The Columns

Better Cooking with Chemistry

— by on June 2nd, 2009

Washington and Lee Chemistry Professor Marcia France has just finished teaching a course on the Science of Cooking, By all accounts, it was successful on a number of levels. Professor France’s goal was to show students both how science is integrated into their daily life and the scientific method can create some tasty recipes. As she explained, “Students will think of their own food-related question, come up with a hypothesis, test it out in the kitchen and write up the results as part of their homework.” it was one of those rare chemistry courses where students can, usually, dine on their experiments without fear. The two local National Public Radio stations ā€” WVTF in Roanoke and WMRA in Harrisonburg ā€” both covered the course in different ways. WVTF’s Connie Stephens came to Lexington and watched a class in action, then filed a report on it. You can hear Connie’s take on the course on the link below:

On Monday, Professor France found herself sitting behind a microphone in Harrisonburg and fielding telephone calls on any number of subjects: Can someone actually be allergic to foods cooked in a microwave? Do big chocolate chip cookies from the same batter taste different from smaller chocolate chip cookies? She answered them all with both good humor and expertise. Click below to listen to her appearance on Virginia Insight: