Nourish – A Food Literacy Curriculum for Middle Schools

WorldLink and the Center for Ecoliteracy have teamed up to produce Nourish, a middle school curriculum that teaches food literacy. Through a series of videos, guides, learning activities, and action projects, Nourish seeks to answer the questions “What’s the story of my food? Where did it come from and how did it get to me?”

Earlier this week, I wrote on the OrganWise Guys – an adorable set of plush characters that teach children about food, exercise, and hygiene and appeal to pre-school and elementary school aged children. Well, the kids can’t stop learning just because they reach sixth grade.

The Nourish Curriculum

Nourish provides a more in-depth look at food and how everything we choose to eat affects the larger world around us.  The approach uses video with experts such as Michael Pollan, Anna Lappe, and Jamie Oliver, celebrities like Cameron Diaz, and kids the same age as the audience voicing their thoughts and questions.

To supplement the video, an 84 page curriculum guide can be downloaded from the Nourish web site and from the Center for Ecoliteracy.  The guide is in English, but another pdf containing the activities in Spanish is available on the same web page.

In one of the activities, kids are encouraged to start with a food label and trace the paths of all the ingredients from farm to fork. The students consider where and how each ingredient was raised, who did the labor to grow the plants and harvest them, how the food was transported and processed (or processed and transported, then probably processed a bit more), on through all the steps to bring that food to their table.

Nourish Video

Nourish has produced a series of short videos that are available on YouTube which show what a school can expect from the video part of the curriculum.

Eat Your View

This video features Michael Pollan and he talks about why it is important to eat local – energy conservation, the local economy – and he finishes up by saying “eat your view”. It means that if we don’t buy food from the local farmers, then the agricultural lands will be bought up by developers and just turn into more suburban sprawl. “Eat your view”, then, becomes a way to improve the landscape for very little per person.

Image of a combine harvester by amandabhslater, used with a Creative Commons license.

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