Food & Culture
By Gregory Lundberg
To survive, we eat--this is a given. And we do eat--three square meals a day really start to add up! (And we haven’t even factored in those snack-breaks we all sneak from time to time.) Given how often we eat, not to mention the wide variety of foods easily available these days (and at all hours!), it’s easy to take our food for granted. In this lesson, teachers and their students will engage in activities that encourage them to slow down and consider the complex role food plays in our lives. We begin with aphorisms from 19th century French writer Jean-Anthelm Brillat-Savarin, after which we examine artist Mark Menjivar’s photographic portraits, not of people, but of their refrigerators. We then move to two important 2010 Chicago Humanities Festival programs, “Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner” and “The Perfect Meal,” with a dollop of Michael Pollan thrown in for good measure. As a final project, students will design a menu showcasing their own interpretation of the “perfect meal”--for themselves, their parents, and their grandparents--a multi-course, multi-generational gastronomical bonanza. Bon appetit!
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