Deliverable: 5-8 page research paper, double spaced, 12 point New Times Roman font, (1250-2000 word research paper if using numerous bullet points/graphs/etc). Must include at least 5 citations from primary and secondary sources, using proper APA format for citations, footnotes/endnotes and bibliography.
This paper is meant to be a synthesis of all the topics discussed throughout the semester. The topic is completely open to student choice and interest, but it is highly recommended to get the subject approved by the teaching staff.
This is a list of examples of topics that would fit into the course, feel free to explore one of these topics, or create a topic of your own choosing on the subjects discussed.
Sustainability: Should we eat meat? What are the environmental/ethical issues around meat production in the United States (or other countries)?
- Is there a place for Genetically Modified Organisms in a sustainable food system?
- Organic vs. Non-organic. Is organic always the best choice? What factors could limit the environmental or nutritional benefits of eating “organic”?
- Make a case for a vegetarian diet. As world population grows, will it be necessary for us to move to a more vegetarian diet?
- Do insects play a role in future diets?
- Seafood – is it sustainable? Can aquaculture feed us all?
History: What is the history of the term “organic agriculture”? Or,
conversely, what is the history of the term “conventional agriculture”
- Look at the history of one of the world’s great cuisines – Chinese,
Indian, French, Italian. How has that cuisine changed over time? What factors have lead to that change? How do the food systems of the wealthy affect food systems of the poor, and vice versa?
- Analyze the history of ethnic foods in the United States. – Research the history of restaurants – either fine dining, or fast food.
- How did the “Columbian Exchange” affect food systems throughout the world?
- What is “authenticity” in cooking? In an age of globalization, are there any “authentic” forms of cooking left?
- How do cultural identity and cuisine relate? Religious identity and cuisine?
Foods and Nutrition: – Choose one of the cooking methods we discussed and look at how that cooking method is expressed around the world (ie the technique of long, slow cooking of meats is
expressed as BBQ in America, ragouts in the Mediterranean region,
hot pots in Korea, etc).
• Analyze a specific diet – cultural (Mediterranean, Okinawan, etc.) or
fad (Atkins, Paleo, etc) and research the cultural context. How did the diet come about, was it a result of current scientific thinking or was it a reaction against current scientific thinking? How do the diets hold up over time?
This paper is a large percentage of the final grade of the course and as such research should begin early in the semester. Research should meet academic standards discussed in GWAR (if students have not taken GWAR or are currently taken it). The project is very open to student interest but should follow set standards for academic writing, using peer reviewed sources rather than non-peer reviewed or mass market sources (ie Wikipedia, etc).
Grading will be based on the following:
20% length requirements
40% content (thesis, supporting evidence, adequately addressing opposing viewpoints)
20% grammar, syntax, spelling
20% proper use of APA citations, proper use of sources