Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology 24, Section 3

Eating Green: The science behind the grassroots food movement (1 unit, P/NP)

Professor Amy Joy
Thursday 3:00-4:00, Online / Synchronous, Class number: 27344

Nutrition has become a hot-bed of controversy. Every day we are bombarded with new and seemingly unsubstantiated claims about a nutrient or dietary supplement with miraculous results that appear too good to be true. Other claims of products that boost our immune system or decrease our risk of heart disease may have little or no clinical significance. We hear concerns about the impact of agricultural methods on our environment as well as frightening reports on devastating illnesses associated with contaminated foods purchased in supermarkets or restaurants. How can we determine if these claims and others are credible? The goal of this freshman seminar is to analyze, discuss, and critically appraise the scientific basis for many controversial health and nutrition-related questions. What constitutes a healthy diet? What does eating healthy really mean? Are organic foods better for the environment? Am I eating enough fiber? Is sugar addictive? How can I reduce my intake of empty calories? How much alcohol reduces my risk of cardiovascular disease? How can I avoid food borne illness? These, as well as other current nutrition controversies, will be studied. Students will also examine their own dietary habits and participate in focus group interviews.

Instructor Bio

Amy Block Joy, Emeritus was educated at UC Berkeley (PhD, Nutritional Sciences; BA, Biochemistry/Bacteriology) and has worked at the University of California for 33 years (UCB: 1980 - 1988 ; UCOP: 1988-1994; and UC Davis: 1994-2013). She directed a poverty program receiving over $150 million in grants to improve the health and well-being of low-income Californians. She has authored dozens of scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles and hundreds of government reports on the study of health disparities among vulnerable populations. She also teaches an upper-division 198 class on ethics. She is currently the President for the UC Berkeley Emeriti Association.

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