Being a foodie at the University of Michigan is something easier said than done. With no culinary or gastronomy classes offered, its hard to elevate your foodie-ness to an academic level. Currently the only food-oriented classes are a handful of English 125 classes, a few environmental classes focusing on food and the ecosystem and the two classes Margot Finn teaches.
Finn’s introductory class, “Much Depends on Dinner,” (UC 254) covers a broad array of food topics from the ethics of eating organic to whether or not skim milk is actually better for you. The class is categorized under Sophomore Initiative and is geared toward sophomores (I took it as a sophomore), but is really open to all.
The main goal of “Much Depends on Dinner” is to debunk the food myths that impact our decisions every day. It covers topics such as farm-to-table concepts, food miles, popular diets, GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and sustainability.
Finn is one of the most intelligent food scholars I have encountered. Her vast knowledge of food studies allows her to answer student questions thoroughly and thoughtfully. She is encouraging, well-qualified and most importantly open to all viewpoints.
The Subject Matter: If you are interested in food studies, this is absolutely the class for you. It gives you information in a variety of subjects that allows you to see what you are interested in if you choose to study food further.
The Workload: the class only consisted of blog posts, reading quizzes, and papers. By no means was this a walk in the park, but definitely easy in the sense that if you put in the work and participate (as well as do the extra credit) you’re on track to an A.
The only downside — because there were no legitimate tests, I felt that I didn’t retain as much information as I could of.
All in all, UC 254 “Much Depends on Dinner” is a great class that I would recommend for any foodies trying to turn their passion into an academic pursuit. It will be offered again in the Winter 2014 semester by Margot Finn.