We Are What We Eat

A new Core II class “We Are What We Eat” encourages students to take positive action as they learn about their role as consumers. Professors Nancy Neiman Auerbach and Seung Hye Suh are team-teaching the spring semester course that examines the production, distribution, consumption, and waste of food both globally and in contemporary U.S. society.

Students are conducting group projects that range from planting and maintaining vegetable gardens on campus to investigating where the meat and dairy products served in the Malott Commons come from and how the animals are treated. Others are finding ways to minimize food waste on campus.

Fruit trees at Scripps and the other Claremont Colleges are also part of the projects. One group plans to pick the fruits and possibly juice them, preserve them, and use them in cooking. They are also mapping the fruit trees on the Claremont Colleges campuses in order to have a record of all the available public fruit.

The “Olive Oil Project” involves the olive trees near the Humanities Building. Students are proposing that the trees be left unsprayed, so that fruit can form; in addition, they are writing a business plan for bottling and selling Scripps’ own olive oil.

One of the course’s goals is to get students to examine their own food habits.

“I think this class will make me a lot more socially responsible with my eating habits,” said first year Taylor Smiley. “So far I’ve sworn off all non-organic, nonhormone free meat—which basically means I’m vegetarian on campus,” adds Cassie Gamm ’11.

The class and its many projects have also created buzz among Scripps staff members. Auerbach has received emails from several staff members asking for the syllabus so they could read along with the class.