are much more than just ingredients strung together. They're about the
culture they come from and the lives of the people that prepare them."
~Sarah Marx Feldner, pastry chef at Lombardino's in Madison, Wisconsin
The goal of this course is to introduce you to the fundamental concepts and techniques of a variety of science disciplines through a somewhat unusual lens; the food you eat. Gaining a complete understanding of the science of food requires that you investigate not only its basic biological and chemical components, but also the nutritional values of its ingredients and the ways in which food handling, processing and cooking impact those values. We will also explore the amazing ways in which food production has shaped broader subjects, from human history to global ecosystems. Ultimately, I hope that this course will help you to make informed, ethical (and tasty!) decisions about the foods you eat, and the methods you use to prepare those foods.
Prerequisite 3rd year standing or permission of instructor and advisor. 4 SH. 3 lecture hours. 3 laboratory hours. CC: Scientific Explanations, Interdisciplinary, Team Intensive.
STUDENT LEARNING GOALS:
After taking this course, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the basic concepts and vocabularies central to:
a) The fundamental biology, chemistry and physics principles of food and cooking;
b) The scientific basis for the techniques and tools employed in food preparation;
c) The nutritional values of different foods and the impacts that food production has on those nutritional values;
d) The impact that food production has on the world around us.
2. Use multiple disciplines, including biology, chemistry, physics, physiology, ecology and nutrition to explore and analyze the basics of food science, as detailed above, and to explore the ways in which food production shapes, and is shaped by, human society.
3. Articulate an understanding of the ways in which these disciplines can be brought together not only to supplement and reinforce each other, but also to highlight the complexities and ambiguities inherent to explaining issues in food production.
4. Describe the philosophical underpinnings of science as it is used to explain the impacts that different foods have on health, nutrition and global ecosystems.
5. Apply scientific methods in the laboratory to solve a variety of "gastronomic mysteries".
6. Describe how theories are proposed, revised, tested, and accepted by the scientific community.
7. Evaluate the validity of information about food that is presented as science.
8. Consider the interactions between food science, the applications of food science, ethics, and societies, particularly as they pertain to sustainability.
9. Learn to work more effectively in groups. In particular, students will demonstrate processes needed for a positive working relationship with team members, demonstrate and evaluate the roles and functions of leadership and team
final grade will be a composite of your performance in 2 Unit Exams
(20% each), Laboratory Analysis of Food activities and report (15%), Readiness Assurance
Process (RAP) activities (10%), Team and Individual Concept Application Activities (15%), a"Small Changes" Sustainability Reflection Paper (10%) and a
comprehensive Final Exam (10%).
Your final grades will be based on the scale below:
F All those numbers below 60
Attendance is required at all
scheduled Tests, RAPs, Concept Application Activities and Laboratories, and you
will receive a zero for all work performed during a class that you fail
to attend. If you know in advance that you have a direct conflict with
an upcoming class activity, please come speak with me about the nature
of the conflict so that we can determine if a make-up assignment is
possible. If a make-up assignment is possible, then you must complete it in order to get credit for work done during the missed class. In other words, an excused absence does NOT excuse you from the work done that day. Note that make-ups will not always be possible - particularly for
laboratory experiments and teamwork. In general, and unless something
completely unforeseen has happened (a natural disaster, etc.), you will
only be allowed to arrange a make-up assignment for a missed class
activity in advance of that activity.
***Special Note for Fall and Thanksgiving Breaks*** No, you will NOT be allowed to make up material that you miss because your ride/flight/other travel plans for these breaks cause you to miss this class, unless the travel is directly related to a course-sponsored event. Please take note of the official start and end times for those breaks and plan accordingly.
am aware that there are many perfectly legitimate reasons for arriving
to class late (other professors rambling on and on, for example), and
that occasionally you'll just plain have a bad day. Thus, if you arrive
late to class, please feel free to sneak quietly to your place and join
in. By contrast, if you are consistently late to class (and
have not spoken to me about extenuating circumstances), your punishment
will be to start your in-class exams at the same time you typically
arrive to class. Of course, you will still be expected to complete your
exam at the same time as everyone else.
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVICES:
I am just as addicted as you are, but unless
you have cleared it with me beforehand, all of your electronic communication
devices must be off and in a closed container during the entire class. Trust me. You can make it through two hours without texting or Words With Friends.
Occasionally we will have chocolate in class to help with the withdrawal. If you know you cannot trust yourself to follow this policy without some help, I am happy to store your communication device for you during each class.
If I see you using an unapproved electronic device, or using an approved electronic device in an unapproved manner (games, email, Facebook/Twitter etc.), I will confiscate the device until the end of class - no matter how bad your withdrawal is. (You abuse it, you lose it). Fear not - I will return the device to you at the end of class. However, repeat
offenders (more than one such offense during the semester) will be asked to leave class
for the day along with their communication devices. All work missed due 'communication device-inspired classroom ejection' will, of course, receive the normal zero. No make-ups will be allowed.
If you have a documented learning disability,
I am happy to set up any appropriate arrangements for testing, classes,
etc. Simply provide me with the paperwork from the center for disability services,
and let me know what I can do to make the class work for you.
On Food and Cooking (Required!)
by Harold McGee (ISBN 978-0-684-80001-1)
Also required: Non cell-phone scientific calculators. They must have LOG, LN, and square root functions. You may NOT use your cell phones as a calculator, since they will be locked up in closed containers during the entire class time, making it quite inconvenient to use them.
234 F Natural Science Center
Office hours are Tuesday from 10:30 am - 4 pm by appointment. Other office hours may be available by appointment, as well. Walk-ins are always welcome! My door is usually open, and I am on campus 5 days a week. Electronic Office Hours: Tuesday from 10:30 am-4:00 pm. When I am in my office, I can be tweeted @Tobintc. Email is also always good. I check it daily between the hourse of 5:00 am and 6:00 pm. If you send an email after 6:00 pm you should look for a response the next morning.
THE READINESS ASSURANCE PROCESS (RAPs):
new topic in this course will begin with a Readiness Assurance Process,
or RAP. In the 'Schedule of Events' below, you will see that each RAP
begins with assigned pre-class readings, podcasts and/or videos that
are designed to introduce you to the central concepts of each unit. You
will be expected to read/listen to/view these pre-class assignments
before coming to class that day. When you come to class you will be
held accountable for your pre-class preparation using the RAP quizzes
described below. If any of the concepts in your pre-class assignments
are confusing or unclear, you may ask questions in class before taking
the RAP, and we will discuss them. Following the RAP, you will apply
the course concepts using a series of in-class team concept activities
When you first arrive in class, you will take a 10 question,
closed-book multiple-choice test that is taken individually (I-RAP). I
use this test to assess your comprehension of the assigned readings,
and your readiness to move on to application of the material. Thus,
your preparation for the RAP should focus on basic information, facts
and terms, rather than on problem-solving or application. The I-RAP
will be worth 50% of your RAP grade.
Following the IRAP, the same multiple choice test will be re-taken as a
team (T-RAP). In this portion of the quiz, you and your team members
will help clarify concepts that may have been confusing to other team
members. The T-RAP will be worth 50% of your RAP grade.
Once the team test is completed your team will have an opportunity to
submit an appeal for questions where you disagree with the
question, the answer or the readings. I will review the appeals outside of class time and report the outcome of your team appeal at the next class
Feedback and Mini-lecture:
Following the tests and appeals I will answer any further questions on
the reading material, and then generally give a small lecture to expand
upon the reading concepts and to introduce the associated team concept
activities or labs.
TEAM APPLICATION PROBLEMS (TAPs):
the course (both in lecture and in lab), you and your team will be
asked to apply your knowledge of course concepts to real-life issues.
During these graded Concept Activities the focus will be on your
judgment and your ability to apply your knowledge, rather than on your
ability to simply recall information.
LABORATORY ANALYSIS OF FOOD:
During the second unit of this course, you will be asked to design and carry out experiments to test the veracity of claims that manufacturers make regarding the antioxidant composition of their products. The grade for this laboratory analysis will be determined in the following manner: 10% for participating in the experimental design class, 50% for participation in the generation and analysis of your results (carrying out the experiments and participating in the preparation of your posters), and 40% for the quality of your final poster presentation.
final comprehension of the basic science concepts introduced in lecture and
lab will be assessed during two unit exams, as indicated in the
'Schedule of Events'. These exams will generally consist of two
parts. The first part will contain 5-7 short answer questions that will
be intended to assess your basic comprehension of unit concepts. You
will be graded on all but one of the questions in this part, and you
may choose which question to drop. The second part of the exam will
contain one question that will evaluate your ability to synthesize and
apply course concepts. All students will be required to complete part 2
in its entirety. The unit exams will be closed-book, individual
efforts. If you are caught cheating on an exam you will receive a zero
for that exam, and a letter will be sent to the Dean of Students. If you are caught cheating on a second exam, you will fail the course. The Dean will, of course, be notified again.
The "Small Changes Reflection Paper" will serve as your unit exam for the final course unit on sustainable agriculture. It will be due on the last day of class and will be worth 10% of your final grade. Details will be provided during the third unit.
the end of each unit you will have the opportunity to evaluate your
team-mates. This Peer Evaluation will consider how well each of you
prepared for and contributed to the RAPs, and your overall contribution
to the team application exercises. There will be a separate, but
similar evaluation for the labs. You will evaluate each other using the
Preparation: Was your team member prepared when they came to class?
Contribution: Did your team member contribute productively to group discussion, work and leadership?
Respect for others' ideas: Did your team member encourage others to contribute their ideas?
Flexibility: Was your team member flexible when disagreements occurred?
will give each of your teammates a percentile grade based on these
criteria, and that percentile grade will directly adjust that student's
RAP grade for the unit. So, for example, if a student gets an 85% on
their RAPs and a 34 out of 40 team evaluation (85%), their final RAP grade would be
72.25% (85% of 85). It is important that you raise the evaluation of
people who truly worked hard for the good of the group and lower the
evaluation of those you perceived not to be working as hard on group
tasks. Those who contributed should receive the full worth of the
group's grades; those who did not contribute fully should only receive
partial credit. Here is the rubric that you will be using to assess each team member's performance: Peer Evaluation Rubric.
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