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Nutrition and Law

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  • Title: Conscious Grocery Shopping: Sustainability, Nutrition, Health and Law

  • Professor: Prof. Dr. Kai Purnhagen

  • Description: Would you consider yourself a conscious decider when it comes to food grocery shopping? Do you really buy healthy and sustainably? Join this course for a journey through the grocery store with multidisciplinary scientific insights that will empower you to make better food choices.

This MOOC consists of six modules that guide you through the different departments of your grocery store, allowing you to make informed decisions while shopping. The course provides a combination of videos, figures, interactive quizzes, and offers insights into the fascinating scientific world of food commodities, highlighting the aspects of sustainability, nutrition, health and law. You also have the opportunity to meet all professors of the University of Bayreuth’s "Faculty of Life Sciences: Food, Nutrition and Health" as they share their expertise to provide a multifaceted approach to your daily shopping.

You’ll leave this course (and the grocery store) with a conscious awareness of your decisions. 

Chapter 1 starts at the home of Ben and Sophie. Both are overwhelmed with all the information about food, nutrition and health they caught on television and social media.. Luckily, Jun. Prof. Dr. Tina Bartelmeß is able to help them out in understanding the information overload and the different responsibilities concerning conscious grocery shopping. After Jun. Prof. Dr. Laura König explained how some small behavioral changes could influence individual shopping behavior, Ben and Sophie are ready to go to the supermarket. 

Arrived at the grocery store, Ben and Sophie head to the fruit and vegetable shelf, where they learn about fructose, fiber and secondary plant compounds from Prof. Dr. Janin Henkel-Oberländer and Prof. Dr. Susanne Baldermann. At the end of this chapter, Ben and Sophie discover and learn about an innovation in the supermarket and the world of food supply: the indoor farming.  

Chapter 2 then leads our main characters to the food shelves, where they take a closer look at chocolate. After this chapter, Ben and Sophie are aware of choice architecture and the influence of availability in the supermarket as well as corporate social responsibility in the food industry. They discover the different sustainability labels and the legal background of regionality labels.  

In chapter 3 Ben and Sophie are still at the food shelves, developing a deeper understanding of the ingredients list as well as health labels together with Prof. Dr. Kai Purnhagen among others. Ben then learns more about his high blood cholesterol and the role of different foods that influence this health condition.  

Strolling to the meat and fish counter in chapter 4, Ben and Sophie learn about the legal background of animal welfare standards in the European Union. They take a closer look at organic labels on the different meat products as well as the specifics of the fish food supply chain and certification standards like the MSC-label. Lastly, they discover that there are also many alternative sources of protein that can be consumed as part of a diversified diet. 

With this knowledge, the two of them go to get the milk products from the shopping list in chapter 5. Here they develop a deeper knowledge of lactose intolerance and how intolerances differ from allergies. Then, Prof. Dr. Stephan Clemens broadens their understanding about genetically modified food and the meaning of the non-GMO-Label. 
As Ben and Sophie are invited to a party, they also discuss about alcohol in this chapter. In the course of this, they learn about the metabolism of alcohol as well as the controversies concerning warning labels.  

At the beginning of chapter 6, the main characters learn about the complex processes necessary to fill the supermarket shelves. Afterwards, Ben and Sophie discuss their dinner plans: pizza. But does it make a difference, if they have a frozen pizza or a self-made pizza regarding the calorie content? Together with an expert, they take a closer look before they head to the check-out with all their groceries. If only they wouldn’t have to carry them home… Prof. Dr. Christian Fikar explains different business models of home delivery for grocery shopping. Last but not least, Ben and Sophie learn about their consumer rights concerning home delivery.  

With a lot of new interdisciplinary knowledge, Ben and Sophie leave the grocery store.

Enroll here

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