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21st Century Cuisine, Nutrition and Genetics in France and the United States

par Jahan - publié le

« 21st Century Cuisine, Nutrition and Genetics in France and the United States », Collaborative Program en réponse à l’appel à Projets PUF 2009 (Partner University Fund) ; FACE (French American Cultural Exchange) ; University of California Los Angeles - UCLA, 2009-2012.

Partners : UCLA Center for Society and Genetics, Los Angeles : Hannah Landecker ; Centre Edgar Morin/iiAC (EHESS-CNRS), Paris : Richard Delerins ; École Claire Fontaine, Franco-American Preschool, Los Angeles : Joelle Dumas.

Project description

The purpose of the partnership between the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS-CNRS) is to establish a collaborative interdisciplinary and multi-departmental research program focusing in the science and the social science of nutrition and cuisine. The project aims to produce new research that is more than new results in traditional form : by bringing together scholars who work at different scales of biology and culture, this collaboration will incubate new methods and new pedagogical strategies at the intersection of genetics, nutrition and cuisine.

Nutrition, metabolism, and cuisine are interlinked areas of study in a wide array of disciplines, from the life sciences to the social sciences. Whether the specific issue is the genetics of crops and lifestock and their biodiversity, the genetic and social causes of obesity and diabetes, or the realm of molecular gastronomy and the slow food movement, cuisine, nutrition and genetics are emerging as central scientific and social problems of our time. As such, this area constitutes a compelling scholarly field of endeavor, from those focused on the gene to those focused on the food on the table. Often, however, the research questions, methods and results at the micro-scale of molecule and cell are not recognizable to research communities interested in the macro scale of human food choice and culinary traditions. Together, we will face the pressing questions of how genetic findings and techniques will change nutrition and cuisine, the challenges of 21st century cuisine, preserving the environment and culinary traditions, and the simultaneously nutrigenomic and social challenge of feeding our genes and our taste buds.

The partnership includes 1) a joint research program conceived as a three-layer project that moves across the scales and the disciplines from gene to nutrition to cuisine, and 2) transfer of knowledge acquired in this collaboration to a new generation of researchers through exchanges of students, post-docs and faculty, joint publications, conferences, teaching and curriculum development.