The Scientific Basis of Nutrition
Are We Really What We Eat?

Message From The Instructor

Dr. Paul Saltman, Ph.D.

I don't know about you, but I am apprehensive. We are part of an exciting and creative experiment to reach out to high school teachers and other interested educators to enrich their knowledge and teaching skills in the field of the science of human nutrition. We are daily confronted with so much sense and nonsense about food and health that we do not know what to believe. It is time to bring order out of chaos. With the foundation of science based nutritional understanding, you may acquire though this course the ability to enjoy good food and good health, and share that knowledge with your students.

I am Paul Saltman, professor of biology at University of California, San Diego. I have been "teaching school" and carrying out fundamental research in the field of biochemical nutrition for over forty years. For the same forty years, I have been a committed student. I have written several books, two of which comprise your reading for this course. I love to teach. I love to learn.

What should you expect to learn about the science of nutrition and the "metaphysics" of food? Your personal understanding of nutrition and food will be strengthened and this, in turn, will enhance your life. This course will also allow you to translate this knowledge and make it applicable to your classroom and school activities.

You may choose to take this course as either Pass/No Pass or for a letter grade. You will receive two upper division semester units (equal to 3 quarter units) through the University of California, San Diego Extension. These units are applicable to your professional development. In order to pass the course, you must fulfill the requirements of an open book exam and a final project. There will also be required reading from two books which were sent to you, along with a syllabus, when your tuition was received at UCSD.

In addition to the texts, there will be relevant current media stories, primarily from the New York Times, assigned as the course progresses. At the beginning of weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 you will find "Lecture Notes" related to the assigned reading posted online. These notes are being posted in two-week increments, rather than one week increments, in order to allow you the most flexibility possible with your schedule. Follow the readings listed in the syllabus. Read the lecture notes. Then join the classroom discussion by clicking on "Join the Discussion" at the bottom of each set of lecture notes. (Read "How to Participate" for more detailed instructions on how to make your way around the online classroom.) Throughout the course you will be able to interact online with me and with other knowledgeable experts in the field to answer questions and to provide further information.

I am excited! We are about to embark together on a learning experience that will, in the best of all possible worlds, enrich your life and the lives of those you teach.

I am looking forward to seeing you online!
Paul Saltman

Dr. Paul Saltman, Ph.D., is currently professor of Biology at University of California, San Diego. Dr. Saltman has been teaching and carrying out fundamental research in the field of biochemical nutrition for over forty years. Dr. Saltman has written numerous articles and books, two of which comprise the required texts for this course. Dr. Saltman holds degrees in both chemistry and biochemistry and has been the recipient of a variety of research and educational grants and awards.

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