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Food, Science & the Human Body

by The Great Courses
$139.99$334.99
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Take an eye-opening look at the evolutionary history of our relationship with food.

Skill Level

Beginner

What You Get

  • 36 Streaming HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
  • Downloadable class resources, including a printable, 378-page class guidebook
  • 18+ hours of close-up instruction
  • Answers from fellow classmates in our virtual classroom

How it works

  • Once you purchase, find your class in your class library.
  • Watch on any device anytime.
  • Find downloadable class resources in the class viewer.

Class Overview

It may be a well-worn saying, but scientific data backs it up: You are what you eat. And not only that: You are what your earliest ancestors ate. In short, the story of humanity is inextricably linked to the foods we eat. Award-winning professor Alyssa Crittenden, Ph.D., provides a research-based approach to the history and science of the human diet, taking you far beyond the supermarket and laboratory. Understand our current — and future — relationship with food by looking back in time to the roots of food and food culture, and its intersection with science.

Lesson Breakdown

1. Paleo Diets & the Ancestral Appetite
31:19
Professor Alyssa Crittenden begins by discussing similarities between the Paleo diet and what our ancestors ate. After that, explore the evolution of nutrition to determine whether or not humans have adapted to one specific diet.
2. Our Hunter-Gatherer Past
30:34
3. Stones, Bones & Teeth
28:52
4. Did Meat Eating Make Us Human?
28:01
5. Insects: The Other White Meat
29:10
6. Was the Stone Age Menu Mostly Vegetarian?
29:15
7. Cooking & the Control of Fire
29:02
8. The Neolithic Revolution
30:12
9. The Changing Disease-Scape
29:07
10. How Foods Spread Around the World
29:38
11. The History of the Spice Trade
28:38
12. How Sugar & Sale Shaped World History
29:12
13. A Brief History of Bread
28:23
14. The Science & Secrets of Chocolate
30:01
15. Water: The Liquid of Life
29:35
16. Beer, Mead & the Fun of Fermentation
29:35
17. Humanity's Love of Wine
29:33
18. Coffee: Love or Addiction?
29:11
19. The Roots of Tea
28:11
20. The Fizz on Soda
29:32
21. Food as Ritual
27:35
22. When People Eat Things That Aren't Food
29:07
23. Food as Recreational Drugs
31:47
24. Food as Medicine
30:42
25. The Coevolution of Genes & Diet
30:03
26. The Scoop on Poop
30:30
27. The Gut Microbiome
30:27
28. Brain Food
29:25
29. You Are What Your Mother Ate
29:25
30. Civilization: Diets & Diseases
31:10
31. What the World Is Eating
24:53
32. The Overnutrition Epidemic
29:01
33. World Poverty & Undernutrition
31:13
34. Should the World Eat Meat?
32:45
35. Should We Be Powered by Plants?
31:39
36. The Future of Food
35:57

Taught by

Alyssa Crittenden
Alyssa Crittenden
Alyssa Crittenden is an anthropologist whose focus is on behavioral ecology and nutritional anthropology. She does field research among the Hadza hunter-gatherers of Tanzania, East Africa. Prof. Crittenden has received multiple awards for her research contributions, including the prestigious Nevada Regents' Rising Researcher Award for 2017. Her research has been published in top-tier academic journals such as National Geographic magazine, Smithsonian magazine and Psychology Today. Prof. Crittenden has also appeared on BBC, PBS and NPR, as well as in several documentaries.

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