New for Year 8 / a useful focus for GCSE Pilot too
This page last updated July 2008 and now ARCHIVED.
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Increasingly, we buy food from elsewhere even when we could buy British because we have got so used to buying from abroad. Food miles involves an investigation of the distance that foods have travelled. Obviously some foods travel further than others. The RGS GEOGRAPHY IN THE NEWS site offers a list of distances that food may have travelled. The SEASONALITY of food has disappeared from our lives. We demand (and get) any food we want all year round.
The website EAT THE SEASONS encourages people to eat food that is in season. The Alliance for better food and farming has a series of resources at their SUSTAIN WEB website. You could start by identifying foods that can come from both home AND away e.g. cheese (Cheddar from the UK or New Zealand), Vegetables, Lamb (Wales or New Zealand), Bread, Beer etc.
Also check out the 100 MILES project. This is a project which tries to get people eating food grown within 100 miles of home..
Check out http://www.100milediet.org for more details.
A good Independent front cover on packaging which is a related issue. For example, I've seen COCONUTS in clingfilm... Do they really need it ? Won't most people recognise what it is ?
Or is there less packaging now in some respects ? I used to work on a fruit and vegetable stall on Mexborough Market in South Yorkshire in the mid 1970s (yes I know I don't look old enough...) and when we unpacked the apples they'd all be individually wrapped in tissue paper, and only a few of them would have stickers on them. They now all need to have stickers so that checkout staff can identify the variety of apple and put in the right code.
FARMERS WEEKLY INTERACTIVE
There are plenty of resources related to FOOD MILES on the site.
Also check out this new site:
Gives food miles and carbon produced when places are visited.
As featured in Teaching Geography - Spring 2008
Great logo !!
Also discovered the FANTASY FARMER game on the FWI site. This is sponsored by a farm planning software company, so there is an option in the game to buy farm planning software. If you choose this option, do you do better in the game ?
A useful resource in the Education Guardian in May 2007: "All wrapped up and nowhere to go...."
The Environment Minister: Ben Bradshaw recently urged shoppers to shed their unwanted packaging at the checkout in an attempt to persuade supermarkets to play their part... An EU directive banning excessive packaging is already in place apparently, but there have only been 4 prosecutions. Good article in Guardian G2 earlier this year
It suggests a good starting point is to ask students to list products that they feel are overpackaged. Brainstorm ways of reducing the paper and plastic waste we produce each year. Younger students might watch a video highlighting the amount of excess packaging generated from a single shopping trip.
Create a flow chart after watching the video explaining the environmental aspect.
Drama: Improvise a scene where a customer attempts to make an environmental point at the checkout...
Recycling Symbols at BIFFA: http://www.biffa.co.uk/getrecycling/symbols.php
Remember that for centuries, people did without packaging !
Packaging is also being used as an education tool: the traffic-light labelling initiative.
Another excellent resource is the CARETRACE site. This works with Waitrose, and you need to bring in the details on the label of certain products of the date, and you will be shown where it was produced with a map and details on the farmer(s) involved.
I'm indebted to Christine Lloyd Staples for sending me a 3 week unit which she had put together. This forms the basis for a unit we teach in Year 8, which has a
1. Why not plan a LONG DISTANCE MEAL. Try to identify 3 or 4 ingredients for a meal, and then find the longest distance possible.
Then plan a home grown meal which has travelled the least distance (or the most...)
This is part of the ideas on the FARMING WEEKLY INTERACTIVE site
2. Using the MEASURING TOOL on Google Earth, you could track all the ingredients to your plate. Why not take a meal such as a PIZZA, or FISH and CHIPS and think about the different ingredients and their likely source. Or the contents of a SHOPPING BASKET which could be mocked up.
3. Do a CONVEYOR BELT with POWERPOINT with motion paths a la Tony Cassidy. Local or not ?
4. Cut out shapes / photos of food items and laminate them - assemble a meal on a paper plate.
Get some paper plates for the department resources from the cash and carry... See my LANDSCAPES BOX page for more on this.
Cut out and laminate shapes onto the plates.
You could also produce some BAR CODES and make a basket, and then SCAN' them...
5. PRAWNS TO THAILAND (NEW)
Langoustines - show a picture to the students, and then show them SCAMPI.
Would you eat this ? (No...) Would you eat this ? (YES !!)
See this WORKBOOK file for a basic structure for the lesson
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/south_of_scotland/6146974.stm - job losses in Scotland
http://www.youngsseafood.co.uk/ - a very useful interactive site - like the music and the short videos, and the details on the fish fingers and other meals that they produce
6. FOOD STORIES site
New British Library resource on food and the media and the culture of food: FOOD STORIES. Worth exploring...
7. Drama: Improvise a scene where a customer attempts to make an environmental point at the checkout...
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