Science in Food Preparation
Dates: June 3rd-15th
Everyone needs food to live, but you have to prepare that food correctly so people don’t get sick! Lots of wild foods grow in Alaska—but which ones can you safely eat?This module will focus on the biology and chemistry of food preparation. Students will collect and identify wild foods, such as berries, then learn ways to prepare them and even preserve them to eat later in the year.Did you know that you can cook with acid as well as heat?That even though some bacteria can make you sick, others can be used to make cheese and yogurt?Students will learn how to use yeast to bake bread and to make easy, tasty carbonated soft drinks. Finally, students will learn the difference between a fruit and a vegetable, understand how bees make honey, and explain which taste buds are responsible for those foods that they love (or don’t love). Students will learn how to preserve meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit safely, and try out some traditional foods from other countries, as well.They’ll even make some yummy snacks to take home and share with their family!
Mel Durrett is Ph.D. student, ecologist, and summer instructor at UAF.She grew up in Mississippi and earned her B.S. at the University of Wyoming in 2003.Mel researches the relationship between plants and soil: in Rocky Mountain forests, on New Zealand seabird islands, and most recently in Alaskan wetlands.When she’s not writing or teaching about plants, she’s probably collecting all the delicious wild foods Alaska has to offer—fishing, hunting, gardening, picking berries and mushrooms, and preserving them all to enjoy year-round! Mel taught the ASRA Plant Genetics module last year and she's looking forward to another summer of fun science!
Sally Kieper has a BA in Elementary Education and Environmental Education. She also has a BS in Natural Resources: Environmental Education and Interpretations with a minor in Camp and Youth Agency Administration and Programming. In addition to her education, Sally has extensive experience as a teacher and is currently a teacher for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. Aside from her teaching experience in a classroom, Sally was also the Program Head of Hidden Villa Summer Camp and an instructor for Upham Woods 4-H Environmental Education Center where she taught ecology lessons and led outdoor activities for youth grades K-12.