One of my favorite courses at UNH was Ecogastronomy (ECOG 401). The class was always so interesting, and the many guest speakers we had always added new layers to the information we learned. Learning about what the different labels, such as USDA Organic, on food really mean is an important skill to have in the world. As I grocery shop now, I am more conscious of the products I choose and the importance of local food systems.

We had many interesting projects and assignments in this course. For one assignment, we were tasked with going to eat local food with peers in our class. Our final paper entailed choosing a food we regularly consume and conducting research into whether it was “good, clean, and fair.” These three aspects came from a book we read throughout the class called Slow Food Nation, by Carlo Petrini. I chose to look at Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, specifically their “Oat of this Swirled” flavor. I was able to discover that Ben and Jerry’s was very transparent about their work processes and their ingredients, as they are a B Corporation. This started my love of B Corps and prompted me to take part in the UNH B Impact Clinic later on.

On top of the wealth of information, the class was just very enjoyable. Tasting chocolates and maple syrups were components in the course (tied in with lessons on how both are made), and so much of the course tied back to how foods play a role in everyone’s lives. There is a picture of the maple syrups I tasted below!

Syrup Samples