Food for the 21st Century

Food shapes our days and powers our dreams. It’s a source of health and well-being as well as a meta-phorical channel for love and pain. It brings us together in unforgettable ways: around campfires, under trees, inside kitchens and coffee shops, on blankets and boats and trains. We turn to food when we need to celebrate or grieve, when we have business to conduct or friends to entertain, when a loved one is preparing to leave home and when that loved one comes safely back. Across the globe, we define ourselves by what and when, how and where we eat. Our relationship with food is primal and, as these pages show, increasingly fraught. In parts of the world we eat too much, in much of the world too little. Many of the foods we eat are harmful to us—harmful too, research shows, to our unborn children. Our predilection for fast, cheap food has led to agricultural practices that are damaging the environment (as well as our hearts). Our addiction to fossil fuels is poisoning the waters from which we derive our fish and the soil in which we grow the fruits and vegetables and grains that are so essential to our health. We can’t stop eating, of course, but we can change the way we eat and the way we grow and distribute food. We can change our attitudes about what food is and how it should be consumed. Some people are there already. Read on, and you’ll see why.

  • Human Nutrition Program

    Human Nutrition Program

    Things are cooking these days at the School of Public Health Human Nutrition Program.

  • From the Dean: Food for Thought

    From the Dean: Food for Thought

    Food, glorious food!" No one of a certain age can forget the rousing song from the musical Oliver!, based loosely on the novel Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens.

  • Safety Matters

    Safety Matters

    At a time when both Congress and the Obama administration are calling for reforms to the nation's fractured food-safety system, it seems fair to ask: Can we trust what we eat and drink?

  • Crisis Management

    Crisis Management

    The New York Times may still be referring to Ann Arbor as "a Rust Belt oasis," but the University of Michigan's hometown has taken a hard hit along with the auto industry and the rest of the country.

  • Diabetes Anatomy

    Diabetes Anatomy

    Fueled by the growing obesity epidemic, type 2 diabetes afflicts an estimated 240 million people worldwide, many of them children and adolescents.

  • Adventures in Cyber-Dining

    Adventures in Cyber-Dining

    I should have scurvy. Or some other really scary boat-with-no-oranges-disease. According to a website hosted by the University of Michigan Cancer Center that tells you how many servings of fruit and veggies you need per day, I don't get enough

  • Test Your Food I.Q.

    Test Your Food I.Q.

    Take the quiz and test Your Food I.Q.

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