Friday “recipe”: food for thought at Cafe Scientifique, on campus

We live in a food-intensive culture. From flashy marketing to super-sized portions to the presence of food at practically every professional and social event, food is often in our vision and within arm’s reach, and often it’s the kind that’s less than healthy.

Proof of that is our nation’s epidemic of obesity and the fact that the majority of Americans are now overweight or obese. The Science Center of Iowa, as part of its Cafe Scientifique series,will probe this topic on Tuesday, November 13, at Java Joe’s, 214 Fourth Street downtown, with a presentation by DMU’s very own David Spreadbury, Ph.D., chair of biochemistry and nutrition.

Dr. David Spreadbury, in the red apron, stir-fries vegetables with DMU Wellness Specialist Nicole Frangopol and Wellness Director Joy Schiller in the wellness center kitchen.

In addition to his biochem/nutrition courses, Dr. Spreadbury co-teaches with Joy Schiller, M.S., CHES, director of DMU’s wellness program, a popular elective on healthy cooking in the wellness center kitchen. In his Cafe Scientifique talk, he’ll examine the biological, cultural and environmental factors that encourage overeating – perfect timing as we approach the Holiday Season of Unhealthy Eating.

Dr. Spreadbury’s presentation, like all Cafe Sci events, is free. RSVPs are encouraged to

And speaking of food-for-thought events, here are two more, free and open to the public:

  • This Sunday, Nov. 11, 7 p.m., the 2011 “CNN Hero of the Year,” Robin Lim, will talk in a free presentation, open to the public, in DMU’s Student Education Center Auditorium. Lim is an Iowan and prolific author who will talk about her experience as a midwife in Bali, Indonesia, and her other humanitarian efforts worldwide. She is the founder of Yayasan Bumi Sehat, or Healthy Mother Earth Foundation, health centers in Indonesia, which provide free prenatal care, birthing services and medical aid to anyone in need.
  • On Monday, Nov. 12, 8 p.m., Michael Merzenich, Ph.D., a leading pioneer in the study of brain plasticity and emeritus professor at the University of California-San Francisco, will talk about rewiring the brain at Iowa State University, in the Great Hall of Memorial Union on the Ames campus. In the late 1980s, Merzenich was on the team that invented the cochlear implant. In 1996, he was the founding CEO of Scientific Learning Corporation, which markets and distributes software that applies principles of brain plasticity to assist children with language learning and reading. In 2004, he became co-founder and chief scientific officer of Posit Science, a company that helps people throughout their lives by providing brain training software clinically proven to improve cognitive performance.

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