Food Biography Assignment | Food and culture

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Food Biography Assignment

Food and culture


The purpose of this assignment is for you to critically examine what food is, especially in today’s world, and how we make decisions about what we eat.


Skills and Knowledge:

After successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:


  • Examine the background, marketing, and ingredients of a processed food item.
  • Evaluate the veracity and quality of a variety of resources.
  • Reflect upon what food is (and is not) and how you go about making your food choices.
  • Demonstrate professional critical thinking and writing.


Food Biography Assignment Task:

  1. For this assignment, you are asked to select a processed food item that has at least 5 ingredients. At least one of the ingredients must have been a living organism prior to processing and at least one other of the ingredients must be a food additive (a substance designed to protect or improve the flavor, texture, and/or appearance of the end product).
  2. You need to conduct research on the product itself as well as the company that produces the product. You will then need to select two ingredients: one that was a living organism prior to processing and the other a food additive. Conduct research on the evolutionary history and current production of the living organism and about the development and use of the food additive.

Food and culture

For this research, you can use all available sources, including blogs and Wikipedia, but you need to try to verify the truthfulness of all the material that you present in this assignment (that is, if the information is available in just one place, are you sure it is true?). You do need to cite at least two academic sources (defined as peer-reviewed journal articles or books/book chapters published by an academic press (e.g. Oxford University Press). Note that many government documents, particularly government websites, are not considered academic sources. These citations should occur in Parts 1-3 of the template. Please refer to this Guide to Evaluating Resources from Cornell College for how to determine an academic (scholarly) source. You must cite all of your sources in the text and list the full citation information at the end of the template.

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After researching and writing up your findings, you need to reflect upon the variety and types of sources that you used to complete this assignment. In order to conduct this evaluation, please refer to the Evaluation Criteria for Internet Resources chart in the Guide to Evaluating Resources from Cornell College.

Reflect upon how completing this assignment and your coursework thus far has helped you think of how we define food and how you make decisions about what you will eat. You need to cite at least one course source (reading, lecture, or video) in this reflection.

Use the required template to write up your research results and your reflection.



Food Biography Assignment Criteria for Success:

In order to be successful in this assignment, do the following:

  • Download and use the required assignment template.
  • Follow the directions listed above and in the assignment template.
  • Use proper spelling and grammar, including sentence and paragraph format.
  • Check out the rubric to see how the assignment will be graded. Compare your completed assignment to the rubric to ensure you have met every expectation.
  • ASK QUESTIONS IF ANYTHING IS UNCLEAR!!! Please use the Hallway Conservations board to ask us if you are unclear about any of the expectations of this assignment.


ASB 300: Food and Culture

Food Biography Assignment




(12 points)

Product Name:(1 point)

Please list the product name.


Product Ingredients:(1 point)

Please list the ingredients as listed on the product.


Company Background:(5 points)

Please provide information on the company that manufactures the product. The type of information you are looking for is if the company is primarily a food manufacturer, whether the company is a subsidiary of a larger company, and any basic information you can find on the finances of the company. (50-100 words)


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Product Background:(5 points)

What is the social history of this product? That is, when did this product (either the specific product itself (e.g. Lay’s Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips) or the wider type of product (e.g. potato chips) begin being manufactured? Does this product have specific geographic origins? To whom is this product targeted (consider demographics such as age, gender, etc.)? Are there any type of taste or health claims made in its marketing? (50-100 words)





(12 points)

For Part 2, you need to select an ingredient in the food product that was a living organism prior to its processing.


Ingredient Name:(2 points)

List the ingredient that was a living organism that you have selected (both the common and scientific name)


Evolutionary history:(5 points)

When and where was this food item originally domesticated? For what purpose? How has this food item changed since its domestication? (50-100 words)


Current status:(5 points)

Where is this food item currently produced? Where is the most likely production location of the food item that is found in the product? How did this food item come to be produced there? (50-100 words)





(12 points)

In Part 3, you need to select an ingredient that is a food additive. Food additives are substances designed to protect or improve the flavor, texture, and/or appearance of the end product.


Ingredient Name:(2 points)

List the ingredient that is a food additive that you have selected. Please provide both the common and scientific name if applicable.


Background:(5 points)

Please describe what function this ingredient plays as a food additive (note: it is not enough to say that it is a preservative – you need to describe what that means). Is this substance naturally occurring or chemically synthesized (or both)? (50-100 words)


Healthy and Safety:(5 points)

Are there any health or safety concerns associated with this substance’s use as a food additive? If yes, what are they and how are they being addressed? If no, who has determined the safety and how? (50-100 words)


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(20 points)

Source Evaluation:(10 points)

What types of sources did you use to complete this assignment? How valid or accurate do you think those sources were? Did they tell you from where they learned the information? If yes, what types of sources were they using? If no, how do you make an evaluation of whether or not this information is accurate? Remember that you can use the Evaluation Criteria for Internet Resources chart in the Guide to Evaluating Resources from Cornell College to help you evaluate your sources. (200-300 words)


Personal Reflection: (10 points)

What has completing this assignment and the coursework (lectures, readings, videos, discussion boards) changed the ways that you view food and eating? Is a food item more than the sum of its parts? Or is it different than the sum of its parts? What makes something food, or not? How do you evaluate what you will consume as food? (200-300 words)




(9 points)

For this assignment, you were required to cite at least two academic (scholarly) sources in Parts 1-3 and at least one course source (lecture, reading, video) in Part 4. Using an accepted citation format (e.g. APA, MLA, Chicago), please list all of the sources (not just the two academic sources and one course source, but all sources) that you used to complete this assignment. Each source needs to have a corresponding in-text citation.






(10 points)

Correct spelling and grammar are expected in this assignment. Additionally, you are expected to use this template to provide your answers, which should all appear in sentence and paragraph form. Please adhere as closely as possible to the provided word counts.

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Last Updated on October 15, 2019 by EssayPro