Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pot Luck Projects

Food, People, & Planet Mapping

By: Heather Black ‘13

The diets of human beings have changed dramatically throughout history. When comparing the diets of tribal groups to those of the modern western world, one can see that there is also a large contrast. We all know how modern diets impact our health, but just what types of food were involved in the diets of tribal groups? Are they healthier than ours? And where are they located? Professor Schindler’s GRW class: Food, People, and the Planet, set out to answer these questions and with the help of Andrew Wright used GIS software to map the location of each group. The project involved studying the research of Weston Price, a dentist who traveled the world and documented the diets of 14 different groups isolated from the industrialized world. The class discovered that the diets were vastly different from ours and consisted of variety raw foods including raw milk and dairy products, unprocessed grains, organ meats, and quality animal fats. Dr. Price also documented the almost complete absence of tooth decay, obesity, and the other “western” diseases such as diabetes we currently suffer from in the modern western world. The class placed this data into excel sheets and with the help of Andrew Wright used ArcGIS 9.3 to map the information, showing the locations of the different groups.

Professor Bill Schindler:
"People making important changes the modern food system and our diets are still utilizing the data the Weston Price collected in the 1930's. Many of these people believe that infor¬mation such as this can provide better guidance for how humans should be eating than modern food science can."

Cartographer: Ann Hoang ‘13

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