GAPS 9: A research project on Nutrition
The goal of this project is to perfect your research and presentation skills.
3. Assessment rubric
Your slide show must have 4 parts. The number of slides within each part is up to you.
1. Present the issue, the topic, the problem or the controversy.
2. Explain 1 side of the issue and the arguments that support it.
3. Explain the other side of the issue and the arguments that support it.
4. Take a stand and defend 1 side and tell us what why you feel strongly about it. Make sure you have strong arguments from reliable sources.
The last slide must show your sources in proper MLA 8 format. Not a web link.
You will present formally. This means you must pay attention to your physical presence, be serious in front of your audience, and use your voice appropriately. Even though it was created for the business market, this video provides good tips on how to present .
You need at least 1 reliable source from the Internet. Here are some general sites on nutrition. Do searches for your specific topic.
You need at least 1 reference from 2 of the following sources.
1. . Introduction and meeting your partner
. Review: Navigator, The Hub, the project LibGuide, Destiny
. Create your Google Doc.
. Brainstorm and choose your Top 3
. Tutorial on Boolean searching
2. EBSCO, Opposing Viewpoints + login sheet link (exercises)
3. Google search + evaluating websites (exercises)
4. Citing and plagiarism (exercises)
5. Finish research and work on slide presentation
6. Finalise your slide presentation and practice
7. Presentations and feedback
* Please note that the schedule and some of the content may change.
In this TED Talk from 2007, nature writer Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food) thinks about plants...from the point of view of those plants. Is grass taking over the world, getting humans to destroy forests? Is corn slowly dominating our entire food system? Pollan thinks that our consciousness isn't the only effective tool for dominating a planet -- plants have some tricks up their sleeves (or, uh, leaves) as well.
NUTRITION TOPICS - EXAMPLES
Choose a specific topic and narrow it down as much as possible. See the examples below.
Define the issue, give the context (the general, the big picture), focus on the specific, show the different points of view,
explain why we should care and what we can do, etc.
. Has the industry been telling the truth about the dangers of sugar? What about the government? Link 1 Link 2
. Scientist Robert Lustig argues that sugar is as harmful as tobacco and cocaine. Explore.
Food scandals: Think food safety, false advertising, etc. E.g., The issue of buying and eating food that was advertised as something else such as the horse-meat scandal in France.
Consumer help: Are food packaging labeling systems such as Nutri-Score a step in the right direction to buying and eating better in France? Who's defending it, who's against it? What is being done elsewhere? Link 1 Link 2
Prices: Is eating well a privilege of the rich? Why is organic more expensive and is it justified? How can poor families eat well?
UPDATED Diets: You may want to choose 1 among these types of diets: 1) The food one usually eats ("I have a balanced diet"), 2) A special way to eat in order to lose weight or for medical reasons (Weight Watchers, the South Beach diet), 3) The way some people eat to support their strong convictions about nutrition, animal welfare or ecology (Flexitarianism, veganism, vegetarianism, ethical omnivore, clean eating, Wildevore eating, slow food...). Link 1 (in French)
Restrictions: Are gluten and dairy-free fads only? Do we need gluten and/or dairy in our diet? Is there a danger in removing those food if we're not intolerant or allergic to them? Take the example of some of the new gluten-free restaurants in Paris. Would they survive if only people allergic to gluten were clients, or do they expect to take advantage of this gluten-free trend?
Organic: Are organic products really healthier than non-organic food? Who benefits from the higher prices, the producer or the distributor? What can consumers do?
NEW Frozen food: Frozen fruits and vegetables are usually deep frozen "minutes" after harvest which, for some, makes them a healthier choice for consumption. Some even argue that they are more nutritional than "fresh" produce found in grocery stores. How true is the claim? What does research say? In France, people revere Picard, the famed manufacturer and distributor of frozen products. Is its popularity based on convenience, freshness, quality, prices, all of the above?
Feeding the world: How are we going to feed 8 billion people in 10 years? What's being done now? Will insects and algae really be the next food options? What needs to be changed?
Food guide: Are food "pyramids" necessary? How will the new USDA food plate (the old "food pyramid") help Americans eat better?
Processed food: How harmful to your health are industrial and ultra-processed foods and additives? Link 1 (in French)
NEW The treatment of farm animals, from birth to the slaughterhouse. What are the laws regarding farm animal welfare in Europe? Maybe look at the differences between the Unites States and Europe? How useful, powerful and successfult are animal rights and militant groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA worldwide), L214 in France, Igualdadanimal in Spain and Mercy for animals in the US who use, among others, shocking videos to denounce animal maltreatment? (Warning: Some of the videos are difficult to watch.)
Pesticides: How dangerous and harmful are pesticides? Should we use them at all or ban them altogether? How can we strike the right balance between their usefulness and danger?
NEW How far does your food travel to get to your plate?
Food deserts vs. food oasis
Obesity: Does advertising have an impact on children's obesity?
Do Superfood exist? What makes them super? How super are they? Chia, quinoa, kale, goji, acai, turmeric (curcuma), wheatgrass etc.
Food safety, regulations: What are the main differences between the US and the European commmunity in the food or meat industry.
UPDATED Food waste: What are some of the initiatives taken by the government, businesses, communities and individuals to try to solve the problem of food waste?
Agriculture and environmental impact