Session S44b (Tuesday, 2pm, Wartik 111)

P521: Better eating through chemistry: Using chemistry to explore and improve local cuisine

Kimberlee Daus (Belmont University, USA)

As James Beard said, “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”  Local cuisine provides a conduit not only for exposing students to other cultures but, when used within a classroom, for learning chemistry in a nontraditional way.  This talk will describe a non-majors Maymester course which used Hispanic, Southern and local food as the focal point of the class. Three problems, each focusing on one of the local cuisines, examined two problematic dishes.   Students worked through the problems, learning the relevant food chemistry involved in the dishes, as they developed and trialed new recipes.  In addition to traditional labs, students explored chemistry content through experiential learning involving field trips to local restaurants, kitchens, and farms, shopping excursions and chef demonstrations.  Although the course was offered for non-majors, a similar course for majors could easily be developed.


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