The Edible World

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The Edible World
Science Course
Course CodeFOOD
Year Opened2001
Sites OfferedALE, GIL, NUE, SAN, SPE, WLA
Previously OfferedMSA, NUE, NRS, STP, WDS, WIN
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Course Description

From the CTY Course Catalog (2001):

Have you ever wondered about the ingredients in a diet soda, the purple stain left by grape juice, or the strange smell of vinegar? Why do canned foods last for years without refrigeration, and how do you make ice cream creamy? In this course, students take a closer look at the common products on grocery shelves, and use these items as a springboard to learning about chemistry and biotechnology.

The three basic building blocks of food— proteins, carbohydrates, and fats—are also the building blocks of all of life as we know it. Through activities, hands-on experiments, and field trips, students learn the role each of these molecules plays in health and disease, as well as how they are used and abused in the modern diet culture. Using Mendel’s early observations of pea plants, students gain a basic understanding of the principles of genetics and explore current questions in the field of selective breeding and genetic engineering. For example, how do scientists create a seedless watermelon or a broccoflower?

Laboratory exercises allow students to explore food chemistry, analyze the pigments produced by plants, and determine the caloric content of common foods. Students investigate what really happens when making ice cream, pasteurizing milk, or pickling cucumbers.