut butter [15] and sesame seeds [[16]]. Sirloin steak [17]. Note how you can use the site to find complementary foods for foods with relatively low amino acid scores.
  • advice on vegetarian diets -
  • Digestion
  • Occurs in stomach and small intestines
  • Recommendations
  • 10-35% of calories from diet
  • .8g / Kg of body weight.
  • Overconsumption of protein by Americans, p. 59 Men at 181% of DRI
  • Debates about protein quality. [18]

Personal Protein Tally

  • We've used a "profile" metaphor to talk about carbs and fats (profiles of complexity in carbs and fat saturation for fats), but with proteins, it makes sense to "tally" or add up your intake, while watching for protein quality.
  • Calculate your protein goal in grams. 150 lbs. = 68kg x .8 = 54grams RDI /day
  • Go through your diet and look at the amounts of good protein in your day. How hard is it to meet your goal?
Food Protein Value
Breakfast
Egg/toast/butter 11
Midmorning
Muffin 6
Lunch
Ceci/fruit/yogurt 14
Appetizers - cheese/crackers 11
Dinner Options
Lentils & Rice 12
Lentil Soup 15
Black Beans & Rice 23
Tuscan Bean Soup 10
Pasta 18
Tuna 19
Salmon (8oz) 45


8. FEB 9: Unit 2: Critique of the US Industrial Food System

Assigned Work

  • Moss, Salt, Sugar, Fat, Ch. 4, "Is It Cereal or Candy?"
  • If you have not seen "Food, Inc." please watch in during this unit (video file in Shared folder)

In-class

  • Lecture from: Lawless, Kristin. Formerly Known as Food, C1 "Our Industrial Food Landscape" (4-24) (20)
  • Discussion of food extrusion and industrial fiber

Isolated Fiber in Industrial Foods

  • Isolated Fiber in industrial food
  • And you would think "fiber is fiber," but no. Isolated fiber. Also, an example of "nutritionism". Real fiber needs are not a fad.
  • Intact (soluble and insoluble) vs. Isolated (synthetically produced) - Resistant starch, polydextrose, indigestible dextrins. Research question: Are these MACs? Guessing not. FDA FAQ on dietary fiber
  • Examples of intact fiber in traditional and modern global cuisine. (Haven School CB)
  • Define nutritionism.
  • Demo nutrition site. Are there sites that track intact vs. isolated fiber?
  • Personal optional exercise: Review your diet for fiber. Try to distinguish intact vs. isolated.

Digression on Food Extrusion

  • [19]
  • So, if extrusion damages nutrition, what about pasta? Why doesn't it have a high glycemic index like breakfast cereals?
  • "In pasta products, gluten forms a viscoelastic network that surrounds the starch granules, which restricts swelling and leaching during boiling. Pasta extrusion is known to result in products where the starch is slowly digested and absorbed (59,60). Available data on spaghetti also suggest that this product group is a comparatively rich source of resistant starch (61). The slow-release features of starch in pasta probably relates to the continuous glutenous phase. This not only restricts swelling, but possibly also results in a more gradual release of the starch substrate for enzymatic digestion. Pasta is now generally acknowledged as a low glycemic index food suitable in the diabetic diet. However, it should be noted that canning of pasta importantly increases the enzymic availability of starch, and hence the glycemic response (62).[20]

Lawless, Kristin. Formerly Known as Food, Chapter 8, "Food Choice"

  • We are "upside down" on food
  • concentration of companies, controls of foods
  • poor disproportionately exposed to BPA (needs more research).
  • poor have double the diabetes rate. p. 200 other SES related food/health outcomes
  • advertising effects: logos stimulate taste buds. targeted advertising
  • Thesis: Am food companies have created a kind of acceptance of ind. foods and set of ideas about health and nutrition that are largely the product of advertising by industrial food companies over about 40 years. - food elites and food desert dwellers alike. interesting.
  • At Occupy Wall street protests: vegan oatmeal from McDonalds, veggie sandwiches from Subway.
  • Households over $60k eat the most f. food.
  • Thesis: Am food companies also divide us, stigmatizing whole foods as food for elites. McD's commercial as example. [Healthy food culture is often stigmatized as extreme, counter-cultural, and obsessive.]
  • Bloomberg soda case
  • 208: Background to industrial food advertising. Targeted women ('60s): ind food higher SES, part of the future. Critique of food movement for elitism and paternalism.


Moss, Ch. 4, "Is It Cereal or Candy?"

  • John Harvey Kellog vs. Will Kellog. Drama at Battle Creek Michigan. Will adds sugar. No turning back.
  • note early ad claims by Post for Grape-Nuts and Postum -- shows something about food psychology and tendency to fad diets.
  • $660 million to $4.4 billion 1970 to mid 80s.
  • breakfast cereal growth coincided with increased labor participation by women. Easy meal to eliminate cooking for, especially with cheap milk.
  • Ira Shannon, Dental activist!, measures sugar content on breakfast cereals after Feds refuse. 74
  • Jean Mayer, Harvard nutritionist, big deal, early obesity research. title for chapter from an essay of his. urged moving cereals over 50% sugar to the candy aisle.
  • note nomenclature issue in the public policy discussion: breakfast cereals v. breakfast foods. who cares?
  • 76: Key theoretical claim: The breakfast cereal industry responded to concern over sugar in part by developing market campaign to children and by putting marketing in charge of product development (85)
  • 76ff: political story of sugar in 1977 -- FTC over responds to concern about marketing of cereals to kids by banning all advertising to kids, arguably overplaying their hand. Battle between advertising lobby and FTC. advertising ban failed. Washington Post labels it "the National Nanny". role of gov't issue. "social engineering". still, FTC report was credible and damning on the topic of advertising sugar to kids. note the industry documents showing the industry's effort to "engineer" their consumer.
  • 2/3 price of the cereal is in the advertising (!).
  • 1990's competition from store brands -- 82ff: note value of minute market share movements. "product news" - continual change in marketing. Kellog is losing out at one point, p. 85: "This team (to address market share loss) would turn the traditional Kellogg way of creating products on its head. Instead of having the food technicians toil away in their labs experimenting with tastes and textures, the marketing folks hunted for ideas that suited the advertising needs at Kellogg first and worried about pleasing the palates of consumers second. Interesting. Possible thesis: We entered a "post truth" era in the food industry before politics.
  • Moss finishes chapter with their strategic response: concept of "permission" (when a taste is close enough for the consumer to say that had an experience of a real thing through the taste, example: the taste of rice crispy treats in a cereal. "We didn't have to be literal. We just had to have the flavor spot on." (87)
  • Key theme from Kellog's market share loss: This is a real crisis for a food company. 87ff. CinnaMon/Bad appple campaign
  • odd twist - the "Cinnamon" and "bad apple" commercials. [[21]]. Best one was taken down! Here's a page with some others. Images from Bad apple commercial
  • Frosted Mini-Wheats became "brain food". fraudulent research. 91-92 Commercial in this NPR story Also, check out these oldies. [22]
  • Kellogg even tried comparing kids who ate Mini-Wheats to kids who skipped breakfast!
  • The Kellogg story reinforces the idea that food may be a difficult business to subject to the demands of publicly traded corporations. (Note: Doesn't mean food can't benefit from other market realizations.)

9. FEB 14

Assigned Work

  • Moss, C8, "Liquid Gold"
  • Pollan, In Defense of Food, C1 "From Foods to Nutrients" (19-27) (8)
  • If you have not seen "Food, Inc." please watch in during this unit (video file in Shared folder)

Pollan, Michael. Part 1: From Food to Nutrients (19-27)

  • claims that in the 80s we started describing food in terms of nutrients.
  • credits William Prout with discovery of centrality of protein, fat, and carbs. Liebig credited also. Also discovers role of nitrogen phosphorus, and potassium in growing plants. Claims to have solved problem of nutrition. (Reductive theory).
  • discovery of vitamins 1912. Casimir Funk.
  • 22: 1977 McGovern Committee: first Diet Goals for the US.
  • Lipid hypothesis: claim that high levels of heart disease in the US were result of dietary fat consumption, especially from meat and dairy.
  • Committee rec. reducing fat intake. Backlash. To avoid targeting a particular food industry, the committee started to use broader catergories of foods and nutritional markers to identify dietary goals. Foods seen as delivery systems for nutrients. Some scientists like T. Colin Campbell objected, claiming that food and diet is still a legit level to see relationships. Heart disease might not only be about fat intake, but also lack of plant based foods.
  • Nutritionism.


Moss, Ch. 8, "Liquid Gold"

  • Wallace and Grommet on cheese: [23]
  • Stories told in this chapter: Dean Southworth and Cheese Whiz; James Lewis Kraft, cheese entrepreneur!; story of cheese in the US food economy; Kraft marketing of Philadelphia cream cheese and Paula Dean story; closing research on visible/invisible fats. There is no upper bliss point for fat!
  • Cheez Whiz; altered from original, but never a gourmet experience. Pretty much no cheese in it.
  • Am cheese consumption: 33pounds/year; 50 gallons of soda
  • traditional consumption of cheese (mention Cesare & Ornella)
  • Kraft orgins story: invented canned cheese. used in field rations. 1928: Velveeta, high sodium as by product of industrial process.
  • point is that industrial cheese can be made in a few days. fresh cheeses are quick, but real solid cheese can take 18 months or more to mature. (Is that a real value or just an old way of doing something?). note 167.
  • Cheese in US food economy
  • anti-fat campaign of 80s led to overproduction of milkfat ("Cows can't make skim milk" - maybe a clue that something's backwards), gov't subsidized milk and cheese; huge warehouses of cheese (1.9 billion pounds at a cost to taxpayers of 44billion a year) ; Reagan admin stopped this, but also raised funds from the industry for new marketing efforts to promote milk consumption. Note the gastronomy segement 171-172 - ex Kraft cheese expert Brookmann.
  • Current data on US Government cheese purchases. [24]
  • Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • "sliced" didn't work. spreading is part of the fun, but also suppresses serving size information. p. 174: no bliss point for fat.
  • Kraft Mac & Cheese. Nutritional profile might not look bad at first glance [25], but check out this comparison [26]
  • Early social media marketing effort using Food network star Paula Dean (read 178) and social media to generate interest. creating food culture. 5% boost in sales.
  • 2008 Dutch research
  • visible / invisible fats and satiety, perception of fat. results: everyone underestimated fat content, visible fat group full faster, about 10% more.
  • Personal advice: buy whole fats and eat them sparingly and mindfully. Compare satiety with Costco sized skim-fat products.
  • Puzzle: many cultures eat much more cheese than Americans. French 53, Italy 44, Germans 46, yet do not suffer dietary disease from it as we do.
  • Previous student comment: "This material makes me really glad that I don't like cheese."
  • Brief class discussion: What's your cheese strategy?

10. FEB 16

Assigned Work

  • Pollan, Michael. Part 2: The Western Diet (pp. 101-136) (35)
  • Alfino, Taxonomy of Successes and Failures of the US Industrial Food System (in shared folder)

In-class

  • Resisting Industrial Foods

Pollan, Part II of In Defense of Food

  • Part II : Western Diet and diseases of civilization
  • Chapter 1: The Aborigine in all of us
  • Summer 1982 - W. Australia aborigines study -- "metabolic syndrome" -- defined, theorized as signature disease of western diet. [27]
  • O'Dea's results p. 87. Note that she didn't look for a silver bullet, a single factor. Just the diet change.
  • Major premise: Compare us to many traditional diet populations and the difference in diseases profile is stark. It might be the "whole diet pattern" rather than a single imbalance. (The imbalances are symptoms.)
  • Chapter 2: The Elephant in the Room
  • Group of early 20th c intellectuals/doctors (bot 90) noticed absence of chronic disease in populations they traveled to.
  • British doc Dens Burkitt: "Western Diseases" -- diseases attributable to western diet and lifestyle.
  • Pollan chooses the story of Weston Price from this group.
  • Two objections to hyp that Western diet is to blame: disease/race theory (but evidence from mixed ethnicity/race cultures like US suggests not), demographic theory (we live longer, so we get more disease). In both cases, the evidence refutes the claim.
  • Weston Price -- b. 1870. diseases of teeth are effects of Western diet. 1939 major work after global travels looking at teeth. Lots and lots of teeth. kind of an amateur scientists, but collected important data (and seen right by later dental research). hard to find control groups. Price found big differences in Vit A and D. (Note comment about Masai -- . Multiple successful diets for omnivores.) pl 98: note comparison of groups with wild animal flesh and agriculturalists.
  • first to make comparisons of grass fed / winter forage fed animals to find vitamin differences. Example from Pure Eire Dairy
  • decline of nutrition in current vegetables and fruits: [28]
  • Albert Howard 99 -- "father" of organic farming movement; early 20th century; similar time period, making argument against synthetic nitrogen (more later). both pioneers in what would later be seen as an ecological approach to food production.
  • Important: Among first to see a connection between dietary diseases of the food system as part of an "ecological dysfunction". (This is a theme that will occupy alot of our attention in the course.)
  • Chapter 3: The Industrialization of Eating
  • thesis: Calling for a more ecological way of thinking about food. think of food as mutual adaptation of plants and animals to humans. propagation/place in ecology of food chain. example of fruit: ripeness, transportation, high nutrient state. Corn vs. corn syrup. (Note point about possible future humans who could use HFCS. also true of milk in history of agriculture. Pollan doesn't quite give the details on milk. not like a light switching on. Textbook example of gene-culture co-evolution. Selective advantage for those who keep lactase expression going past breast feeding. You can always leave it to natural selection to favor those who can get on with the new diet.)
  • Types of Changes that mark the Western Industrial Diet
  • 1. From Whole Foods to Refined
  • prestige of refined products: prior to roller technology, white rice and flour would be labor added, story of grain rollers 107, Refined flour is the first industrial fast food. Fresh flour lasts days. 108: specific details germ/endosperm, but also local mills, water power. Fortified bread. B vitamins added back in to reduce pellagra and beriberi.
  • 1996: added folic acid.
  • Jacobs and Stefffen study: epidemiological study showing effects of whole grains, but also that groups not eating whole grains, but getting equivalent nutrients did not enjoy benefits. alludes to possible wholism in effects. Sugar intake since 1870's. Sugar data
  • 2. From Complexity to Simplicity
  • The flip side of food degradation is soil degradation. nitrogen fertilizers. simplification through chemical processing. control. Documented nutrient decline in foods (also article above).
  • simplification of plant species in industrial foods. Again, appearance of greater variety in industrial food store, but products actually represent a small variety plants and animals. 116 for details.
  • details on loss of food crop diversity. [29]. Industrial publication on loss of crop diversity.
  • conclusion: there may be a false economy in industrial food production. varietals, soil, diversity of food have values that are lost in assessing costs at the retail level and without this knowledge.


  • 3. Quality to Quantity
  • Industrial food system has favored cheap macro-nutrients over cheap whole foods. (whole foods in Italian significantly cheaper.)
  • decline in nutrient content (118-119: review), "nutritional inflation," interest in "phytochemicals" -- seem related to anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • False food value lesson from "nutritional inflation" : You get a larger variety of X fruit or veg with less nutrition, but it's cheaper. Problem is that you have a limited volume of food intake, so you lose value in the end and possibly compromise nutrition. Simplification of species diversity and monoculture of ag. corn and soy are very efficient producers of carb calories. but then we draw less food diversity by focusing on these two.
  • decline in food nutrient content from food grown in impoverished soil. Calls the result "nutritional inflation" because you have to get greater volumes of food to get your nutrition. some details on how soils matter: growing time affects mineral and vitamin levels (bio-accumulation). some evidence that organic plants have chemicals related to immune responses.
  • "overfed and undernurished"
  • cites Bruce Ames, serious researcher interest in micronutrition and cancer. Interesting theory (unproven) that "satiety" mechanisms are tied to nutrition such that a malnurished body always feels hungry.
  • 4. Leaves to Seeds
  • shift from leaves to seeds decreases anti-oxidants and phytonutrients in our diet.
  • Mentions Susan Allport's The Queen of Fats
  • more seeds tilt in the fat profile of the food product toward O6. less healthy fat. O3 fats spoil faster, so tend to be removed from industrial food. nutritional advice to move toward seed oils didn't originally distinguish O3 from O6.
  • Claims that lipidphobia led us to shift to seed oils (give up butter --which has some 03 fats and move to corn -- which is high in 06 fats) and that led to a change in ratio of O6/O3 from 3:1 to 10:1. note the connection p. 129 between fat profile and sense of "food security" -- interesting digression here. Could we have a deep fear of hunger that still leads us to choose overeating, especially of caloric foods?
  • O3 decline also related to mental health. 130
  • 5. From Food Culture to Food Science
  • shift from reliance on national / ethnic food cultures to science.

Resisting Industrial Foods

  • You can reverse each of the trends Pollan identifies in his discussion of industrial food and the Western Diet that it supplies.
  • Quality to Quantity: "Pay more eat less". Comparisons of taste (and nutrition) between industrial and non-industrial foods. Taste (in a basic food) as guide to soil quality.
  • More leaves. Omega 6 and 3 issue. Fiber and microbiota. How do you get more plants in your diet? N S P. Practicality in the supply chain is the hardest part here. Maximizing taste and freshness, food deserts. Examples in Spokane: high quality produce and CSA/Linc foods.
  • Back to Food Culture: Charms of American and global cuisine.
  • Is American cuisine different from traditional cuisines? Might be considered an "interrupted" or "melting pot" cuisine. Based on expansion into a territory abundant with meat and commericial industrial culture in which novel taste and marketing drive market share. A culture of consumers not tied strongly to cuisines of ethnic origin (note exceptions). We're weird.
  • Value of traditional historical global cuisines -- long history of creating nutritious and tasty diets (not just dishes) under conditions of food scarcity. Pre-urban cuisines had greater use of higher quality oils (digress on Italian oil buying habits), access to fresh herbs (expensive in urban food culture). Again with "cucina povera". In terms of practicality, traditional cuisines often create diversity of dishes from common patterns of herbs, spices, and cooking methods. Compare to stocking and supplying an international/global cuisine kitchen. Food waste. A foodie could have a very austere yet satisfying and practical kitchen modelling cooking on a traditional "cucina povera".

11. FEB 21: Unit 3: Gastronomy, Neurogastronomy, and Dietary Change

Assigned Work

  • Barber, Dan. Chapter 30: "Seed" from The 3rd Plate (382-409) (27)
  • The big idea from the Land Institute: The Land Institute, big idea in 3 minute video
  • Gordon Shepherd, Neurogastronomy Chapters 2, 7 (17)
  • Upload "Culinary Cosmos" photos
  • SW2: Assessing Industrial Foods

In-class

  • Barber, Dan. Introduction The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food, (1-22). (22)
  • Culinary Cosmos Photo Upload.

SW2: Assessing Industrial Foods

  • Stage 1: Please write an X hundred word maximum answer to the following question by TBD, 2022, 11:59pm.
  • Topic:
  • Advice about collaboration: Collaboration is part of the academic process and the intellectual world that college courses are based on, so it is important to me that you have the possibility to collaborate. I encourage you to collaborate with other students, but only up to the point of sharing ideas, references to class notes, and your own notes, verbally. Collaboration is also a great way to make sure that a high average level of learning and development occurs in the class. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to NOT share text of draft answers or outlines of your answer. Keep it verbal. Generate your own examples.
  • Prepare your answer and submit it in the following way. You will lose points if you do not follow these instructions:
  1. To assure anonymity, you must remove your name from the the "author name" that you may have provided when you set up your word processing application. For instructions on removing your name from an Word or Google document, [click here].
  2. Format your answer in double spaced text, in a typical 12 point font, and using normal margins. Do not add spaces between paragraphs and indent the first line of each paragraph.
  3. Do not put your name in the file or filename. You may put your student ID number in the file, but not in the filename. Save your file for this assignment with the name: [filename].
  4. To turn in your assignment, log into courses.alfino.org, click on the [dropbox name] dropbox.
  5. If you cannot meet a deadline, you must email me about your circumstances (unless you are having an emergency) before the deadline or you will lose points.
  • Stage 2: Please evaluate four student answers and provide brief comments and a score. Review the Assignment Rubric for this exercise. We will be using the Flow and Content areas of the rubric for this assignment. Complete your evaluations and scoring by TBD, 2022 11:59pm.
  • To determine the papers you need to peer review, open the file called "#Key.xls" in the shared folder. You will see a worksheet with saint names in alphabetically order, along with animal names. Find your saint name and review the next four (4) animals' work below your animal name. If you get to the bottom of the list before reaching 4 animals, go to the top of the list and continue.
  • Use [(Link) this Google Form] to evaluate four peer papers. Submit the form once for each review.
  • Some papers may arrive late. If you are in line to review a missing paper, allow a day or two for it to show up. If it does not show up, go back to the key and review the next animal's paper, continuing until you get four reviews. Do not review more than four papers.
  • Stage 3: I will grade and briefly comment on your writing using the peer scores as an initial ranking. Assuming the process works normally, most of my scores probably be within 1-2 points of the peer scores, plus or minus.
  • Stage 4: Back-evaluation: After you receive your peer comments and my evaluation, take a few minutes to fill out this quick "back evaluation" rating form: [backeval link]. Fill out the form for each reviewer, but not Alfino. You must do the back evaluation to receive credit for the whole assignment. Failing to give back-evaluations unfairly affects other classmates.
  • Back evaluations are due TBD, 2022, 11:59pm.

Barber, "Introduction" The 3rd Plate

  • Browse to these three restaurants
  • Blue Hill and Stone Barnes -- as a project [[30]]
  • Chez Panisse [31]
  • Story of Eight Row flint corn at Blue Hills. sig. "varietal restoration" "heritage cultivation"
  • Story of the summer of corn at Blue Hills Farm when Barber was a kid. Note diffs.
  • planted in "Three Sisters"
  • polenta not typically thought of as high flavor experience, but in this case it was.
  • Barber says (8) that the polenta story is the kind of experience he found himself repeating. What does he mean. What are the main features of the polenta story?
  • Barber's "Plates"
  • some background on "farm to table" "artisanal eaters" "locavores" -- (another side of industrial food, esp. for a chef, is the effect of varieties and production methods on flavor).
  • chef as activist (p. 10 reference to Paul Bocuse) -- Wolfgang Puck -- eventually industrial food system produces a version of the chef's innovation.
  • p. 11ff: Barber's critique of farm to table and the 1st and 2nd plates. Criticizing the way we eat: protein-centric plate, small side of veg Protein consumption per capita by country
  • Some detail on Blue Hills.
  • lamb chop story-- Problem: farm serving table. Table is still in charge of the plate. "cherry picking ingredients that are often ecologically demanding and expensive to grow" So, eliminate the menu! p.14 top of 15. Note characterization of American cuisine vs. French and Italian. No peasant heritage to base it on. Am: immoderation, big slabs of meat. (Carla's story Fall 2018 - What it means to have a place based culinary identity).
  • 16: Note discussion of cuisine - based on ingredients local and sustainable.
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd plates 17. Claim: "The future of cuisine will represent a paradigm shift, a new way of thinking about cooking and eating that defies Americans' ingrained expectations." 18 Note that he gives another definition of the 3rd Plate at p. 21.
  • 18: "truly delicious food is dependent on an entire system of agriculture. .... 21: the thrid plate goes beyond raising awareness about the importance of farmers and sustainable agriculture. I helps us recognize that what we eat is part of an integrated whole, a web of relationships, that cannot be reduced to single ingredients"
  • The food "supply chain" is an ecology. The implication is that we can assess it in terms of sustainability, flavor, quality, diversity...etc.

Barber, Dan. Chapter 30: "Seed" (pp. 382-409)

  • Introductory story of the tomato fungus. fungus worse because spread from trucks, but also highlighting varietal system. Mountain Magics resist blight fungus and still taste good. We meet the Cornell breeders of this variety. Theme of the chapter: how does the work of plant breeders affect the food system, especially flavor and yield. Story of Flvr Savr Calgene's gmo industrial tomato. discontinued.
  • Background on Land grant breeeding programs. 1862, with USDA, experiment station, extension service added in 1914. Can have negative effects from success. Breeding programs raised yields, but also lowered prices. 388: description of the work of the breeder. Really agriculture's artists.
  • Terroir for wheat? Aragon 03, kept alive in a corner of Spain, in high demand.
  • Palouse Heritage -- take a look at the landrace/heirloom food system for cereal terroir in the Northwest.
  • Steve Jones, formerly of WSU, now Washington State Research and Extention Center, Mt Vernon (and Bread Lab) background story - how land grant seed banks work, fateful meeting with Monsanto (p. 395), 1880 Bayh-dole Act. by 1990s majority funding from private industry.
    • Specialty wheat in Skagit Valley. (So, if wheat were a fresh crop, we would also be supporting crop rotation over syn fertilizers.)
  • Nice narrative moment with the farmers and Jones. Interesting point about how the flavor yield trade off occurs more in plant that have been selected for size and water. Harder to ramp up flavor with all that water. Also, older wheat variety had higher nutrition. Claim of 50% more calcium, iron, and zinc.
  • Digress on Fall 2018 Florence "Ancient Grains Seminar" (Sharepoint)
  • Jones wants to move beyond heirloom varieties. Still ways to improve and diversify strains.


Gordon Shepherd, Neurogastronomy Chapters 2, 7, 11, 18, 19, 21, 27

C2: Dogs, Humans, and Retronasal Smell
  • comparison of dog’s snout and sniffing with human. Import how motor functions and anatomy are integrated to behavior. Mice sniff up to 10x a second!
  • Inside the snout: modern mammals engage in ortho and retronasal olfaction. Receptors in nasal bulb direct to brain.
  • Evolution of the Human Nose: Why we don’t have snouts....bipedalism or diet. Argued in evo theory that decline of the snout led to ascendency of vision. Stereoscopic vision possible without the snout. Human olfaction favors retronasal vs. Dogs. Retronasal more emphasis on what we put in our mouths. 25-26: mechanics of chewing, sampling by taste buds, air flow, heating, humidification, retronasal olfaction,
  • Why would retronasal olfaction be favored in humans? Bipedalism increased our range and exposure to food varieties. Cooking. Origins of “cuisine” in emergence of cooking 400,000 years ago. (Note both are food explanations.)
C7: Images of Smell
  • The Olfactory Bulb: molecular and neural pathways at the bulb. Glomerulus (glom) - convergence site of receptor cells. Interneurons: often specialized processors. Periglomeral cells, Mitral cells, tufted cells. Granule cells.
  • How does olfactory bulb represent smell? Story of discovery: 1930s Edgar Adrian, hedgehogs, noticed how patterns of excitation could create an “image” of the smell. Sokoloff method for tracking energy used by the brain with a marker for glucose uptake. Important work that led to PET and fMRI. Follows his own research from 70s in using this method to track energy use in the olfactory bulb as it is exposed to odors. Confirms idea of a “smell image” or pattern of activation. Started to fill in a “map” of the receptor sites on the bulb. 1990s.
C11 Creating, Learning, and Remembering Smell
  • lateral olfactory tract — context output from the bulb to the olfactory cortex in the brain. Long in humans. What is its role?
  • importance of pyramidal cells. 100: capable of feedback excitation to stimulating cells. Thought important to memory. Damaged in dimentica patients.
  • 101: Olfactory cortex “serves as content-addressable memory for association of odor stimuli with memory traces of odors. “. Structures that support this claim. Herb rule - identifies activity that suggest memory and learning. Interesting parallels between odor recognition and face recognition.
  • 103: summary of functions of olfactory cortex. Not clear if perception of smell itself arises in ol. Cortex. Some research suggesting that it can detect the absence of the essential amino acids.
  • key ideas: knowledge of mechanisms for understanding memory and flavor; learning mechanism, may even detect amino acids.
C18 Putting it all Together: The Human Brain Flavor System
  • opening summary of the "human brain flavor system."
  • reference and quote from Brillat-Savarin, the first “gastronome” . Nice continuity between early language and neurogastronomy.
  • sensory system vs action system
  • sensory system:
  • flavor also produced by smell, taste, mouth-sense, sight, sound.
  • multi-sensory integration, or “Supra-addivtivity” involves congruent repetition of combinations of stimuli. “internal brain image” of the flavor object.
  • read summary sentence, p. 160: “A consensus is emerging....” [Think about this a minute....]
  • action system
  • chart on p. 161 matching brain structures to aspects of flavor perception. The action system includes emotional response, memory, decision making, plasticity (how the activity of the body/brain — in this case eating— changes the brain) Language, consciousness. (Each treated in next section. We sample the chapter on emotions.)
C19: Flavor and Emotions
  • emotions moves us toward action, but also reflect our internal state of desiring and wanting. What is diff between want and craving?
  • research from Monell Chemical Senses Institute. Cravings implicated in eating disorders. Dull diets stimulate craving. Marcia Pelchat and colleagues looked at parallels between food cravings and drug craving. In a study, one group of test subjects were on a monotonous diet and another on a normal diet. In brain imaging, the monotonous eaters produced strong activation when asked to imagine a favorite food. Supports hypothesis that there is a common circuitry to natural and pathological rewards (food and drugs). 168ff: discussion of brain structures implicated in the study. Hippocampus, insula, caudate nucleus. Caudate includes high concentration of dopamine. Also part of the striatum, which involves habits (which probably involve dopamine). When we are hungry, we can activate food memories and emotional responses in anticipation of the food.
  • [An implication of this for eating is that hunger plays a key role in satisfaction. The hungrier eater produces stronger anticipatory activation. “Hunger is the best relish.” “Images of desire” maybe be important to satisfaction. But also, this research suggests that an unsatisfied brain (one on a dull diet) is more likely to produce cravings . In a sense the brain demands satisfaction. read at 168. Digression on question: Does the industrial diet produce real satisfactions? Mixed evidence. ]
  • chocolate-satiety study (Dana Small) — test subjects eat chocolate to satiety while in imaging. Difference in activation can be thought of as a change in the flavor image (for chocolate) under conditions of craving and satisfaction. Mentions concept of “reward value” current in brain research. cool idea here is that our flavor images change with our hunger states.
C21: Flavor and Obesity
  • considers the case of french fries in relation to the flavor perception system. Salt, fat, and sweetness (SFS). Discusses the meat flavor from tallow, now artificially added. Adds in the rest of the typical fast food meal. Chased with coffee and a cookie. Coffee has over 600 volatile molecules. Point: the fast food meal involves sensory overload.
  • Overeating:
  • sensory overload;
  • caloric density; reduced roughage.
  • But also “Sensory-specific satiety” . Single flavors diminish appetite while multiple flavors amplify it. You can eat more food if it includes multiple flavors. The complexity of industrial flavors increases our ability to overconsume them. 187
  • long-term overstimulation of skin and membranes of the lips and mouth. Interesting research shows obese test subjects have more activation of these areas even while not eating. [this supports the idea of a learned behavior from food conditioning]
  • Conditioned overeating: Other research by Dana Small. You can induce extra eating in rats with conditioned stimuli (bell). Humans have wide field of potential conditioning stimuli.
  • Other research suggests that ineffective inhibitory circuits play a role in obesity.
  • Others speculate that the reward value of food for obese is too low. The brain doesn’t register enough pleasure from a normal diet.
  • Kessler: combination of SFS culprit (note that in Kessler’s theory several of the above theories are included.)
C27: Why Flavor Matters
  • brief summary.
  • Flavor at different life stages:
  • In the womb: flavors in amniotic fluid, rat study showing odor preference established pre-natally. Diet studies with pregnant women (using anise or carrot juice for eample) show similar results.
  • In infants: flavor and preference also communicated through breast milk
  • In childhood: research showing kids are hyper sensitive to SFS foods.
  • In adolescents.
  • Flavor and dieting in adults. Doesn’t work. 238: “key element missing in most discussions of diet is flavor”. Very important point. Cites Brownell’s “Food Fight” (2004) and Barbara Rolls.
  • In old age: research on loss of smell sense.

12. FEB 23

Assigned Work

  • Kessler, The End of Overeating, Chs 1-3 (3-17) (14)
  • Gordon Shepherd, Neurogastronomy Chapters 11, 18, and 19 ()
  • Excerpt from Nose Dive

Kessler, The End of Overeating, Chs 1-7 pp. 3-45

  • Some comments about approaching "unhealthy eating patterns" (expand list), some baseline data, and Kessler's basic theory.

C1

  • obesity trend of the 1980s. by late 80s 1/3 of pop bt. 20 and 74 overweight. (2017: 42.4% obese (note: not just overweight). J
  • Historic comparisons: 1960-2000, average weight of women in their 20s goes from 128 to 157. Also other deciles. Data also revealed that some people were gaining a lot more than the average.

C2

  • obesity is the result of eating too much food. Confusing to separate metabolism, etc. People underreport consumption. Studies to support claims. P.8
  • homeostasis: tendency of body systems to maintain bodily states within a particular range of variation. Communication occurs throughout the body to this end. But homeostasis can’t explain weight gain. Homeostasic system can be overwhelmed by the “reward system”. Anticipations of reward motivate exertion. Some animal studies show direct stimulation of reward seeking behavior. Even to cross electrified floor.
  • Can some kinds of food stimulate us to keep eating?

C3

  • palatability - def. a food with an agreeable taste, but in food science - a food that motivates more consumption. [Let's think about the definition a bit: Does it have to be connected to overconsumption?]
  • palatable foods engage sugar, salt, and fat, but also sensory cues. Research (13) on combined effects of sugar and fat. Underlies many palatable features of food. Combinations of fat and sugar chosen over other mixes. Can make food hyperpalatable. Example of "hyper-palatability" in industry and as a research concept in food science.
  • 15: research showing that consumption of SFS optimized foods increases further consumption. (Very consequential, if true!)
  • Sclafani research. Neat fruit-loop lab detail. Just chillin' with his rats.: feeding rats a supermarket sample of palatable food makes them obese.
  • Some palatability research not in the reading:

C4

  • examples of foods that layer S F and S. (Gordy's lemon chicken, much like p. 20 "Chicken Pot Stickers")
  • reports from food execs confirming that industrial food design focuses on highly stimulating and palatable foods. Common popular restaurant foods described in terms of stacking fat on fat on sugar on salt on fat, ... etc. fat with a little lettuce!

C5

  • critical of “set point theory” more interested in version he calls “settling point” theory. A kind of equilibrium between appetite (which both a drive to eat and capacity to be satisfied and expenditure - physical work and body that burns calories effectively. Constant access to highly palatable foods drives up settling point. (Kind of acknowledges that there is wide variation in the hold (capture) of high SFS foods.
  • p. 25: Discussion with other people who find weight control challenging. note descriptions. Important qualification: Food cravings are not unique to overweight people. Significance of this section, I think: Most of you probably don't have similar reactions. His point.

C6

  • rewarding foods are reinforcing. Reinforcing measured by willingness to work for substance and whether other stimuli can become associated with it. (Mention Neurogastronomy coming later to show how this works.)
  • food can be an effective reward even in the absence of hunger. Animal studies to show this.
  • “conditioned place paradigm”. — tendency to prefer the location in which a reward was experience.
  • Other influences: portion, concentration of rewarding ingredients, variety.

C7

  • Neural account of high SFS / palatable foods. Neuron encodes when it fires more often from a stimuli. Complex patterns can be encoded from food experience.
  • Taste is predominant. “Orosensory self-stimulation”. Opioid circuitry stimulated by food. P. 37: mechanisms of the reward system. Imp of nucleus accumbens.
  • Claims there is a mutually reinforcing effect between highly palatable foods and opioid circuits.
  • Some evidence (Wooley p. 38) that highly palatable foods interfere with or override taste specific satiety (a mechanism that should reduce the reward experience of food at margins), which predicts that we will get tired of a single taste more quickly than if other tastes are present. Stimulation of the opioid circuits in animals overrode boredom with single taste.

13. FEB 28

Assigned Work

  • Gordon Shepherd, Neurogastronomy Chapters 21 and 27 ()
  • Kessler, The End of Overeating, Ch 4-7 (20)
  • See reading notes above.

14. MAR 2

Assigned Work

  • Kessler, Chapters 27-32, p.(137-165) (28)
  • Rolls, Barbara, "The Role of Energy Density in the Overconsumption of Fat," American Society for Nutritional Sciences, 2000, 246-253. (7)
  • Notice of "Heavy Reading Days" coming in later March. Please read ahead over break.

In-class

  • Burkhard Bilger, "Can Babies Learn to Love Vegetables?," New Yorker, Nov 25, 2019 (12)
  • Tarragon & Moreno, "Role of Endocannabinoids on Sweet Taste Perception, Food Preference, and Obesity-related Disorders" Chemical Senses v. 43, 3-16, 2018. (13)

Burkhard Bilger, "Can Babies Learn to Love Vegetables?

  • 1st theme: The Good Tastes Study - Susan Johnson U of Col. pediatrics. Baby taste tests.
  • 2nd theme: Calvin Schwabe - veternary epidemiologist UC Davis. Unmentionable Cuisine . We're omnivores. We're passing up alot of food, like cats and beetles. In a sense we are our tastes -- supertasters, low tasters/high sugar preference. Julie Menella from Monell Chemical Senses. omnivores/brain plasticity (recall Shepard)
  • 3rd theme: Saskia Sorrosa, CEO of Fresh Bellies -- Ecuadoran, didn't like baby food options for her daughter. Represents traditional cuisine argument for baby food (at the end of the article you get another example): babies eat adult foods, specially prepared. Palette Training - [interesting idea that our palattes are trained, even before birth, and in early childhood (Mennella - everything gets through to the fetus). Possibly the same systems and mechanisms as you would encounter in changing your diet (we are all Judge 7). Fresh Bellies is doing very well (new food economy!) Their formula: no added sugar, natural (acid) preservation instead of industrial pasteurization. 3x price (maybe another 50 cent egg lesson?)
  • baby food industry back story -- 9 billion - mostly fruit and sweetened vegetables. Amy Bentley, Inventing Baby Food. Before vitamin discovery, veggies seen as source of illness due to unclearn conditions.
  • 1921 Harold Clapp, first baby food. Some details there. 1969 baby food scandals - contamination and research on rats showing hypertension from baby food. 1/3 of baby food homemade.
  • 4th theme: Inside Gerber's baby food testing facility. 2/3 market share! "baby black ops site". Judge #7. Baby sugar bliss points are twice adults. From 1970 - 2000 childhood obesity tripled. 7 month olds drinking soda. Gerber adds fruit to everything, not added sugar anymore. [But what sort of palatte training is fruit and veg? Or yours? How does your diet train your palatte?]
  • Palatte training claim: it takes 10 tries. Most parents give up after 3-4 tries.
  • New industrial baby and early childhood foods in development. More squeezable tubes for delivery.
  • 5th theme - from baby food to military foods (big theme in food nutrition awareness historically was from military preparedness. Many battles lost to scurvy and malnutrition). How fighter pilots eat.
  • Closing scene at African market in Maine. How people from non-industrial cuisines feed their babies. But you have to have a cuisine to do this. Americans have an "interrupted cuisine"

Tarragon & Moreno, "Role of Endocannabinooids on Sweet Taste Perception, Food Preference, and Obesity-related Disorders"

  • You could work from the abstract on this one. I just wanted you to see some technical research to balance the Nyer article. Also, the research paradigm in this article connects with the "conditioned hypereating" theory of Kessler and depends upon findings in neurogastronomy.
  • Summary: Claims that highly palatable food is part of obesity problem. References mechanisms of food choice: reward system, environmental cues, internal factors. The article is a literature review of: 1. research on how our food tastes emerge and get fixed, especially sweet taste; 2. how genetics, experience, lifestyle, etc. influence palette; 3. the role of the "endocannabinoid system (ECS)" in setting the palette.
  • Some highlights: research on parallel between food cravings and drug cravings (also in Kessler and Shepard). Details of sweet receptors (recently found in the gut, adipose tissue, and the brain, as well). There is a genetic dimension to sweet taste perception. p. 4 - people with particular alleles of the T1R genes have greater sweetness discrimination (note, they may have a more multi-sensory experience of sweetness). (table 1 summarizes some of this research).
  • ECS (endocannabinoid system) - mechanisms. [Digresssion: From wiki page on ECS: "A related study found that endocannabinoids affect taste perception in taste cells[60] In taste cells, endocannabinoids were shown to selectively enhance the strength of neural signaling for sweet tastes, whereas leptin decreased the strength of this same response. While there is need for more research, these results suggest that cannabinoid activity in the hypothalamus and nucleus accumbens is related to appetitive, food-seeking behavior.[57]"
  • eCBs are synthesized as part of the chemical system that gives us hedonic responses from food. Example practical studies: Argueta p. 6. "Dysregulation" of the ECS is related to decrease in pleasure from food. Some research, p. 7, on effects of high O6/O3 ratios on ECS. Connections also between ECS and inflammation, depression.
  • from conclusion.


Rolls, Barbara, "The Role of Energy Density in the Overconsumption of Fat,"

  • The nutrition rock star herself. [32]
  • Energy density theory - High energy dense, low volume foods cause lower levels of satiety.
  • Back to "Does fat make you fat?" - Maybe the energy density of fat, like the density of highly palatable foods, makes you unsatiated (or satiated too quickly). Old idea: fat has a unique ability to make you fat. New research, when controlled for energy density, fats and carbs have similar effects on satiety (measured as subsequent food intake after a "pre load" of some food under study).
  • water as beverage vs. water in foods (as in youtube) -
  • 269S: studies suggesting that we eat by weight, not by energy intake. So the same amount of food by weight, if energy dense, will increase our calorie intake. [Any speculations on why we might have evolve to connect satisfaction to volume of food, not just energy?]
  • Note: High volume, high nutrition, low density foods are typical of humble cuisines.

15. MAR 14: Unit 4: Food Culture

Assigned Work

  • Barber, Dan. Chapter 12: "Land" from The 3rd Plate (158-173) (15)
  • Ruhlman, "How the A&P Changed the Western World" (29-42) (13)
  • SW3: Neurogastronomy and Dietary Change

SW3: Neuro-gastronomy and Dietary Change

  • Stage 1: Please write an X hundred word maximum answer to the following question by TBD, 2022, 11:59pm.
  • Topic:
  • Advice about collaboration: Collaboration is part of the academic process and the intellectual world that college courses are based on, so it is important to me that you have the possibility to collaborate. I encourage you to collaborate with other students, but only up to the point of sharing ideas, references to class notes, and your own notes, verbally. Collaboration is also a great way to make sure that a high average level of learning and development occurs in the class. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to NOT share text of draft answers or outlines of your answer. Keep it verbal. Generate your own examples.
  • Prepare your answer and submit it in the following way. You will lose points if you do not follow these instructions:
  1. To assure anonymity, you must remove your name from the the "author name" that you may have provided when you set up your word processing application. For instructions on removing your name from an Word or Google document, [click here].
  2. Format your answer in double spaced text, in a typical 12 point font, and using normal margins. Do not add spaces between paragraphs and indent the first line of each paragraph.
  3. Do not put your name in the file or filename. You may put your student ID number in the file, but not in the filename. Save your file for this assignment with the name: [filename].
  4. To turn in your assignment, log into courses.alfino.org, click on the [dropbox name] dropbox.
  5. If you cannot meet a deadline, you must email me about your circumstances (unless you are having an emergency) before the deadline or you will lose points.
  • Stage 2: Please evaluate four student answers and provide brief comments and a score. Review the Assignment Rubric for this exercise. We will be using the Flow and Content areas of the rubric for this assignment. Complete your evaluations and scoring by TBD, 2022 11:59pm.
  • To determine the papers you need to peer review, open the file called "#Key.xls" in the shared folder. You will see a worksheet with saint names in alphabetically order, along with animal names. Find your saint name and review the next four (4) animals' work below your animal name. If you get to the bottom of the list before reaching 4 animals, go to the top of the list and continue.
  • Use [(Link) this Google Form] to evaluate four peer papers. Submit the form once for each review.
  • Some papers may arrive late. If you are in line to review a missing paper, allow a day or two for it to show up. If it does not show up, go back to the key and review the next animal's paper, continuing until you get four reviews. Do not review more than four papers.
  • Stage 3: I will grade and briefly comment on your writing using the peer scores as an initial ranking. Assuming the process works normally, most of my scores probably be within 1-2 points of the peer scores, plus or minus.
  • Stage 4: Back-evaluation: After you receive your peer comments and my evaluation, take a few minutes to fill out this quick "back evaluation" rating form: [backeval link]. Fill out the form for each reviewer, but not Alfino. You must do the back evaluation to receive credit for the whole assignment. Failing to give back-evaluations unfairly affects other classmates.
  • Back evaluations are due TBD, 2022, 11:59pm.

Ruhlman, "How the A&P Changed the Western World"

  • Modern supermarket: 40-50,000 items. Strong market pressure not to miss consumer preference. In '75 only 9,000.
  • Some evidence that lots of choices undermines rational decision making 31. 15 types of eggs. not just small, med, large.
  • background of stores against which rise of "A&P tea company" took place. Started with a brand of tea. Higher profit margin that groceries.
  • three innovations: brand, premiums, trading stamps. baking powder a novel product (note, not in Italy).
  • Importance of branding. Old grocer sold unbranded staples, only competed on price. Canning and boxed foods allow for branding. Also allows for centralized food processing. A&Ps opened at 7 stores a day for a while. Also led to modern supply chain.
  • Early 20th century: self-service. Piggly Wiggly. [33]
  • 1930s: shopping cart.
  • 1920s: refrigeration (allowed for meats and frozen foods). p 41: King Kullen -- sig bigger store, located off main street. 1930. Depression era.

Barber, Ch 12, "Land" from The 3rd Plate

  • Two stories of "terroir" -- gastronomy & ethics
  • Eduardo and his geese -- How does Eduardo come across to you?
  • In earlier segment, Eduardo is touting the fact that his foie gras does not require force feeding the geese.
  • Is the slaughter humane in your opinion?
  • Connection between humane slaughter and taste -- pig story 160
  • Monesterio and jamon -- [[34]]
  • Jamon iberico de bellota (acorn)-- espression of the land. connection with Spanish identity.
  • food religion point: 163 eating pork during the islamic occupation showed you were christian.
  • the "dehesa" is the locale for the terrior of jamon iberico. enclosure for pasture of sheep built after the reconquista. grass and oaks protected by law. note relationship between the pigs eating pattern in this environment and the arrival of the acorns.
  • note the physical limits of the terroir for jamon. note only geographic, but 4 acres/pig. Can't scale this up.
  • These gastronomic stories would certainly count as "extravagant" for Fairlie. Note also that they exemplify terrior. and even moral terrior. Cf to the tonnara in Med.
  • Remaining pages of the chapter point out the other rich products of the dehesa. The land is very productive. Even the oak trees provide valuable cork. So there is a kind of intensive agriculture here, but it is very specific to what the land and history could create.

16. MAR 16

Assigned Work (Heavy Reading Day)

  • Rachel Lauden, Cuisine and Empire Introduction and Chapter 6, "Christian Cuisine",
  • Watch Mother Noella segment from Pollan's "Cooked" series (video file in Shared folder)

In-Class

  • Rachel Lauden, Cuisine and Empire Introduction and Chapter 1, "Mastering Grain Cookery, 20,000 to 300 bce", p. 1-55 (54)

Rachel Lauden, Cuisine and Empire Introduction and Chapter 6, "Christian Cuisine"

Mother Noella Cheese Segment from "Cooked"

  • Story Mother Noella and the appreciation of creation through cheese. The bacteria come from the earth, from death, and hold the promise of nourishing life! Mention Soler article, "The Semiotics of Food in the Bible".
  • Diffs between US and French approaches to cheese. You don't need quality conditions if you are planning to process the milk industrially. Is that a benefit of industrial food? Mention burgers.
  • Story of the wooden cheese vat.
  • Connection between cheese ecology and other ecologies like forests. (Connects with microbiota and food from health soil)

17. MAR 21

Assigned Work (Heavy Reading Day)

  • Gopnik, Adam, "Who Made the Restaurant?" from The Table Comes First, 2012, (pp. 13-57). (44)
  • Ogle, Maureen, In Meat We Trust, C2, "We Are Here To Make Money" (26-62) (36)

In-class

  • Re-imagining the restaurant

Re-imagining Future Restaurants

  • Since the opening of the first modern restaurants in Paris around 1780, the concept of the restaurant has developed, especially in the 21st century. Think of the variety of eateries and restaurants we have now, from food trucks, to traditional fast food, to healthy concept fast food.
  • Use your philosophical imaginations to think through a new combination of values that a new kind of restaurant might realize. During our discussion of the Gratzer piece we will develop a list of "restaurant values" -- both of the first modern restaurant and the ones that followed. Then, in group discussion, try to think about what you can't get from the contemporary array of restaurants, but something you would value. You ideas may range from things you would like to see more restaurants do to kinds of restaurants that do not exist.

Gopnik, Adam, "Who Made the Restaurant?" (13-57)

  • from The Table Comes First
  • opening description - follow -- illusion of dining room, relation to romance, difference from previous types: table d'hote, traiteur, caterer.
  • Traits of modern restaurant: waiters, menus, tables, mirrors, closed kitchen, seduction, silences..(privacy in public)
  • personal experiences -- HoJo to Paris - Grand Vefour -- restaurants and writers' scenes. (search "Howard Johnson's Simple Simon and the Pie Man—1950's images" to see the original HoJo restaurant sign.). Interesting how many of the characteristics are in common between the two restaurants.
  • 19: account of origin of restaurant starts here:
  • old story - post french revolution, displaced help from nobles. But restaurant starts 20 years earlier. Restaurant not like home service.
  • three factors: intellectual causes (health and simplicity), commercial causes (new site for restaurants in/around Palais Royal), moral/social cause (breakdown of caste/class leading up to Rev)
  • Mathrurin Roze de Chantoiseau -- first restauranteur. note root meanings of "restaurant" - associated with bullion and restoratives. Early restaurant served healthy foods that you couldn't source (22), not esoteric or exotic. Chantoiseau introduced more of a pleasure motive to the restaurant. women could go together in public (!). Also, the restaurant can make you feel rich. Fancier than your stuff. Another early restauranteur, Vacossion, focused on simple foods that individuals could not source themselves. "nouvelle cuisine"
  • French Revolution actually problematic for the early restaurant -- communalism of the table d'hote more suited to egalitarianism.
  • commercial scene of the Palais Royal -- first mall. 27: 1780-1830 -- period of growth of restaurants - reflected some international ethnic cusine, but points out that the southern provinces of France would seem as exotic to Parisians and North African cuisine might seem to us. "Provencal" --
  • adopted Russian services (sequence of courses, dishes chosen by each diner) rather than French banquet service (piles of dishes on a sideboard from which waiters serve) (consider the individualism in this) -- not how this changes the motivations of restauranteurs. (Wealth of Nations, 1776, just saying.)
  • Part two of the chapter: The French Cafe: compares the emergence of the restaurant to the newer cafe, which did come into being by post-revolution licensing law changes allowing coffee/alcohol in same place. alcohol a myopic drug / caffeine a far sighted drug. 33-37, importance of. (Digress to consider how we handle this now and in different places.) note Paris / London comparisons p. 33.
  • brings in Bourdieu and Priscilla Park Ferguson -- "social field" , like a "scene" (examples of "gastronomic scenes" -- craft beer, local roasted coffee....) features of a food scene: writing, end of famine, enjoyment of food not seen as a sin, but mark of cultivation.
  • Brillat-Savarin, 1825 Physiology of Taste. introduces word "gastronomy" 42ff. defines the "gourmand" in terms of enthusiasm about one's appetite and taste for food. analogy to the pleasure of flirtation, which he also claimed was a french invention (!). "Soft power" (mention slow food, also a political movement). With greater food security, enjoying food for its own sake change form vice to virtue (mention Happiness history here)
  • rival, Grimod La Reyniere -- real foodie, spent the revolution eating great food, somewhat abstracted. rated restaurants and gave them stickers for their windows. the discussion here suggests how the vocabulary of the French gastronomic moment developed.
  • 54: Habermas' theory about "Enlightenment eating" -- creates social capital. Issue at the end: Is the restaurant a bourgeoisie trap or an instrument of enlightenment?

Ogle, Maureen, In Meat We Trust, C2, "We Are Here To Make Money"

  • Tells the story of the rise of the "dressed beef" supply chain, and the fortunes of Swift, an innovator.
  • Opens with Summer 1882 building of Swift's warehouse at the tip of Manhattan. Backs up to tell the story of the rail monopolies practices of overcharging for shipping costs of live beef. (29) details.
  • Bringing animals into the city live was becoming impractical, a health hazard, and unsightly (also happenening in Europe, French in the lead). Note: old slaughterhouses could handle from 1-12 animals a day. But there were hundreds of them in a city like NY.
  • Boards of Health moving against small butchers. Early modern abattoir: Communipaw. Communipaw abattoir [35]. Could handle 2,000 animals a day.
  • Courts battles as butchers argued that regulation of their busines was unconstitutional. The "Slaughterhouse Cases" at the Supreme Court. Vanderbilt gets his stockyard and abattoir at West 59th Street, NYC.
  • Live shipped animal also suffered in transit, meat damaged, lost 200 pounds.
  • 40: Before Swift, other entrepreneurs tried shipping dressed beef. Hammond. Refrigertor cars (with ice, not compressors) in use and developing.
  • Swift's success: read at 41. (get images of Chicago stockyards). Era of "cheap beef"
  • 46: Philip Armour story -- not a meat guy, but understood how to corner the market with futures contracts. Went to Chicago to build a pork processing plant. Enters the New York market along with Swift.
  • 50: Interesting point about meat culture and American culture: read. Choice meats available to all classes.
  • Meat Ideology -- 19th/early 20th century idea that meat protein is special and accounts for European hegemony. (add notes: Japan responds by developing "Kobe" meat culture.)
  • Meat Bubble - profits of 33%, era of free range livestock production with very low costs, ending. 1870: one steer per 5 acres, 1880: one steer per 50-90 acres, due to overgrazing. 52. Bubble bursts.
  • Margins on dressed beef were actually very low. Demanded high volume to be profitable. Byproducts were important.
  • Beef Trust -- already a focus on the Railroad Trusts, Congress investigates collusion in pricing. 57ff. 1888.
  • 1890: Sherman Antitrust Act.

18. MAR 23

Assigned Work

  • Andrews, Geoff. Chapter 2: "The Critique of 'Fast Life'" The Slow Food Story (pp. 29-47). (18)
  • Ogle, Maureen, In Meat We Trust, C2, "We Are Here To Make Money" (36-51) (15)

In-Class

  • Selection of documentaries for Unit 5 student reports

Andrews, Chapters 1 & 2, The Slow Food Story

Chapter 1, "Politics in Search of Pleasure"

(This wasn't assigned for us, but I have these notes to share:)

  • context for slow food: social movements of the 60's and 70's. (Italian counter-culture.)
  • low power radio stations common means: Radio Bra Onde Rosse.
  • politics at Club Tenco, also the pursuit of pleasure.
  • revival of traditional festivals: the singing for eggs (Cante i'euv)
  • 1982 incident: Montalcino Sagra del Tordo (thrush) Mention Arci clubs.
  • in play: Is the pursuit of pleasure through healthy food and culture a capitalist bourgeoisie plot or a fundamental right to be advocated politically?
  • formation of an "Arci Gola" (appetite)
  • projects: Gambero Rosso, wine guides, Osterie d'Italia, guides to osterie.
  • 1986: wine poisoning scandal. McDonalds opens in Rome at Spanish Steps.
  • Slow Food Manifesto
  • Parallel movement in US embodied on story of Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse. Pollan also finds sources of these ideas in 1960s US counter-culture.
  • Eco-gastronomy -- (a great sub-field of food study, by the way! cf. Dan Berber, The Third Plate) and the "politics of aesthetics" (only partly in line with Marxism). (So Carlo Petrini is another candidate for Gramsci's authentic intellectual.)
  • Projects: international food exhibitions, then Terra Madre (2004), related movements in Germany (Greens)
  • slow food also has a conservative dimension. Restoration and preservation of historical food systems.
  • Mention experience with Guido and the ancient grains seminar. Photos.

Chapter 2, "The Critique of 'Fast Life'"

  • some key dates: McDonald's in Rome, 1986, incident between the two arci chapters (a moment in which politics and gastronomy interact to great effect!).
  • critique of "productivity culture"; efficiency vs. frenzy; idea that you need to live faster because other things are accelerating (financial trade volume, sale, news cycles, social media posting and communication). Especially focused on speed.
  • [In terms we have been using, Slow Food manifesto calls into question the "culinary cosmos" of the industrial lifestyle when it compromises basic human modes of experiencing pleasure in authentic and just food. ]
  • critique includes resistance to corporate formations and rationalizations (degradation) of taste. Slow Food is tied to leftist politics, but also has a US upper middle class "face" in the US site. [36]
  • Castell's theory of time-space compression -- capitalism more and more about speed of transactions. circulation of capital. (on edge of a big discussion about the future of work - piece work is coming back).
  • Counter view of Charles Leadbeater and others: fast culture is the answer, the problem is that we have all of these institutions from the 19th century and earlier slowing us down.
  • Victoria de Grazia, Irresistible Empire: America's Advance through 20th Century Europe -- American hegemony in food expressed in "reduction" of all class and value distinctions in food. Rich and poor eat McD's.
  • Ritzer's "McDonaldization of Society" -- "globalization of nothing" (social forms centrally conceived, centrally controlled and lacking in context).
  • Schlosser, Fast Food Nation:
  • 1970 6 billion on fast food; ("million" in the text is a mistake)
  • 2001 110 billion
  • 2010 200 billion (not in text)
  • British "trolley towns"; American suburbs. globalization of construction and architecture.
  • Petrini on slowness: p. 39 read
  • Slow cities: features of slow cities

Small Group Discussion: Slow food culture

  • Does the slow food movement present an attractive ideal for you? Or do you find yourself agreeing with Leadbeater that "fast culture is the answer"?
  • For those of you for whom it is an attractive ideal, identify 3-5 ways that you might implement slow food culture in your life?
  • Does Slow Food culture require a loss of productivity or is it more about reclaiming some of your time for an essential activity?

19. MAR 28: Unit 5: Ethical Issues

Assigned Work

In-Class

  • Reports on documentary viewing.

Winders and Ransom, "Introduction to the Global Meat Industry"

  • major concerns and questions, p. 1.
  • paradoxically, increased meat production can create food insecurity for some. 2.
  • global meat industry is a product of gov't and industry collaborating
  • overproduces food animals relative to population.
  • creates dangers for environment and workers. (from hyperslaughter)
  • Data 1960-2016
  • 45 million metric tons to 259 MMT.
  • $65 billion to about $400 billion.
  • note that US has declined from peak consumption, also some Europeans.
  • population increase 1960-2016 3 billion to 7.4. (Recall discussion of dem. transition.)
  • increases in numbers of animals: 270% for pigs and 900% for chickens.
  • meat exports: mostly from global north. Asian and emerging industrial countries importers. p. 12: increases in China, for example, 3.5kg to 57.6kg.
  • How did global meat grow so much?
  • increases in feed grains. along with ag tech to put more land into produciton, GE corn and soybeans increased yields.
  • WTO - promotes free trade agreements for meat import/export.
  • former communist countries became markets.
  • increased corporate concentration. both production and processing.
  • 3 consequences of global meat for consideration:
  • 1. corporate concentration - read at 16.
  • 2. tension bt. cheap meat and food insecurity - smallholder meat production in decline from competition.
  • 3. social and environmental injustice.
digress on slaughter and hyperslaugter

20. MAR 30

Assigned Work

  • Genoways, The Chain, C7, “From Seed to Slaughter” 97-112 (15)

In-Class

  • Reports on documentary viewing.
  • Slaughter vs. Hyperslaughter

Genoways, The Chain, C7, “From Seed to Slaughter”

Slaughter vs. Hyperslaughter

  • A few slides from some research on industrial slaughter. I will present this power point in class.

Age of Slaughter vs. Natural Life Span

  • In thinking about the research on animal awareness and consciousness, we are becoming more sensitive to the idea that animals are indeed aware of their lives, many form friendships, have strong individual preferences, and can understand more about what is going on around them than we used to think.
  • Note that the more symmetrically you see animal and human interests, the more likely this information is to be problematic.
  • Pigs: Slaughtered at 6 months young; Natural life span: 6 to 10 years Farmaggedon segment on China pig farms Outdoor pig farming Drone footage of confinement pig farming
  • Chickens: Slaughtered at 6 weeks young; Natural life span: 5 to 8 years for those birds bred as "egg layers" such as Rhode Island Reds; 1 to 4 years for factory layer breeds such as leghorns; and 1 to 3 years for "meat" breeds.
  • Turkeys: Slaughtered at 5 to 6 months young; Natural life span: 2 to 6 years
  • Ducks/Geese: Slaughtered at 7 to 8 weeks young; Natural life span: domestic ducks: 6 to 8 years; geese from 8 to 15 years.
  • Cattle: “Beef” cattle slaughtered at 18 months young; dairy cows slaughtered at 4 to 5 years young; Natural life span: 18 to 25+ years
  • Veal Calves: Slaughtered at 16 weeks young; Natural life span: 18 to 25+ years
  • Goats: Slaughtered at 3 to 5 months young; Natural life span: 12 to 14 years
  • Rabbits: Slaughtered at 10 to 12 weeks young; Natural life span: 8 to 12+ years
  • Lambs: Slaughtered at 6 to 8 weeks young for “young lamb” and under 1 year for all other; Natural life span: 12 to 14 years
  • Horses/Donkeys: Slaughter age varies; Natural life span: 30 to 40 years

21. APR 4

Assigned Work

  • Milligan, Tony, Animal Ethics: The Basics, Chapter 1

In-Class

  • Reports on documentary viewing.
  • Some Ethical Arguments about Food
  • SCP: Short Critical Paper on the Ethics of Eating - Assigned

Milligan, Tony. Animal Ethics: the basics. "Chapter 1"

  • Main approaches:
  • Unifying - focus on key concepts like rights, suffering, sentience
  • Relational - focus on historical practices
  • Unifying approaches
  • Singer — suffering ; Reagan - rights; being “subject of a life” ; Francione — sentience
  • all three treat “being human” as irrelevant in the discussion of rights and obligations.
  • Some general objections to unifying approaches: based on the parent theories for Singer and Reagan — utilitarianism and rights theory
  • complexity — these theories oversimplify experience by reducing decisions to a single criterion. Suffering, for example, is not always morally problematic. Rights and harms often go together. rights talk can be thought of as too restrictive. Maybe we should love animals? (12)
  • Separation of justification and motivation — in a live example of intervening to prevent cruelty to an animal, appeals to rights and suffering seem to be more about justifications, but don’t capture our motivations, which might be more direct. 13: problem of motivation in ethics. Problem if theoretical views that don’t motivate action.
  • Marginalizing our humanity — unifying theories seem not to track differences bt how we think about animals vs. Humans. “Speciesism”.
  • Relational approaches: Often discoursive essays, these approaches explore the lines we draw in our relationships with animals from the care we give pets, how we treat pests and "vermin", to the unspeakably cruel things we do to animals (even primates) in medical research.
  • Some examples of relational approaches:
  • work of Cora Diamond: exposing assumptions in categories like “vermin” “pet” “livestock” . On the positive side, it is a great historical accomplishment to use terms like “human” and “humanity” to capture what we owe or what is due to others. It seems wrong to Diamond, to treat this as a negative form of “speciesism”. She argues that we need to be human in a way that reduces harm to animals.
  • Derrida’s The Animal That I am. - concept of humanity developed in contrast and relation to animals, not in isolation. Not trying to efface the distinction (as unifiers do), but “multiply its figures”. Asks how we are seen by the animal.

Some of standard arguments on the ethics of eating animals

  • Extensionist arguments from Singer and Regan in the 1980s.
  • Singer: recall "equal happiness" principle and Principle of Utility. Moral concern about the suffering of animals, combined with the fact that their consumption is no longer necessary for us, should lead us to reduce or eliminate animal foods, at least from creatures that can suffer (some debate about clams and oysters, for example - notes trophic level)
  • Regan: animals are "subjects of a life" - see also age of slaughter information. We should extend rights from humans to animals because they share this important "rights justifying" trait.
  • As Tony Milligan points out, there is a "motivation problem" with these arguments. They do not motivative change in behavior. Rates of vegetarianism and veganism are very low (outside of cuisines that are intentionally vegetarian). Persistence in diet is also low.
  • Ecological (and climate change) arguments about sustainable global diets. (See above.)
  • Agrarian arguments about "default animal production". Treating animal foods like a luxury. Other agrarians might advocate non-food use of animals or use of animals for food without killing them. (Eggs, milk, etc. - Note practical issues here.
  • Simon Fairlie's "default animal production" argument: We should think of meat as a luxury. Like many other luxury foods. Not sustainable at high levels of production. The relationship between meat production and environmental impact is not linear, according to Fairlie:

Meat consumption curve.png

  • Fairlie's ad for his position. [38]
  • Hunter's arguments -- There are some interesting arguments for treating "food hunting" differently from a moral perspective.
  • Spiritual viewpoints, such as Ahimsa, biblical vegetarianism, life design philosophies
  • Arguments about the naturalness (evolutionary or cultural) of meat.
  • It is true that we are omnivores and so adapted to a wide range of foods. This perspective is important in understanding the difficulty of transitioning from a high meat diet, but it would need other premises to be a strong moral argument. It was a better argument when we believed (incorrectly) that meat protein was special. (Exceptions: people with plant protein allergies.)
  • Cultural arguments are significant, again for understanding the depth of the problem.
  • Speciesist arugments
  • One might argue that if we are honest with ourselves, we would acknowledge that we are all speciesists. Thought experiments. This line of thought points out some important inconsistencies in our thinking, but it is not clear how it would justify eating meat, rather than, say try to reduce animal testing in medical research.


SCP: Ethics of Food

  • Stage 1: Please write an X hundred word maximum answer to the following question by TBD, 2022, 11:59pm.
  • Topic:
  • Advice about collaboration: Collaboration is part of the academic process and the intellectual world that college courses are based on, so it is important to me that you have the possibility to collaborate. I encourage you to collaborate with other students, but only up to the point of sharing ideas, references to class notes, and your own notes, verbally. Collaboration is also a great way to make sure that a high average level of learning and development occurs in the class. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to NOT share text of draft answers or outlines of your answer. Keep it verbal. Generate your own examples.
  • Prepare your answer and submit it in the following way. You will lose points if you do not follow these instructions:
  1. To assure anonymity, you must remove your name from the the "author name" that you may have provided when you set up your word processing application. For instructions on removing your name from an Word or Google document, [click here].
  2. Format your answer in double spaced text, in a typical 12 point font, and using normal margins. Do not add spaces between paragraphs and indent the first line of each paragraph.
  3. Do not put your name in the file or filename. You may put your student ID number in the file, but not in the filename. Save your file for this assignment with the name: [filename].
  4. To turn in your assignment, log into courses.alfino.org, click on the [dropbox name] dropbox.
  5. If you cannot meet a deadline, you must email me about your circumstances (unless you are having an emergency) before the deadline or you will lose points.
  • Stage 2: Please evaluate four student answers and provide brief comments and a score. Review the Assignment Rubric for this exercise. We will be using the Flow and Content areas of the rubric for this assignment. Complete your evaluations and scoring by TBD, 2022 11:59pm.
  • To determine the papers you need to peer review, open the file called "#Key.xls" in the shared folder. You will see a worksheet with saint names in alphabetically order, along with animal names. Find your saint name and review the next four (4) animals' work below your animal name. If you get to the bottom of the list before reaching 4 animals, go to the top of the list and continue.
  • Use [(Link) this Google Form] to evaluate four peer papers. Submit the form once for each review.
  • Some papers may arrive late. If you are in line to review a missing paper, allow a day or two for it to show up. If it does not show up, go back to the key and review the next animal's paper, continuing until you get four reviews. Do not review more than four papers.
  • Stage 3: I will grade and briefly comment on your writing using the peer scores as an initial ranking. Assuming the process works normally, most of my scores probably be within 1-2 points of the peer scores, plus or minus.
  • Stage 4: Back-evaluation: After you receive your peer comments and my evaluation, take a few minutes to fill out this quick "back evaluation" rating form: [backeval link]. Fill out the form for each reviewer, but not Alfino. You must do the back evaluation to receive credit for the whole assignment. Failing to give back-evaluations unfairly affects other classmates.
  • Back evaluations are due TBD, 2022, 11:59pm.

22. APR 6

Assigned Work

In-Class

  • Reports on documentary viewing.
  • SCP: Ethics of Food - Group discussions

23. APR 11: Unit 6: The Future of Food

Assigned Work

  • Montgomery, David. Chapter 1: "Good Old Dirt" Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations(pp. 1-9); (9)
  • Diamond, Jarred. "Agriculture's Mixed Blessings" (180-191) (11)

Montgomery Chapter 1, "Good Old Dirt"

  • At the start of agriculture 98% of food producers supported a small ruling elite that controlled food distribution. Now only 1% of the population work in agricultural food production.
  • Wants to tell a history soil and of human use of soil. Historical failures, but also interested in sustainability.

Diamond, Ch. 10, "Agriculture's Mixed Blessings"

  • Old "progressivist" view
  • Ants practice agriculture and something like animal husbandry [39]
  • Details about the spread of agriculture - not like other great ideas (hand ax designs). Spread slowly, failed alot.
  • Advantages of hunter gatherer lifestyle
  • short work week, more leisure - as long as you have enough Mongongo nuts!
  • better nutrition (in some comparisons)
  • no impact from crop failures
  • (new research, not Diamond): very violent and competitive.
  • 185: paleopathology and medical anthropology: what you tell from old bones and cookware Am. Indians who changed to ag.
  • health evidence from early adoption of agriculture
  • height, nutrition, cavities, anemia, tb, syphillis, mortality
  • mono-crop dependency a risk in early ag.
  • low carb, varied nutrients
  • class structures emerge after agriculture: diff outcomes dep. on class
  • sexual inequality
  • other differences that sustained agriculture
  • increased population density made hunt/gather politically vulnerable
  • hunt/gather requires lots of room
  • agriculture created society that could produce sophisticated art (churches).
  • grants that agriculture led to lots of great things, but also to large populations, which affects the equation about quality of life.

24. APR 13

Assigned Work

  • Montgomery, David. Chapter 2: "Skin of the Earth" Dirt(pp. 9-25); (16)
  • Montgomery, David. Chapter 3: "Rivers of Life" (pp. 27-47) (20)

Montgomery, David. Chapter 2, "Skin of the Earth"

  • Darwin's studies of worms. Worms are moving a heck of a lot of dirt. 10-20 tons per acre per year. digestive juices.
  • Note the recentness of our lack of knowledge of this. Also why antiquities sink.
  • Darwin's calculations were off: underestimated the time scale for effects. Didn't know about isostasy - a process which lifts rock as well. But did understand soil formation as breakdown of minerals.
  • 15: overview of soil ecology relationships. read. even theories that soil formation was involved in first forms of organismic life.
  • guanine and cytosine in clay-rich solutions.
  • 15-16: overview of plant colonization of cooling earth (350 mya). earth plant life accelerated soil formation. lots of other physical and chemical processes (17).
  • nitrogen fixation (18): note mechanism. "nitrogen fixing plant" a misnomer.
  • effects of agriculture:
  • tilling releases nutrients, but also disrupts soil life, short-totation farming reduces soil diversity, increases vulnerability to parasites,
  • p. 20: Connection bt farming methods and soil erosion and soil health.
  • Note how starting your account of food from soil gives you deeper sense of your trophic relationships.
  • you are what you eat. you are what you eat eats.

Montgomery, Dirt, Chapter 3, "Rivers of Life"

  • connection between humanity and soil in language: adama (earth) hava (living). We are living earth. In Latin "homo" from "humus", living soil.
  • short digression on "food ontology" -- some candidate answers, but then if we take the linguistic associations literally, how would we define food?
  • suggest myth of the garden represents transition to agriculture, climate change.
  • Long history
  • 20,000 years ago - last major glaciation (though not a single event). Europe freezes, Africa dries.
  • 2 million years ago - earliest evidence of migration of homo erectus from Africa. separation from Neanderthal (note some evidence that we ate 'em [40]),
  • 300,000 year ago - first modern humans.
  • 45,000 years ago - another wave of migration from Africa (movement occurred in both directions).
  • 30,000 years ago - sharp stone tools (much later than the handaxe .5 mya) and at 23,000 yrs bows and arrows
  • Human Evolution Timeline
  • modifications in skin color and other features a response to UV radiation and Vitamin D production, selection effect.
  • Emergence of agriculture
  • oasis and cultural evolution theories. p 30 - problem wit oasis theory - food variety in mid-east expanding at time of agriculture. problem with cultural evolution theory -- not everyone adopted ag (though in other examples, like hand axes, everyone does adopt).
  • increasing population density -- agriculture a forced option. Note climate of the Levant 13 - 11,000bc - major food abundance. could have supported population explosion.
  • mini-glaciation at 10,000 bc called the Younger Dryas -- recovered pollen samples drop by 3/4 -- decrease precip. forests recede.
  • site evidence from Abu Hureyra, on Tigris -- evidence of cultivation of grains, drought tolerant ones (drought sensitive ones disappear from the record), for example.
  • more work to produce a calorie at start of agriculture --(recall crucial calculation here). population grew to six thousand. evidence of settlements chose for ag condition.
  • note -- using evidence from burnt food remains, we can track the migration of food, independently of human migration.
  • agriculture developed in several places, but we missed this because in some places it developed before settled towns. Mesoamerica, China.
  • Spread of Agriculture
  • spread through levant and Turkey. Growth allows defeat of nearby hunter/gatherers in contest for territory.
  • the dog - 20k. The cat 4K.
  • domesticated livestock a huge leap - animal labor, fertilizer, and stored food on the hoof.
  • after agriculture, population doubles every 1,000 years.
  • by 5,000 bc, evidence of overcultivation in Tigris valley, hillside erosion. emergence of irrigation. 37
  • Early agricultural infrastructure and control by governing elites. Emergence of class, armies, fight for territory.
  • very interesting: Mesopotamian religious elite controlled food production and distribution. (Later we'll see that Jewish authorities do the same in the Levant). population growth.
  • Uruk grows to 50,000. agruculture bring property, inequality, class, gov't administration, (philosophers). Writing 3,000 bc - (mention Field Museum in Chicago).
  • back to the environment -- Babylonian Empire emerges from Sumerian cities around 1800bc. But irrigation led to salination of the soil, silting of rivers -- 39-40 evidence of lack of understanding of soil. Babylon falls! Pop peaks at 20 million. Temple records tell the story.
  • Egypt
  • story in Egypt - p. 40 on: short story, the Nile fed civilizations for 7,000 years in rough sustainability, ideal combination of new silt and humus (Blue Nile and While Nile). Harvests increase over time.
  • But, desire to grow grain for export led to year round irriation. 1880's salination extreme. Then Nasser damn. (Thinking about the logic of export crops for maximizing revenue. Very similar to situation of local overpop leading to exploiting the soil.)
  • Irony of Nasser dam producing electricity to make synthetic fertilizers that are now needed because of the dam and poor soil management.
  • China
  • story in China - interesting, administration of ag recognized many grades of soil. Yellow River (name from mineral erosion upstream) damned and diverted starting 340 bc. Process of raising levees around the river led to 30 foot levies by 1920s. 19th century flood killed millions.
  • story of Walter Lowdermilk -- 1922 - working on famine prevention. First to write about soil management and civilization. Follows major river up stream documenting 400 miles of levies and evidence of ancient mismanagement of early ag sites.
  • thesis going forward: Civilizations are defined by their management of soil. And, everyone has messed it up eventually, even the Egyptians.

25. APR 20

Assigned Work

  • Montgomery, David. Chapter 4: "Graveyards of Civilizations" (pp. 49-81) (32)
  • Montgomery, David. Chapter 10: "Life Span of Civilizations" (pp. 233-246) (13)

Montgomery, Dirt, Chapter 4, "Graveyards of Empires"

  • Thesis: Soil degradation doesn't directly cause declines in civilization, but makes civilizations more vulnerable to "hostile neighbors, internal sociopolitical disruption, and harsh winters or droughts."
  • Tikal (Guatamala) - Meso-American (Mayan, in this case) civilization reclaimed by the jungle. 1840s re-discovery. (returns to this at the end).
  • Ancient Greece
  • (In this section, he implies that we tell "false histories" of ancient agriculturalists when we imagine that they took care of their soil.)
  • As land degraded, needed more slaves to feed owners. Sporadic use of fertilizers. Hills around Athens bare by 570 BC (before Plato).
  • Evidence of knowledge of erosion (from hillsides) as public policy, but failure to address it.
  • By time of Peloponnesian War (431-404), Egypt & Sicilian provide 1/3 to 3/4 of food to Greece. (In news this am (2017), Yemen imports 80% of food.)
  • (Comments by Plato and Aristotle on soil degradation.)
  • Greeks repeat pattern of Mesopotamia -- intensified cultivation as population grows. Plow a significant step. p. 54: 1,000 year cycle of soil erosion / pop density decline.
  • Evidence of movement from small diversified farming to large plantations with fewer crops.
  • We associate Greece with olive trees and grapes, but that's partly because they do well in the thin rocky soil left from millennia of soil erosion.
  • Rome
  • 146bc, conquest of Corinth, incorporate of Greece into Empire
  • Research of Vita-Finzi, mid-60s: Was soil erosion (in Libya) from climate change or mismanagement? Found two major periods of hillside erosion: one ancient,attributable to climate, the other dated to late Roman era. Climate also involved when you mismanage soil because land is more vulnerable to climate variation. (Note: In light of climate change, food security (or price stability) might become a greater concern.)
  • Roughly 5,000 to 4,000 bc.: agriculture introduced to Italian pennisula by immigrants.
  • Significance of Bronze Age (2,000bc to 800bc) and Iron Age (500 bc on): depth of plowing and deforestation.
  • 500bc -- highpoint of productivity - 1-5 acres / family. "farmers" had social status.
  • Erosion in south (Campagna) also produced malaria from pooling of water on eroded land.
  • Cato's De Agri Cultura - p.59 Cato brought plump figs from Carthage to the Senate floor, arguing that Carthage was a threat to Rome because of its food productivity. Ended all his speeches with "Carthage must be destroyed." Third Punic War took care of that. Roman model become colonial system of agriculture around N. Africa and Sicily. Pliny the Elder (23-79ad)
  • Varo, De re Rustica, 117bc, focused on intensive high yield ag for the times.
  • Like Greece, Romans in Empire Period relied heavily on slaves to feed them.
  • Evidence of soil mismanagement in Roman Republic and Empire.
  • Difference in Roman case: extensive knowledge of husbandry. 1960s studies of erosion around Rome: 1" every 1,000 years before the Via Cassia was built, 1"per 200 years after.
  • substory: emergence of the latifundia system of agriculture in 2nd cent bc due, in part to post-war availability of cheap land, lots of slaves. 63
  • by 300 ad, productivity of central Italy dramatically declined. (Campagna and sicily currently desertifying).
  • Empire needed to annex parts of N. Africa to secure food. Mid-80s UNESCO research moved us away from climate explanation for decline.
  • 66: early 20th thesis that agricultural policy contributed to decline of Roman Empire. Farm debt a problem then and now.
  • Egypt
  • 30bc - Egypt becomes a colonial food source. after Cleopatra dies. Emperor Augustus (1st cent ad) forbade senators and nobles from entering Egypt due to fear of its ag power.67
  • story of 19th American, George Perkins March, research in Italy on soil erosion. early hypothesis of Roman land misuse. land doesn't always recover.
  • North Africa - Mideast
  • Lowdermilk in Tunisia, Algieria. Then on to Levant. Lebanon and Israel.
  • Back to Meso-America, Tikal, and the Mayan case
  • Maize domestication about 2000bc. greatest erosion around 600-900ad, along with evidence steep population decline. from 1million in 3rd c. ad. to 1/2 that 200 years later.
  • mechanisms: slash and burn agriculture. fertility declines. but worked at low population levels.
  • lots of studies of silting and erosion. p. 75ff.
  • General points:
  • Soil degradation characteristic of major civilizations. Usually the result of over-exploitation of resources in the face of population growth.
  • Soil degradation not the sole cause of civilization decline, but it "leaves societies vulnerable to hostile neighbors, internal sociopolitical disruption, and harsh winters or droughts"
  • Reflected in commitments to slavery, expansion, and exploitation of neighbors.
  • Happens regardless of knowledge of good practices.
  • Often in connection with development of a food export industry.
  • Civilizations which left records often assigned blame to climate change, disappearance of water sources. (Remarkable exceptions include famous intellectuals like Pliny the Elder, Tertulian, Plato, Aristotle.)

Montgomery, Chapter 10: Life Span of Civilizations

  • Framing the soil / civilization argument in broadest terms:
  • estimates of the carrying capacity of the earth: Catholic Bishops say 40 billion (is that true?!). Might get to 15 billion "if we share the planet with nothing else" some biologists think we are over the limit. Both capitalists and marxists theorize land as infinitely productive or infinitely substitutable. General endorsement of effective of markets, but point out that resource depletion is not adequate theorize or accounted for in practice.
  • Lifespan of civilization measurable in relation bt initial soil and rate of erosion. Estimates of rate: 1" in 1,000yr vs. 40 years. 238: can't move anymore. estimate of hectares per person. Explores physical and genetic limits on productivity. Key globalization point: There's not much left to cultivate. Nice analysis about how large vs. small societies respond to problems. 20th cent food production doubled by increase N fert 7x and Ph 3.5x
  • 241: Agro-ecology: Need to treat soil as a "locally adapted biological system rather than a chemical system" (Note bad reductionism, as in nutritionism.)
  • 241: not just about organic, but about enriching soil. mentions California’s monoculture organic. "unglobalization of ag" as oil becomes expensive. example of 19th cent. Paris use of horse shit to fetilize fields. (urban farming -- look up new examples [41])
  • connections between climate change, Syrian civil war, ISIS and refugee crisis. [42]

26. APR 25

Assigned Work

  • Pinker, "Sustenance" (68-78) (10)
  • Montgomery, Growing a Revolution,"Green Manure" (90-114) (24)

Pinker, Enlightenment Now, Ch. 7, "Sustanance"

  • nice evocation of the history of famine in human condition
  • examples of famine leading to consumption of human flesh and viscera.
  • Good News
  • Calories up globally as well as US.
  • Stunting down, undernurishment under 5% globally, 13% in dev. world.
  • Famines down
  • Reviews 70's era population bomb literature. Malthus assumed the population curve wouldn't change as family wealth increases. Also, underestimated increases in the food supply. Dates that to Enlightenment knowledge.
  • Food claims
  • The food supply can grow geometrically with knowledge (74) ?
  • Food prices in relation to wages are historically low. T
  • GMOs and transgenic crops are ready to go but opposed by fanatical environmentalists. Hmm. Y & N
  • Account of Haber-Bosch method for syn N, and Green Revolution (notice detail in what makes for a high yield grain)
  • Critical point: Green Revolution is very important; part success of plant breeding (landrace system), part extension of industrial fertilizer and mechanical inputs. Not clear there is another Green Revolution out there. Plant breeding is as old as agriculture, but here it is recruited as part of the Enlightenment narrative.
  • Closing statement, importantly identifies major causes of famines in political organization and war rather than agricultural efficiency. Most 20th century famines in autocratic communist countries.
  • Pinker makes many very persuasive points, especially related to population dynamics (see chart in Chapter 10, also in links). If population stops growing, or declines, then declines in soil productivity might be offset by increases in yields from plant engineering and sustained high levels of chemical fertilizers.]
  • Demographic Transition excerpt:

Montgomery, David. Chapter 6: Green Manure

  • Primary story: Dwayne Beck, Dakota Lakes Research Farms. Beck has chemistry background and Ph.D. in agronomy and is a farmer. Many success stories of farmers using his soil conservation methods:
  • problem of water runoff in plough vs. no till fields.
  • 92: competitive wheat yields vs. high-disturbance input intensive. Big effect on South Dakota. Conservation farms had new everything.
  • 96: Critique of ag extention system for keeping farmers in intensive industrial ag.
  • 99: incident: Beck challenged by chemical company demand for retraction on statement weeds. Set up test.
  • glyphosate digression 99-100 (bring in GMO connection, v2, cancer suit judgements).
  • Grow it yourself fertilizer
  • value of cover crops. multiple crops in a field.
  • 102: on site wind powered small scale fertilizer production.
  • precision ag. image from "Fate of Food"
  • Pest self-management
  • examples of unintended effects of herbicides that throw off insect ecology 104 106: corn rootworm experiment.
  • High Tech No Till
  • Story of Cronin Farms - economics of no till, biodynamics -- 108
  • 109: looking at carbon in soil as stored fertilizer worth $600/acre.
  • end of chapter
  • Reorg of some themes to make broader point:
  • Pest ecology stories
  • 105: corn rootworm beetle and crop rotation
  • BT corn eliminated one pest (earworm), but earworms eat be cutworms. demonstration project showing resistance to root worm in no till field
  • Some analogies between healthy soil and a healthy microbiome!
  • best weed control is a canopy of well nurished crop. reducing opportunities for weeds. 99: incident Beck asked for retraction.
  • herbicide resistance (like germ resistance from anti-biotic use)
  • 103: broad spectrum pesticides like antibiotics in microbiome
  • Technology of soil conservation
  • 95: on-site processing of residues for fertillizer and animal feed.
  • avoids compaction of heavy machinery. uses low psi equiptment.
  • note: the research farm uses some (a "fraction" of normal) glyphosate.
  • importance of leaving crop residue on the ground.
  • complex rotations - for soil health and to defeat complex pests.
  • mixed cropping 101
  • locally produced Nitrogen fert from wind.
  • phosphorous management easier without tillage that breaks up mycorrhizal fungus.
  • 103: worms, lots of worms
  • Precision agriculture:
  • no-till planters, small dosing of fertilizers,
  • 108: example on Cronin Farm of no-till planter using precision fert. good yields with lower inputs.
  • 110: disc planters
  • GPS based data system for precision ag.

27. APR 27: Course Conclusion

MAY 2-6: The Last Week of the Semester