Chia seeds and colostrum for breakfast anyone?

Every now and then there is a new miracle food on the block. Or a new poisonous one. Sometimes it seems that every new day brings yet another food item that one should absolutely eat (or ban) to stay healthy. Pomegranate anyone? Eggs? Chia seeds? Raw meat? Kale? Colostrum?

If you are tired of all this and would like to make a bit of sense out of most of the nonsense out there, or if you are simply interested in knowing real facts about food, from proteins to vitamins via chocolate, this MOOC (massive open online course) may be for you: Food for Thought, offered on the edX platform by McGill university (free).

The course just started this week, so there is still plenty of time to enroll. I have myself only watched the introduction, but I found some of the first short videos entertaining and informative (each video is about 10 min long).

Did you know that Popeye never ever said that he was getting his strength from the iron in all the spinach he ate? Have you ever wondered why there are brown eggs and white eggs? Does it make any difference whether the eggs you buy are “omega-3” or not? Does skipping breakfast really make you fat? Those are some of the examples mentioned in the first videos of the course (there are also recommended readings if you’re craving more details).

More importantly, this course might just help you navigate the sense and nonsense of what you constantly hear about food. It will likely provide the basic knowledge and tools we all need to better understand and critically think about all the information thrown at us by the media regarding what we eat.

Since the course just started a few days ago, I cannot vow for its content, but hey, it’s free, you can enroll and watch whatever videos you like, whenever you have time. We can all benefit from being better informed consumers, and from improving our critical thinking in the face of an ever increasing flow of information – and misinformation – coming at us. So why not seize the opportunity and learn a little something about food?

Links:
– edX platform: https://www.edx.org/
– Course “Food for Thought”: https://www.edx.org/course/mcgillx/mcgillx-chem181x-food-thought-1213
Blog (Office for Science and Society, McGill University)

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