Learning Culture Through Food

Learning Culture Through Food

You must first sign up to take this Course.  The Learning Culture Through Food lessons delve deeply into the reasons why our health and well-being is compromised because of modernity and technology and not just our genetic constitution as some argue.  Our bodies have evolved in many ways to enable us to eat in our modern world.  One example is that of lactose intolerance.  Chances are, if your ancient ancestors were dairy farmers, you may not be lactose intolerant.  Over time our bodies evolve to cooperate with the culture we are born into.  Our bodies have not yet evolved to eat the highly processed and refined foods we are now consuming.  This course will begin at the beginning, with Origins of Human Diets, as you will note in the topics covered.  Understanding diet history, which is related to culture and environment, as well as evolution, is important in developing  the healthiest pattern of eating for quality of life and longevity.

There are many reasons to Learn Culture Through Food practices.  Practices behind the patterns of human food consumption in different cultures affects the health of that population. How? Cultural influences play a very large role in why people eat what they eat. Decisions we make about what we eat for most meals, or snacks, has little to do with nutritional knowledge.  It has everything to do with culture. Here is a great link to Food History Jottings, where you can see perfectly well that nutrition is most often NOT the criteria for our food choices.  We love food that is presented beautifully and artistically, while at the same time gets our digestive juices flowing!  You may need to copy (Control C) and paste (Control V) the link into your browser.


When was it that people began to learn what foods were good for them?  Certainly early hunter-gatherers had little knowledge of vitamin or mineral content of their foods.  Yet, forensic studies of ancient skeletons reveal they did not die from the modern diseases that lead to our own demise today.

The lessons  in Learning Culture Through Food helps students understand why populations are suffering from obesity, heart disease, and other food-related issues.  This course has a prerequisite course, What is Culture?, which is free; and  there is also a textbook required for this course.

Check out the following video to see how people from different cultures, identify themselves with food.  This short film shows how culture and food are embedded into a person’s identity and are not easily separated.  You may need to copy (control C) and paste (control V) the link into your browser.


Learning Culture Through Food – 4 lessons in the Course

Topics covered in this course are:

1.  Origins/Changes in Human Diets – Lesson 1

2.  Green Genes – Lesson 2

3.  Globalization of Obesity – Lesson 3

4.  Paleolithic Palate – Lesson 4

Get started now, sign up to discover new ideas about food.  Why do you eat what you eat?  These are fun classes that tell your palate where it has been and what its future may be!  After taking this course, you may never want, or need to, diet again!

Course Materials

Computer, Internet connection, and optional textbook - "Food, Globalization and Sustainability" by P. Oosterveer, D. Sonnenfeld