"Eating is an Agricultural Act?" The Ethics of Food and Eating
Project Description/ Reflection
Describe the project and some of the things you learned throughout. In this unit, we learned so much about food, farming, food ethic, and much more. We read the book The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan which was very educational and informative. Some of the topics that this book covered were the industrial food chain, GMO’s, factory farming, the organic food chain, local sustainable agriculture, hunting and foraging, and the global food crisis. I had little knowledge about most of these topics before we read this book, and I got to learn a lot of information that will help me in the future because it is very relevant. That is what I liked most about this unit; we got to learn about things that are impacting the world right now and learn about ways to help ourselves to be healthier, about things that really matter which is very important. We learned about many different types of eating and different food ethics, and when we were done with that, we had to reflect and decide what our own food ethics were and then write an essay about that. This was also very beneficial because reflecting on our food ethics and writing about them really solidified them in our minds and we will be able to use that for the rest of our lives.
How did the interdisciplinary nature of this project impact your learning? How did studying food in both classes impact your learning? While we were studying the farming and ethics of the food we eat in humanities, we were also learning about the science behind the food we eat in chemistry. I personally loved the interdisciplinary nature of the project because I was able to make many connections between the science and the ethics of food because of the fact that we were learning about them at the same time. In chemistry, we were able to learn about the bonds that are in different types of foods and the structures of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and why some foods are less healthy than others for your body. In chemistry, we learned about the different kinds of fats and how trans fat is very unhealthy for you because of the man made process where hydrogen is added to an unsaturated fat to increase their saturation and create trans fats. Our bodies are not able to process these fats which are why they are unhealthy for us. I was able to connect this to what we were learning in humanities about processed foods. We learned that processed foods are made with unnatural chemicals and harmful fertilizers just so that they can be cheaper. A lot of these unhealthy foods contain the exact trans fats that we were learning about in chemistry. It was very beneficial for me to make these connections because it helped me to understand the content better and I will also retain it for longer. What are your main takeaways from studying food academically? How has your thinking about food changed from before? After this unit, I have so much more knowledge about food than I did before. I didn’t know anything about the chemistry of food before this unit and now I know so much about fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and the science of baking, and it is all very interesting to me which made it so much easier to learn. And in humanities, I learned so much about the behind the scenes of the food industry and where our food is coming from. I was able to absorb this information and to create my own food ethic using it which is something that I will continue to use for my whole life. I don’t think that my food ethic has changed very much throughout this unit but I do have all of the knowledge that I need to backup my choices for the future.