The writers, editors and photographers at Spoon all adore anything related to food. We love writing about food, taking pictures of food, making food and most of all—devouring food. However, there is much more to food than just enjoying the heavenly delight it offers our taste buds. Here at Berkeley, we have the opportunity to further our passion for food by taking these six, fun, food-related DeCals, student-run democratic courses.
Not sure what Food related DeCal to take? Noble Asito, a senior studying rhetoric at Berkeley states, “We are the food DeCal.” This class will change the way you view your everyday food, from the way it is presented to the way it is cooked and the various ingredients it uses. Students take trips to Berkeley’s local farmers market, Asha Tea House, Juice Bar Collective, Pieology and Chez Panisse. All true foodies know better than to pass up this opportunity.
Three passionate material science students, Alan Lin, Quan Zhangand Nishant Biswas, decided to create a class at Cal to teach about the material science behind food. Don’t worry—this class isn’t just lectures on crystal structures and phase transformations—it’s about hands on experimentation. You will also be able to participate in labs that will teach you about the properties of food.
Inspired by the coffee and wine industries in the Bay Area, Nicolas Suissa decided to “create something unique for our students” by bringing key opinion leaders in the industries to guest speak in class. With such a strong startup culture in the Silicon Valley, it’s no surprise that “some of our students already have wine startups,” says Nicolas.
Sara Cate Jones at SOGA (Student Organic Gardening Association) believes that “hands-on experience is one of the best ways to learn and something that academia is greatly lacking today.” The Intro to Organic Gardening DeCal gives students the ability to expand on what they learn in their lectures and put their knowledge to use.
The Berkeley Student Food Collective facilitates this class to educate the Berkeley community on the hardships many farmers face due to the globalization of food. Lauren Nelson, Berkeley senior and course facilitator, raises the concern that “for every three dollars Starbucks earns from selling coffee, the farmers only earn three cents,” and how more people need to be aware of this inequality in our global food system.
James Buckel, facilitator of this DeCal says “Cooking is an essential skill for anyone to have—it saves money, provides a creative outlet and is an impressive skill to show off in general.” While this class teaches students the quirky facts of cooking, it also develops a cooking intuition based on chemical principles and interactions.