Last month, students in Honors 101 immersed themselves in politics and the food pyramid to prepare for three class periods of debate. The newest addition to the course included Reacting to the Past, a role-playing game that gave students the opportunity to engage with important historical issues. Honors 101, taught by Dr. Leigh Johnson, has focused on food issues, so students reimagined the 1991 House hearings on approving the food pyramid.
After several class sessions, where students listened to “representatives” from the USDA and HHS, as well as “lobbyists” for industries such as corn and dairy, “legislators” voted to reject the pyramid, but allowed the USDA to retain control over the guidelines. “Challenging the Food Pyramid” gave students the opportunity to relive an important moment in the history of health and nutrition. By participating in Reacting to the Past, Honors students gained a new perspective on the complexity of contemporary issues.
By Amanda Bourne