For seven years the University of Missouri-Columbia has hosted the MU Life Sciences & Society Symposium and — nice news — this event is free and open to the public, though you do need to register online.
The event’s eighth and latest incarnation is Food Sense, to be held March 16-18. Experts will assemble to speak about nutrition, taste science, the psychology and culture of eating, food marketing and local foods, among other issues related to our food supply, all for the purpose of investigating why we eat the way we do and how we can make healthier food choices.
A few of the speakers seem particularly interesting to me. Keynote speaker Brian Wansink, an expert in changing eating behavior, will discuss research from his book, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, in a presentation entitled, “From Mindless Eating to Mindlessly Eating Better” (curious as I’ve never associated healthier eating with the word “mindless”). Food critic and author Todd Kliman will present “Confessions of a Self-Hating Foodie, or How Classism, Food Fetishism, Political Narcissism and Neo-Agrarianism Is Ruining My Dinner” (quite a mouthful!) to survey the food revolution and the widening gap between the haves and have-nots. Author, chef and scientist Shirley Corriher will shed light on the chemistry of cooking and baking to help you get the results you want in the kitchen in her talk, “The Secret Life of Food.” There are many more speakers at this event, so I hope you’ll be able to attend.
Complementing the symposium’s food theme is an upcoming exhibit at the The Columbia Art League. From now through to April 21 Eat Me will feature works of art in all mediums that explore what food means to us. If you haven’t been to a CAL exhibit this might be just the right time to treat yourself to a visual feast.
May the food that you eat be a source of good health and pleasure. Bon appetit!