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with Alyssa Crittenden
Online Class

Food, Science & the Human Body

by The Great Courses
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It may be a well-worn saying, but scientific data backs it up: You are what you eat. And not only that: You are what your earliest ancestors ate. In short, the story of humanity is inextricably linked to the foods we eat. Award-winning professor Alyssa Crittenden, Ph.D., provides a research-based approach to the history and science of the human diet, taking you far beyond the supermarket and laboratory. Understand our current — and future — relationship with food by looking back in time to the roots of food and food culture, and its intersection with science.


  • beginner
  • 36 episodes
  • 17h53m

Included in this Class

1. Paleo Diets & the Ancestral Appetite

1. Paleo Diets & the Ancestral Appetite

Professor Alyssa Crittenden begins by discussing similarities between the Paleo diet and what our ancestors ate. After that, explore the evolution of nutrition to determine whether or not humans have adapted to one specific diet.

2. Our Hunter-Gatherer Past

2. Our Hunter-Gatherer Past

Prof. Crittenden reveals insights into hunter-gatherer societies based on fascinating research on one of Africa's last foraging populations, including how they function and how such practices may have even shaped the diversity of human nutrition.

3. Stones, Bones & Teeth

3. Stones, Bones & Teeth

Find out what scientists have discovered about the ancestral dinner plate through stone artifacts, human cranium bones and the dentition of early humans.