This week we got into the guts of digestion and the relationship between food and class.
On Monday, we discussed the quite complicated and ever-evolving issue of social class and food, culminating in a lecture from Andrew Whitley of Bread Matters in the afternoon session. Interestingly enough, the multigrain or wholemeal brown breads we hold in such high regard today, used to be given to the lower classes, as the pure white processed bread that cost more to make were only deemed worth for members of the upper classes. During the talk on bread, Andrew Whitley discussed the growing movement towards looking at people fed per hectare versus tons yielded per hectare in terms of agricultural production.
On Tuesday, we had guest lecturers Dr. Lois White and Dr. James Coey who spoke to us about digestion. Dr. White told us about the mechanics of digestion, as well as food allergies and sensitivities, as well as diseases like celiac and the issues around trend towards the purchasing of gluten-free products, whether or not consumers had celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten or wheat.
In the afternoon session, Dr. Coey spoke to us about the creatures that live in our guts, and the microbiota or community of microorganisms that reside in our bodies as well as how they help (or hurt) us. The science community is taking a much closer look at these microorganisms, as it believed and proven, that they play a much larger role in our overall health than previously thought.
Next week, we have group presentations as well as a lecture on taste, which should be really fun.