This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Jennifer L. Wilkins, PhD., R.D., Senior Extension Associate, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University Marcia Eames-Sheavly, M.S., Senior Extension Associate, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University
An Experiential Learning Program For Young and Inquiring Minds
Table of Contents
Funding and Acknowledgements Program Overview -- Who, What, Why, When, Where and How of Discovering the Food System
Goals and Objectives Organization of the Program A Primer on Community Food Systems
Section 1: You and Your Food System Introduction Lesson 1: Food and You Introduction: Activity 1: The Power of Pyramids Activity 2: There’s a Reason for the Season Activity 3: The School Lunch Laboratory Activity 4: Food for Thought Journal Going Further Background material Lesson 2: Food System Basics Introduction Activity 1: From Field to Table Activity 2: Steps in the Food System Activity 3: Food Thread Activity 4: Food For Thought Journal Going Further Background
Lesson 3: Think Globally, Eat Locally Introduction Activity 1: Defining the terms “local,” “regional,” and “global” Activity 2: Local and Global Food Systems – Energy Comparison Activity 3: Local and Global Food Systems – Energy Comparison FollowUp Activity 4: Miles in Your Breakfast Activity 5: Food For Thought Journal Going Further Background Lesson 4: Food Labels and the Food System Introduction Activity 1: Reading Food Labels Activity 2: Food System Labels Activity 3: Food for Thought Journal Going Further Background Lesson 5: Food System Challenges [in development] Introduction Activity 1: Food Product Development Activity 2: Food Advertising Activity 3: Community Poverty and the Food System Activity 4: Health Food Costs Activity 5: Food Bank Simulation Activity 6: Food for Thought Journal Going Further Background Section 2: Discovering The Food System Project Introduction Step 1. Finding Food System Facts Introduction Activity 1: Preparing for the search Activity 2: Developing your search Activity 3: Searching for specific food system data Activity 4: Wrapping up the search Activity 5: Food for Thought Journal Going Further Background Step 2: Learning from People in the Food System Introduction
Activity 1: Putting People in the Food System Activity 2: Identifying people in the Food System Activity 3: Developing interview topics Activity 4: Deciding how to interview Activity 5: Preparing for the interview Activity 6: Food for Thought Journal Going Further Background Step 3: Community Survey – Getting Ready Introduction Activity 1: Choosing the topic Activity 2: Choosing a survey sample Activity 3: Preparing a Food System survey Activity 4: Food for Thought Journal Going Further Background Step 4: Conducting a Community Survey Introduction Activity 1: Distributing the Questionnaire Activity 2: Sharing the Results Activity 3: Food for Thought Journal Going Further Background Step 5: Sharing Food System Stories with Your Community Introduction Activity 1: Presenting the Food System Facts Activity 2: Presenting the Interview Experiences Activity 3: Presenting the Survey Results Activity 4: Reaching Out Activity 5: Wrapping Up Activity 6: Food for Thought Journal Going Further Background Glossary .
This project is one of several underway in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University and is supported by a Special Grant (99-34324-8120) entitled "Individual Differences in Setting and Meeting Nutritional Requirements. Nicole LaDue added . We would especially like to thank the home school students for their valuable insights and the Cooperative Extension educators for providing county-based coordination. and the development of educational programs and tools to promote positive dietary change and food system sustainability. Shannon Hayes provided excellent support in the formative focus group interviews. At the community nutrition level.. coordinated much of the pilot testing of lesson activities and assisted in revisions to the lessons.) Several graduate students have been involved in the development of this resource at various stages. CCE contacts.S." This grant supports a number of research projects that focus on a broad range of issues of relevance to setting and meeting nutritional requirements. the grant supports developing an increased understanding of the issues related to food insecurity among the elderly in the U. This project addresses the last of these community nutrition aims. grad students involved.Discovering the Food System: An Experiential Learning Program For Young and Inquiring Minds Funding and Acknowledgments Funding We would like to acknowledge generous support from the Cooperative States Research Education and Extension Service for the development and pilot testing of this resource. Areas of investigation range from improving our understanding of the key roles of nutrients at the molecular level to the development of improved strategies to enable consumers to adopt newly created knowledge easily and effectively. (Pilot testers. Acknowledgements The authors would like to acknowledge the teachers and students who participated in the pilot testing of this educational resource. the use of a distance-learning strategy linking nutrition and dietetics practitioners with university researchers.
Three graduate students from the Cornell University Department of Education. The cover graphic/website logo is by Rachel Kennedy. conversion of this tool into a widely accessible web based-educational resource was facilitated with careful editing by Jennifer Watkins. Peter Signor. Shirley Cuykendall. Many thanks to her students who made us believe we were on the right track. Finally. She opened her 6th grade science class to us as a place to try out lessons and activities. . and Amy Bonn also provided much enthusiastic assistance. We also acknowledge the contributions provided by Anne Meyer-Wilber whose expertise in learning standards and lesson activity development and evaluation has been invaluable to the project. We’d like to thank Andra Benson. and John Bender for giving of their time and telling their food system stories to groups of Gwen Beck’s students. Jacoba Baker. a Lansing Middle School teacher. Gwen Beck. Stephen Ast. Laura Torbert. Annalisa Lewis Raymer. was most generous and helpful in the development of this experiential learning program. support and creativity to the development and pilot testing of the lessons.many creative ideas that turned into activities for the lessons. and technical expertise of Craig Cramer. We thank them for sharing so much about the work they do in their part of the food system and for responding so earnestly to the questions the students had prepared for them.
Discovering the Food System is meant for anyone who is curious about food. as eaters. are involved in that system. Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. But really. In this way the food system will move from the abstract to the real. restaurants and farms -. Discovering the Food System provides a basic understanding of the food system and our connection to that system through the choices we make every day. seeking answers and drawing conclusions about possible alternatives within our communities. Given the potential level of complexity involved in conducting a community research project (Part 2) and the community action it may inspire. This experiential process of discovery is grounded in the places we live. and play. and how we. We can become involved in community action by asking questions. grocers. This could also be an independent team project that students could work within a block format. Through experiential learning activities.farmers. Because this experiential learning program promotes an in-depth understanding of our own community food system. eat. Such people with inquiring minds might be: • a traditional student working with a teacher to develop an enrichment project. how it gets from farm to table. nearby canneries. work. service minded groups. Home school students and their parent-teachers Alternative school students working independently Community-minded groups like the 4-H.Overview WHO is Discovering the Food System for? This guided experiential learning program is designed primarily for youth ages 12 to 18. .the school cafeteria. we will meet real people that represent different parts or aspects of the food system . as well as community citizens. and marketers.as our laboratory for learning about the food system. just like us. Anyone interested in food! • • • • WHAT is Discovering the Food System? Discovering the Food System is a guided discovery of the food system. learn. processors. local food stores. what is learned can be applied directly in local actions for community change. we will use our own "backyards" -. With Discovering the Food System. restaurateurs. who eat. elements of this program may also be suitable for some undergraduate college level courses.
for the most part. These are just some of the multitude of questions that might be asked about a food product that. and preadults.natural. teens.one that offers consumers a safe. hidden from view. or what mode of transportation was used to get the food to market. For teens. affordable. The typical household has shifted from consuming food prepared in the home to consuming quick. explore the differences between a "community" and a "global" food system. local economy and the natural environment. social. have to make food purchases for ourselves and do our shopping for our families. who was employed to grow and harvest the crop. political. and learn ways in which the food we eat and the food system are interrelated. and even for many adults. Our biological need to eat is met by a complex set of interdependent processes from seed to table. are exposed to numerous and often-conflicting messages related to food. where it was grown and processed. including today’s youth. How can we learn about the food system? Food labels are excellent at providing nutrient content information but. consistent and convenient food supply that comes from all over the world. This complex system depends on a tremendous amount of resources . While most of us enjoy food quite often – usually several times a day – the larger food system is virtually invisible to us.000 food items available to shoppers is the connection food can provide with our community. for the most part. if we had the answers. Why is food system awareness important? We all need to eat.Through the Discovering the Food System program. the food system is. would tell us a lot more about the food system. . prepared or prepackaged foods. reveal little about how food is grown. Another reason for our food system ignorance is that all of us. WHY do we need Discovering the Food System? Young people today are hungry – hungry for food and hungry for knowledge about the world around them. Indeed. But the food system can be discovered by the sharp and inquiring minds of today! By learning more about our food system we can make food choices that improve our health and the economic. and increasingly our children. Throughout our lives. As adolescents we grew up or are growing up with supermarkets and fast food rather than homegrown and homemade food. In the school cafeteria. abundant. Lost amidst most of the more than 30. economic. All of us. the complexity of the food system that feeds us is largely unknown. A walk down the aisles of today’s supermarkets provides a glimpse into our global food system -. local supermarkets and fast food restaurants we are exposed to a vast array of food choices. we will meet people in our local and possibly distant food system. nutrition and the food system. social and environmental sustainability of our communities.
market. processed and marketed – and the people associated with those places. During pilot testing of this curriculum. WHERE should we use Discovering the Food System? Since one of the principles underlying the study of food systems is that food has a connection to a specific place. portions of Discovering the Food System can be incorporated easily into existing curricula. Science. we asked young people where their food comes from. Some basic food system questions to ask ourselves include: What crops are grown in my area? Are there food processing businesses in my county. Most of the examples used in the lessons and the project description come from the Northeast – the region where the curriculum was written. we will gain an appreciation of our relationship to the local food system and the factors affecting food supply. Most answered. serve and donate food. Music/Art and Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS). prepare. WHEN should we use Discovering the Food System? Discovering the Food System lessons have classroom applications or "curriculum links" to Language Arts.” Through the Discovering the Food System program. To get the most out of Discovering the Food System. region of the country. and who gardens in them? Of course. the context in which Discovering the Food System is used needs to be taken into account in a very conscious way. county.we have probably seen little connection between food and the setting in which it is produced. Because of the many links to a wide variety of subject areas. However. So you will have many of your own interesting questions to ask about the food system. process. Social Studies. . “the store. most of us are creative and curious. Your local Cooperative Extension office can be a valuable resource throughout the Discovering the Food System program as nutrition and agriculture educators maintain strong connections with people who grow. where our food is grown. Mathematics. Discovering the Food System is very much about place – where we live.state. where we eat. we need to become familiar with the agriculture and food system in our own geographic region . the activities developed to engage us in learning about our food system can be applied to any region and other countries as well. or state? Where are foods that grow in my area changed (processed) into products that I see on the supermarket shelves? Is there a farmers' market in the town I live in? What kinds of food stores are there in my community and where are they located? How are the foods the same and how are they different in the different stores? Are there any community gardens in my town.
Many of the activities are suitable for grades 6 and 7 as well. several of the activities are compatible with a variety and non-formal educational settings. Cooperative Extension 4-H youth development programs. home schools.HOW can we use Discovering the Food System? Discovering the Food System is designed primarily for middle school to high school age students. school-aged childcare programs and community-based educational environments. While this program was developed primarily for use in a classroom setting. .
Understand the links between food choices and the food system. • . Foster relationships with our community and between the agricultural and non-agricultural community. Distinguish between foods that are likely to support the community food systems and those which are less likely to do so. Immerse us in highly participatory. Enhance our awareness of the food system and foods or our region. Engage in cooperative and inquiry-based learning with our peers. involving interviewing community members and gaining information about the food system. community-based experience.Goals and Objectives: • • • • • • Learn through direct exploration about our food system.
It is this flexibility that assures a high level of engagement on your part.Organization of the Program Discovering the Food System is organized into two major Sections. and to explore "food system" information that might also be included. diet and the food system are connected. The USDA Food Guide Pyramid is compared with the Northeast Regional Food Guide. This lesson asks: what do these terms mean and how should they be used to examine the food system? Lesson 4: Food Labels and the Food System helps you learn how to read the Nutrition Facts food labels. There are no neat distinctions between the "local. club. What's on food labels and what is not can provide insights into why our food system is often mysterious and hard to know. Lesson 1: Food and You introduces the dietary guidelines for Americans. The food system discovery is accomplished through a search of existing food system facts. It shows how these guidelines support our health yet have little relationship to the food system. Section 1: You and Your Food System This section contains instructional lessons designed to help you better understand how nutrition. interviews with people who represent the food system and a public survey about some aspect of the food system that interests you the most. It also provides tools to teach you how to share your newly obtained food system understandings with the community with an eye for creating community change. The program does not end with discovery. Eat Locally introduces a comparison between local and global food systems and the complexity involved in making such a comparison." or "community" and "global" when it comes to the food system. You will learn . Section 2: Discovering The Food System Project This section provides a guide for conducting a Discovering the Food System project. What you choose to focus on and the methods you use are flexible and should be guided by your interests or those of the class. You will be provided with tools for exploring your food system. Lesson 2: Food System Basics introduces the concept of a system and then the various components of the food system. This section introduces the food system components and concepts and an overview of dietary guidelines and the food guides. or after school program of which you are a part. which is designed to promote healthful diets from foods grown and processed in the Northeast. however. Lesson 3: Think Globally. This lesson explores the ways that dietary guidelines and food guides can impact upon the food system. and how food choices every day influence and are influenced by the food system.
in-person interview method. arrange to meet them. You will identify topics that interest you (from previous research and your interviewing experience) and design a questionnaire. Step 3: Community Survey: Getting Ready will provide you with an opportunity to work with a classic quantitative social science methodology: the survey. interview experiences and survey results and how to wrap up your project experience in a cohesive manner. You will learn how to present your food system facts. and finally. This step in the food system project builds on the previous lesson by clarifying the aspects of the food system that most interest you. distribute the survey and compile the results. In doing so. Also. and is therefore available for use and interpretation. You will learn about the breadth of issues that are related to the food system that you might read about in any daily newspaper. contact community members who are part of the food system. This step in the Discovering The Food System Project provides an opportunity for you to gain experience with a qualitative social science methodology: the openended. and formulating questions about issues for those most likely to have interesting insights. This is very much like the processes being used across the country to conduct community food assessments. Step 1: Finding Food System Facts provides tools and guidelines to locating and understanding data that has already been collected on the food system. You will practice basic interviewing techniques in a role play. Discovering the Food System . actually conduct inperson interviews. Step 2: Learning from People in the Food System will give you a better understanding of your food system by interviewing some of the people whom you will identify as being part of the food system. food systems stories are frequently in the news. Step 5: Sharing Food System Stories with Your Community will help you develop methods of taking your newly won food system knowledge and presenting it to your local community with the eye towards community change. You will have the opportunity to choose a population sample. . It will be an introduction to the concepts and activities that will be covered in the lesson.The Lessons • Summary The summary is a brief paragraph to help you identify what types of activities you will engage in for the particular lesson.about the potential impact information can have on policies in a school. identifying who is directly involved in those aspects. Step 4: Conducting a Community Food System Survey will take us beyond the design stage and into the actual survey experience. or in the broader community. you will learn how some segment of the broader community feels about food system issues.
some of the activities will have numbered steps to make the procedure clear. For example. strawberry or orange. One of the reasons we chose apples for this purpose is that there are many varieties of apples grown and marketed in our state of New York. to understand what a food system is you need to be familiar with the setting of the food system.• Learning Objectives For each lesson. tomato. For example. each lesson will have many parts to help build a complete concept. I you like. The objectives are intended as guidelines for you to assess what you have learned upon completion of the lesson. In each lesson and in each part of the project description. These “Getting to the Core” sidebars provide a quick and easy example of how the concepts being developed can be applied to real food. • Going Further You may be interested in learning more and have the time for further investigation of a topic. if you are quite ambitious. We have provided ideas for optional activities that will help reinforce what you have learned in the lesson. Also. what aspects are part of the food system. Or. how the topic applies to apples is described. or a product native to your location. Some of the additional activities are also geared to help you connect with your community before the interviewing and survey lessons. Therefore. Activity 1. • Key Concepts Each of the lessons introduces concepts that are relevant to understanding the food system and the relationship between consumers and the food system. you can develop your own “food thread” as you go about discovering your food system. • “Getting to the Core” Throughout this curriculum the themes being explored are applied to a consistent example – apples. in Section 1. The activities will be numbered to help guide you through the lesson. and how apples fit into a nutritious diet. the nutritional value of apples. • Background . we have given you information about where apples are found on the food guide pyramids. we have defined what we think are the most important concepts for the you to learn. you might chose and food product that contains more than one food from more than one food group – yogurt for example. The important thing is that the food that is chosen should have some meaning and relevance to the food system that is being discovered. This food might be a potato. and other important basic concepts. • Activities Each lesson has several activities within it.
or names and addresses of community organizations and governmental agencies. The background section provides a discussion of important aspects of the food system on the specific topic of the lesson. In one or more of the lessons. If you are a teacher using this curriculum at a group or class level. These are defined in the glossary which follows Section 2. In a few of the lessons you will need to seek data about the food system. In each lesson we will provide any resources we recommend using to obtain data not supplied in the lesson itself. In any of the lessons that suggest the use of the Internet we have also provided alternative non-electronic sources of the comparable information for groups using the activities which do not have Internet access. there may be other handouts that you will need to copy. This section will help provide you with the necessary background information to navigate the lesson. it will provide you with the information you need so that you are able to better educate your students and guide discussion. The resulting collection will help display how your understanding changed through the completion of all of the lessons and will provide you with a reference packet as you prepare to share your work with the community in the final lesson. • Glossary Throughout the lessons certain words and phrases appear in bold type. phone numbers. it may be beneficial to use the Internet as a resource for gaining information about the food system. • Lesson Resources Some of the lessons will guide you in investigating your local food system. • Food for Thought Journal and other handouts Each lesson will have a journal entry to bring the material covered in the lesson to the context of the your day-to-day lives. In addition to the journal. Once you have completed the worksheets you can collect them to make up a Discovering the Food System Portfolio. we suggest collecting work produced in each of the lessons in a Discovering the Food System Portfolio. Our goal to provide enough information so that you will feel well-versed in the major issues and questions involved in discussing lesson topics. .The lessons are designed to meet the needs of a formal classroom setting as well as a variety of non-formal educational settings. The resources might be websites. • Student Portfolio To assess your progress through the Discovering the Food System curriculum.
counties.A Primer on Community Food Systems: Linking Food. such as a neighborhood. processing. While food security traditionally focuses on individual and household food needs. but by including the word "community" there is an emphasis on strengthening existing (or developing new) relationships between all components of the food system. Each step is also dependent on human resources that provide labor. local. Four aspects distinguish community food systems from the globalized food system that typifies the source of most food Americans eat: food security. Nutrition and Agriculture Introduction The term "food system" is used frequently in discussions about nutrition. The food system operates within and is influenced by social. social and nutritional health of a particular place. especially for low-income households. regions. harvesting. proximity. self-reliance and sustainability. transporting. consuming and disposing of food and food packages. • Food security is a key goal of community food systems. This reflects a prescriptive approach to building a food system. The concept of community food systems is sometimes used interchangeably with "local" or "regional" food systems. economic and natural environments. economic. marketing. community food security addresses food access within a community context. processing (or transforming or changing). environmental and social – as a long-term goal toward which a community strives. one that holds sustainability – economic. global and regional. In community food systems such distances are generally shorter than those in the dominant or global food system. The food system includes all processes involved in keeping us fed: growing. distribution and consumption are integrated to enhance the environmental. • Proximity refers to the distance between various components of the food system. A community food system can refer to a relatively small area. complex. food. cities. research and education. or bioregions. A community food system is a food system in which food production. or progressively larger areas – towns. Community Food Systems Several qualifying terms have been used to describe the food system: simple. community economic development and agriculture. It has a simultaneous goal of developing local food systems. This proximity increases the likelihood that enduring relationships will form between different . health. It also includes the inputs needed and outputs generated at each step. political. packaging.
Such businesses could include food processing. . reduced risk of diet-related chronic diseases. by shortening the distance between these partners. • Marketing channels and processing facilities that create more direct links between farmers and consumers. retailers. Efforts to develop community food systems address multiple goals simultaneously: • Optimized health. ethical treatment of food system workers. and. and increased enjoyment of food among community members. Sustainability includes environmental protection. • Improved access for all community members to an adequate. processed. processors. and institutional procurement of local agricultural commodities. • Food and agriculture-related businesses. and community development. and re-circulating financial capital in the community. increasing the degree of self-reliance for food. when farming systems rely less on agri-chemical fertilization and pest control. consumers. access to local retail and processing markets. • Dietary change that complements the seasonal availability of foods produced and processed by the local food and agriculture system. to be determined by a community partnership. conserve resources needed for transporting food.• • stakeholders in the food system – farmers. resulting in stronger community economies through job creation. marketed and consumed within a defined boundary). and when citizen participation in food system decision-making is enhanced. or value-adding processing to expand opportunities for locally produced food to be consumed locally. expanding) base of family farms that use integrated production practices to enhance environmental quality. etc. • A stable (or in some cases. Sustainability refers to following agricultural and food system practices that do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their food needs. profitability. • Increased public participation in food and agriculture policies that promote local food production. restaurateurs. Sustainability of the food and agriculture system is increased when a diversified agriculture exists near strong and thriving markets. Self-reliance refers to the degree to which a community meets its own food needs. While the aim of community food systems is not total self-sufficiency (where all food is produced. when nonrenewable inputs required for every step in the food system are reduced. is an important aspect of a community food system. nutritious diet. affordable. Goals of Community Food Systems Building a community food system requires comprehensive or holistic approaches to meeting the food needs of people living in a particular place.
thereby increasing dietary quality and food security. particularly for underserved populations in low-income neighborhoods. Community gardens also provide opportunities to learn about food production.Elements of Community Food Systems There are several well-recognized elements of a community food system: • Farmers’ markets provide the opportunity for eaters to meet and talk directly with the people who grow the food they are buying. eaters come in contact with farmers. this proximity to food sources increases the environmental sustainability of the system. for example). about what their customers want and need to know about the food from their farms. Food product development often takes place at these facilities. gleaned or recovered foods can be further processed or preserved for members of a community. decision-making. • Community kitchens are facilities where locally produced. Much of the food we eat is processed in some way and in areas with relatively short growing seasons. Many CSA farmers also market through local farmers' markets. on a weekly basis throughout the harvest season. creativity and celebration. generate food-related businesses. • Small-scale food processing and decentralized root cellars provide infrastructure and technical expertise necessary to launch new food-based businesses. fresh flowers. and increase their intake of fresh and processed local produce (if some of what they harvest is preserved through freezing or canning. frozen and stored fruits and vegetables when produce is "out of season" is another way to develop community food systems. eggs and meats). They provide spaces for community interaction. By making this investment. Through a U-Pick. other products such as local cheeses. Further. thereby creating income generating opportunities and products with local identity. such as the Northeast. and create links to nearby restaurants and soup kitchens. develop job skills. the price paid to the farmer is reduced substantially in exchange for harvest labor. The use of canned. In the process. in a direct way. • Community and school gardens are recognized as an important source of fresh produce. • U-Pick operations and roadside farm stands provide access to fresh produce direct from the farmer who grew it. the farmer receives a portion of the cost of production at a time when it is most needed. shareholders receive fresh fruits and vegetables (and sometimes. • Community supported agriculture (CSA) farms are arrangements whereby a group of people buy shares into the eventual harvest of a farm before the crops are planted. problemsolving. farmers can learn more. In exchange for their investment into the farm. . experience another aspect of the food system. By decreasing the amount of fuel used to move food around. CSA members accept part of the financial risks associated with farming. which can increase farm profitability and stability. By the same token. increase agriculture literacy.
• cook from scratch. . the loss of food system-related jobs is minimized. consumers need: • access to local foods. • an understanding of seasonal variation. The external environmental and social costs related to food production. • buy a share in a CSA farm or sponsor someone else's share. join or create a food policy council to assess community assets with respect to the local food system. storage. • participate in a community or school garden or start a home vegetable garden and share excess with neighbors. In order to support local community food systems in their food choices. Regional food guides. by narrowing the distance between producers. less pollution generated and less wear and tear on trucks and roadways results from the transportation of food. • shop at farmers' markets and food co-ops (which are more likely to offer local. The pollution generated by transporting food is not paid for by the trucking company in the price of the fuel. less fossil fuel is burned. For example.Externalities The word externality is an economic term used to describe costs or benefits generated by an agent (say a farmer. such as the Northeast Regional Food Guide. because more of the steps in the food system are carried out locally. processors and consumers. or by the consumer in the price of the food. in season. consumers can do a lot to support and collectively strengthen community food systems: • choose a diet rich in locally grown and processed foods. • ask where items on restaurant menus came from and express interest in eating locally produced and processed foods. and distribution are seldom accounted for in the price we pay for food at the grocery store register. Community food systems. and often organic choices). identify areas of need. or a truck driver) that do not register as a cost or benefit to that agent or end-user. have a greater chance of “internalizing” any externalities in the food system and actually reducing many. • support policies that favor local farms and other elements of community food systems. • ask food stores to buy from local growers and processors. and develop strategies collectively to meet those needs. • ways to identify local alternatives. Likewise. • ways to learn meal planning and preparation skills. processing. provide guidelines to help consumers choose healthful local and seasonal diets. Actions to Create a Community Food Systems As individuals. a community kitchen or local soup kitchen. since the distance food is transported in a community food system is shorter.
A. and Gillespie. P. Gillespie. and Feenstra. Sobal.K. This might include. As individual stakeholders. G. and Community Leaders. Social Science and Medicine 47:853-63. C. Washington State University Cooperative Extension. College of Agricultural Sciences. Parents. Growing a Community Food System. Cornell Cooperative Extension.• • knowledge of the local food and agriculture system. 1999. such as: • include considerations about seasonal availability of locally produced foods when providing dietary advice to clients. and an appreciation of the benefits of eating seasonally and locally. Agriculture and Human Values 16:117-129. the use of root vegetables in the winter in northern climates. 1999. The Pennsylvania State University. environmental and economic benefits. Harmon. Puyallup. WA. Conclusion We all can benefit from learning more about our own food system. S. for example. L. 1999.. and participating in its development. we all have a role to play in shaping the future of our community food systems. G. • shift procurement strategies in food service operations toward local food sources. Community food systems offer an alternative to our current approach to meeting our daily food and nutrition needs and promises several social. A. Harmon. and include information about the sources of foods at the point of purchase. A Guidebook for Educators. Khan. and Maretzki. Garrett. J. Community Food Systems: Toward a Common Language for Building Productive Partnerships. Community Ventures: Partnerships in Education and Research Circular Series Topic. June. and Bisogni. A. 1998. Nutrition practitioners can do a lot through their professions to support community food systems as well. 2000. A conceptual model of the food and nutrition system. . • create seasonally varied institutional food service menus that reflect local agricultural production. The Food System – Building Youth Awareness Through Involvement. • substitute non-local foods in meal plans with foods that are nutritionally equivalent and are produced locally. R. References Allen. Reweaving the food security safety net: Mediating entitlement and entrepreneurship.
CA. H. Community Food Security Coalition. Joseph. and Fisher. Community Food Security: A Guide to Concept. A. 1997. Design. . and Implementation. Los Angeles. M..Winne.
This section introduces an overview of dietary guidelines and food guides. Eat Locally introduces a comparison between local and global food systems and the complexity involved in making such a comparison. diet and the food system are connected. Lesson 2: What is a Food System? introduces the concept of a system and then the various components of the food system. This lesson explores the ways that dietary guidelines and food guides can impact upon the food system. Lesson 4: Food Labels and the Food System teaches how to read the Nutrition Facts food labels. There are no neat distinctions between the "local. This lesson will explore what these terms mean and how they should be used in examining the food system. yet have little relationship to the food system.Section 1: You and Your Food System Introduction This section contains instructional lessons designed to help you better understand how nutrition. the food system components and concepts. and the effect and influence every day food choices have on the food system and vice versa. Lesson 3: Think Globally." or "community" and "global" when it comes to the food system. The USDA Food Guide Pyramid is compared with the Northeast Regional Food Guide that is designed to promote healthful diets from foods grown and processed in the Northeast. Lesson 1: Food and You introduces the dietary guidelines for Americans and how these support our health. What is on food labels and what is not can provide insights into why our food system is often mysterious and hard to know. and helps to explore "food system" information that might also be included. .
In this lesson. Finally. we connect with our food system – several times each day! Food and You makes connections between the foods we eat. the Food for Thought Journal for this lesson will help us reflect on our own daily food choices. Other food guides have been developed for specific places. Completing the Lunch Laboratory will teach us how to design a balanced. we will analyze the content and meaning of these important resources in terms of diet and health. and the national nutrition education tool that implements these guidelines – the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Guide Pyramid. and homes. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Learning Objectives Upon completion of this lesson.Lesson 1: Food and You (or “You (and your food system) are what you eat”) Summary Today we face an array of food choices in our supermarkets. local and seasonal menu using our school or home lunch menu. we are never too young to need a good understanding of how what we eat impacts our nutrition and health. people and goals. or the Discovering the Food System Café menu provided. we should be able to: • Use the USDA Food Pyramid to identify the food groups. the Northeast Regional Food Guide (NERFG) is designed to promote healthful diets from foods grown and processed in the Northeast region of the United States.S. . We will also compare and contrast the U. Eating is also a very real way that knowingly or not. the proper number of daily servings from each group and how to choose a healthy diet. For example. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the USDA Food Pyramid with the NERFG to identify the differences and similarities between national and regional food guides. school cafeterias. We will learn how seasons affect the availability of certain foods in our area and what different forms foods can take on the supermarket shelf.S. Because of the importance of establishing healthy eating habits at an early age. This lesson introduces the U. and the food system. our health.
in many forms (fresh. are a good source of fiber and provide a modest amount of vitamin C. Identify examples of seasonal differences in produce availability in the Northeast Identify the different forms in which food is available in the supermarket. How many different kinds can you see on this food guide? Apples.processing and preservation • Plant Foods • Animal Foods “Getting to the Core” Because apples are fruit. they appear in the “Fruit Group” of the food pyramid – both the USDA and the Northeast Regional versions. Key Concepts • Nutrition • Food Guide • Food Group • Dietary Guidelines • Seasonal Availability • Food Choices • Food Forms . are low in calories. applesauce. Definitely a good snack item! Activities • The Power of Pyramids • There’s a Reason for the Season • The School Lunch Laboratory • Food for Thought Journal . will fit in the fruit food group. etc.• • • • Describe the similarities and differences between the USDA Food Pyramid and the Northeast Regional Food Guide.). The apple pictured on the USDA Food Pyramid looks like a very familiar apple. Several different varieties of apples grow in the Northeast. juice. Recognize that other forms of the food guide are used in other parts of the world. apple butter. Being a fruit. apples have no fat.
List the comments in the appropriate column. Materials: • Photocopies of the USDA Food Pyramid. 5. write two column headings: “Different” and “Same. U. With both food guides visible. Have you ever seen the image before? Have you heard of the term food guide? Describe what a food guide is. Class itself 1. You may have been introduced to food guides in previous grade levels. Look at the USDA Food Pyramid. Review the tables provided in the Background section about the USDA and NERFG food guides and any other background information needed. • Writing board and markers • Paper and pencils/pens Before class Prepare the photocopies and transparencies as needed. and the NERFG • Transparencies (for use on an overhead if available) of the USDA Food Pyramid and the NERFG.” 4. but you are likely to be unfamiliar with the Northeast Regional Food Guide. . What is the nutrition background to the USDA Food Pyramid (pertinent information is in the Background section of this lesson and includes links to various web sites you may be interested in investigating after the lesson)? 2. the first step is a short activity to identify the differences and similarities between the USDA Food Pyramid and Dietary Guidelines and the Northeast Regional Food Guide (NERFG). Look at the Northeast Regional Food Guide. This is a food guide that was developed for people living in the northeastern United States. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.S. This is the food guide developed by the U. government for all Americans. 3. Continue listing differences and similarities until you run out of ideas.S. On the board or a piece of paper.Activity 1: The Power of Pyramids Summary: To help us become more familiar with food guides. look for ways in which the two food guides are the same and ways in which they are different.
Activity 2: There’s a Reason for the Season Summary In activity 1. For example. The way we do this is by consuming produce that was grown by local farmers and then preserved in order to be eaten long after harvest. Pick a few produce items (e. Although we cannot harvest fresh strawberries from our gardens in January. paste. stored. apples. make a list of the different forms in which they can be found in a grocery store. find other examples of food that are fresh. we learned that one of the differences between the NERFG and the USDA Food Pyramid is that the regional food guide includes lists of foods available in the Northeast during each of the seasons. or corn).g. tomatoes. Materials • • • Photocopies of the "Seasonal Availability of Produce" list on the Northeast Regional Food Guide Writing board and markers Paper and pens/pencils Before class Prepare photocopies as needed Class itself 1. Which do you prefer to eat? . canned. tomatoes are found fresh in the produce section and in cans as whole tomatoes. If necessary. On the board or paper. Why are some of the items listed in summer and fall missing from the winter and spring lists. One way to support our community food system is to eat seasonally available produce. we can enjoy local foods throughout the year. sauce. 2. crushed. this is called the "growing season. etc. and dried." 3. Look at the “Seasonal Availability of Produce” chart. Fruits (except for tree fruits) and vegetables are planted and harvested at a certain times of the year and not others..
a sample menu and the School Lunch Laboratory handout.Activity 3: The School Lunch Laboratory Summary Now that you are familiar with the two food guides and understand in what forms food can be stored. cut out pictures from magazines to create illustrations of your meals and create a poster. Materials • • • • Photocopies of the complete Northeast Regional Food Guide from Activity 1. If you do not have access to a school or home menu. Therefore. If you do not divide into groups. According to USDA regulations. we have provided the Discovering the Food System Café menu with the lesson. 3. Northeastern meals. 2. a school lunch menu (or similar home menu). minerals and protein. When each group has finished creating their meals. we can put the knowledge to work creating healthy. Make sure you have a copy of the complete Northeast Regional Food Guide from activity 1. finish the other three meals yourself. If there are a large number of you. school lunches are required to meet onethird of the recommended daily allowances for vitamins. and the School Lunch Laboratory handout Photocopies of the Discovering the Food System Café menu if needed Transparency sheets or posterboard and markers if available Paper and pens/pencils Before class Prepare photocopies as needed Class itself 1. Therefore we need to build lunches to contain approximately one-third of the servings suggested in the food pyramid. If you wish. For example: the USDA recommends 2-3 servings from the protein group for a full day. for lunch we want to plan needs 1 serving of protein. divide into groups and assign each group to do one of the other three meals. Complete Meal #1 to become familiar with the activity. In order to continue building on what you already are familiar with. we will use our school or home lunch menus to practice creating balanced Northeast-based meals for various seasons. . they can share them with the other groups via verbal response or by creating their own transparencies and using it as a basis for their explanation.
frozen. write what form the food item is in. Is it Local? Grain ____________________________________ Fruit ____________________________________ Vegetable ____________________________________ Dairy ____________________________________ Protein ____________________________________ 3. What Form is the Food in? Is the food fresh. 2. Which Food Group is it from? Fill in the part of the meal that fits into each food group. When planning each meal use the EVALUATE 1-2-3 method! 1.Directions: Use the USDA Food Pyramid and the Northeast Regional Food Guide (NERFG) to compare meals on the school lunch menu. determine if this food item could be locally grown. dried or stored? Next to the food group. Write “local” if it can be produced locally or “global” if it cannot 3. Which Food Group is it from? Grain ____________________________________ Fruit ____________________________________ Vegetable ____________________________________ Dairy ____________________________________ Protein ____________________________________ 2. What Form is the Food in? Grain ____________________________________ Fruit ____________________________________ Vegetable ____________________________________ Dairy ____________________________________ Protein ____________________________________ . canned. Meal #1 Choose a meal from the menu calendar you would like to eat and evaluate it. Describe the meal: Evaluate 1-2-3: 1. Is it Local? Using the Northeast Regional Food Guide.
. Example: instead of peas as the vegetable.Meal #2 Create a meal for the fall that only includes foods from the Northeast region using the lists in the Northeast Regional Food Guide. Evaluate 1-2-3. use broccoli. Which Food Group is it from? Grain ____________________________________ Fruit ____________________________________ Vegetable ____________________________________ Dairy ____________________________________ Protein ____________________________________ Is it Local? Grain ____________________________________ Fruit ____________________________________ Vegetable ____________________________________ Dairy ____________________________________ Protein ____________________________________ What Form is the Food in? Grain ____________________________________ Fruit ____________________________________ Vegetable ____________________________________ Dairy ____________________________________ Protein ____________________________________ 2. 3. Describe the meal: Evaluate 1-2-3: 1. To accomplish this. you can use a meal that is already on the menu calendar and substitute Northeastern foods for non-regional foods.
Describe the meal: Evaluate 1-2-3: 1. 3. Evaluate 1-2-3.Meal #3 Create a meal for the winter using the NERFG. . Which Food Group is it from? Grain ____________________________________ Fruit ____________________________________ Vegetable ____________________________________ Dairy ____________________________________ Protein ____________________________________ Is it local? Grain ____________________________________ Fruit ____________________________________ Vegetable ____________________________________ Dairy ____________________________________ Protein ____________________________________ What Form is the Food in? Grain ____________________________________ Fruit ____________________________________ Vegetable ____________________________________ Dairy ____________________________________ Protein ____________________________________ 2.
Describe the meal: Evaluate 1-2-3: 1. . 3.Meal #4 Create a meal for the spring using the NERFG. Which Food Group is it from? Grain ____________________________________ Fruit ____________________________________ Vegetable ____________________________________ Dairy ____________________________________ Protein ____________________________________ Is it Local? Grain ____________________________________ Fruit ____________________________________ Vegetable ____________________________________ Dairy ____________________________________ Protein ____________________________________ What Form is the Food in? Grain ____________________________________ Fruit ____________________________________ Vegetable ____________________________________ Dairy ____________________________________ Protein ____________________________________ 2. Evaluate 1-2-3.
MONDAY TUESDAY Discovering the Food System Café Menu WEDNESDAY THURSDAY Hamburger Deluxe Cheese Pizza Yogurt. Bagel & Fruit Pepperoni Pizza Garden Salad and Apple Carrots Milk Milk Pudding Cake Cheese Pizza Pepperoni Pizza Garden Salad and Apple Milk Brownie Chicken Rice Soup Tater Tots Veggie Sticks Milk Sliced Peaches Clam Chowder Yogurt & Bagel Carrots Milk Fruit Cup Chicken Nuggets w/roll Sweet Potatoes Corn Milk Cookie Choice of Fruit Tacos w/toppings PB&J Carrots Milk Cookie and Fresh Fruit Hamburger Deluxe Cold Sandwiches Salad Milk Apple Crisp FRIDAY Tomato Soup Toasted Cheese Macaroni Salad Milk Apple Crisp Bacon Cheeseburger Baked Beans Carrots Milk Rice Krispie Treat Choice of Fruit BBQ Ribs on a Bun French Fries Corn Milk and Fresh Fruit Cake Chicken Nuggets w/roll French Fries Green Beans Milk Ice Cream and Fruit Spaghetti w/meatballs Caesar Salad Garlic Bread Milk Pears Cheese Ravioli Tossed Salad Bread Sticks Milk and Fresh Fruit Make your own Sundae Cheese Pizza Pepperoni Pizza Garden Salad and Fruit Milk Brownie Spaghetti w/meatballs Garlic Bread Caesar Salad Milk Pears Chicken Patty on Bun Pasta Salad Green beans Milk Fruit Cup Hot Sausage Sub Cold Sandwich Salad and Fresh Fruit Milk Juice Icees Baked Chicken & Roll Cold Sandwiches Green Beans Milk Apple Pie Ham & Cheese Melt Macaroni Salad Carrots Milk Spring Cake and Fruit .
you can begin to understand how your food choices affect your local community food system. . Materials • • Photocopies of “Food for Thought Journal” Pens/pencils Before class Prepare photocopies as needed Class itself or homework In the journal you will describe a meal you have eaten recently. complete the Food For Thought Journal for Lesson 1. In the process of analyzing the meal. as an independent assignment. Keeping the journal is strongly recommended as it can be used as an assessment tool.Activity 4: Food for Thought Journal Summary Finally.
Did you help prepare the meal? Which food groups were represented in your meal? Describe a food that you eat regularly that you know is canned. canned or fresh? Why do you think it tastes better? .Questions of the Day: Describe a meal that you ate today or yesterday. Describe a food that you eat regularly that is usually fresh. Which foods generally taste better to you.
. unlike the solstice and equinox. Asian. is to research various meals or recipes from certain parts of the country or world and see if and how they fit into the pyramid. which you can try if you are truly motivated. which are used to define the calendar seasons. To help you understand the relationship between the calendar seasons and agricultural seasons. describe the growing season in your area. Commencement Level Challenge It might surprise you to discover many other countries or regions have food guides/pyramids. Check out websites and download information. Many countries and regions around the world use these as guides for food selection and health education. etc.oldwayspt. create a visual with pictures and words.If time permits.org. Compare and contrast similarities and differences as modeled above with the USDA and Northeastern Regional Food guide. One possible site to try is www. Examples are Thai. You can either keep track of the weather forecasts or contact your county Cooperative Extension office to get information about frost dates for your community. Mediterranean. If you like. note the date of the beginning of the growing season on a calendar. This activity will demonstrate that the agricultural seasons are not fixed dates for each year. Another idea.
and milk.Background One of the most important things about the food system. and sweets. a joint publication of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture. The Pyramid calls for eating a variety of foods to get the essential nutrients and at the same time the right amount of calories to maintain healthy weight. . A food guide provides recommendations on what food groups to choose from and the number of servings of food from each group in order to get a nutritionally adequate and wholesome diet.health. was released on May 30. The food groups on today’s Food Guide are: fruits. The fifth edition of Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans. visit the USDA National Agriculture Library website: www. breads. the USDA Food Guide Pyramid. meat. It organizes foods into categories or “food groups” that are similar in nutrient content. rice and pasta. beans. The latest national food guide. The standard USDA Food Pyramid and Guidelines have been included in the handout section of this lesson.gov/dietaryguidelines/. some food choices are better than others. the USDA has been publishing food guides since 1917. Of course. 2000. more than just for weight management. watery fruits and vegetables. For the first time. provides an outline of what to eat each day based on the Dietary Guidelines. A food guide translates recommendations on nutrition intake into recommendations of food intake. fat foods. The Food Guide Pyramid is not a rigid prescription but a general guide that lets us choose a healthful diet that takes into account individual food preferences. For a bit of history on the development of food guides in the United States. A National Food Guide At the national level. vegetables. The new guidelines also emphasize physical activity as important for healthy living. and a food guide is an educational tool designed to help people make food choices that are healthy and will prevent a number of dietrelated diseases. This food guide reflected the state of knowledge about nutrition at that time. The USDA has published several food guides since that time. oils and sweets. starchy foods. yogurt and cheese.gov/fnic/history/. is that it provides us food to eat and enjoy and with which we can maintain good health. from our standpoint. fish. The latest edition of these dietary guidelines can be viewed at www. particularly on the need to keep and prepare foods safely in the home.nal. fats. there is a guideline that focuses on keeping food safe to eat.usda. poultry. The first food guide contained five food groups: flesh foods. eggs and nuts. cereal. changing to reflect advances in nutrition science and in our understanding of the relationship between diet and health.
However. Below is a comparison of these two food pyramids.A Regional Food Guide The Northeast Regional Food Guide (NERFG) is based on the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans. it goes further to include guides for healthy community food systems. but its focus is on the Northeast food system. However. The complete NERFG is included as a handout at the end of this lesson. To understand how the guides differ refer to the following comparison tables: Comparing the USDA Food Guide Pyramid and the Northeast Regional Food Guide The Northeast Regional Food Guide and the USDA Food Guide Pyramid have several elements in common. The NERFG is based on the same dietary guidelines as the USDA food pyramid. there are several important differences as well. The NERFG includes a guideline to help people support their local community food system. .
and stored). grow in the Northeast region. Vegetable. Forms for fruits and vegetables Foods are pictured in their fresh form only. The names of the fruit and vegetable group include the various forms in which these foods can be found (fresh. & Sweets. Fish. but the word order is changed for the high protein food to reflect an emphasis on plant foods in the diet: Dry Beans. Contains lists of fruit and vegetable available for each season. Milk. Foods at the top of the Pyramid Seasonal Availabilit y of Produce Symbols for fat and sugar. frozen. honey. such as jams. In the winter. Northeast Regional Food Guide Pyramid shape Food groups are identical to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid. Fats. Cereal. canned. . Eggs.Format Food Groups Food Images USDA Food Guide Pyramid Pyramid shape Bread. Meat. None. jellies. the foods listed will need to be provided from storage. These foods. For example. & Cheese. we might not have fresh tomatoes in the winter. Fruit. Poultry. & Nuts. The number of foods pictured on the NERFG is much greater than on the USDA Food Guide Pyramid. The foods pictured on the NERFG are foods that do currently. Oils. or can potentially. & Meat. Eggs. Foods represent variety in each group. Rice & Pasta. Fish Poultry. Yogurt. no foods pictured. Eating a diet based on the availability of locally grown foods means that the form in which we eat foods might change throughout the year. but canned tomatoes or sauce would be consistent with local foods. This section actually has foods pictured. Dry Beans. Nuts. butter and syrup provide little more than sugar and fat (empty calories) but they represent food products of the region that add to the agricultural economy of Northeast communities.
Choose beverages and foods to moderate your intake of sugars. Keep food safe to eat. Choose beverages and foods to moderate your intake of sugars. Choose Sensibly Choose a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fat. Choose a variety of grains daily. . Choose and prepare foods with less salt. Choose a variety of grains daily. Choose a diet low in foods that are not produced in your state or region. Be physically active each day. Choose a variety of root vegetables during the winter and early spring. Choose and prepare foods with less salt. Northeast Regional Food Guide Aim for Fitness Aim for a healthy weight. Choose a diet low in out-of-season produce. If you drink alcoholic beverages.USDA Food Guide Pyramid Aim for Fitness Aim for a healthy weight. Build a Healthy Base Let the Pyramid guide your food choices. Keep food safe to eat. Choose a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables when they are available from local farmers. Support a Community Food System Choose a diet with plenty of foods produced in your state and region. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables daily. do so in moderation. especially whole grains. Choose Sensibly Choose a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fat. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables daily. Be physically active each day. If you drink alcoholic beverages. especially whole grains. Build a Healthy Base Let the Pyramid guide your food choices. do so in moderation.
or September 22nd. This includes the more delicate fruits and vegetables. seasons greatly affect our crop production. Winter produce consists of those hearty root crops harvested in the fall that can be stored for long periods of time. it is difficult to specifically identify growing seasons. and there are always a wide variety of canned and frozen alternatives available during the Northeast winter. As winter ends. Since varieties of fruits and vegetables have different growing seasons. Since the Northeast region covers a large variation in climate conditions. Looking at our calendars we can see that summer officially begins on the summer solstice. The NERFG includes lists of seasonal vegetables available in the Northeast. or on June 21st.What is a Season? Usually we think of seasons as having very specific starting and ending dates. more tender vegetables may be available all winter. the temperature warms again. It is difficult to compare the efficiency of the various ways to store food. . Several crops are also available from greenhouses. In general. most of our produce grows well during the summer season. For particular foods one method may be preferred over another to preserve the most taste or nutrition. the variety of produce available in the spring will vary greatly. we may have longer periods of sunlight or more intense sun exposure. The local weather bureau or Cooperative extension office keeps records of the frost dates. Saving for a Snowy Day At first. The changes in the Earth's position relative to the sun is important to what crops we can grow at various times through the year. In milder sections of the Northeast. In general. The first day of fall is on the autumnal equinox. Depending on location in the Northeast. it may seem logical to us that we simply cannot enjoy our Northeast summer fruits and vegetables in the middle of winter unless we purchase them from other parts of the country and world. we often consume foods that have been changed so that we can enjoy them long after they are harvested. In the Northeast. These dates are based on the tilt of our planet in reference to the sun. Each form has a trade-off. The primary growing season is the average length of the frost-free period between the last frost in the spring and the first frost in the fall. We may not notice when the first and last frosts occur in our area because they will occur when the temperature drops at night. fall produce may be available from one to several months before very cold weather sets in. However. One of the most helpful aspects of the Northeast Regional Food Guide is the list of seasonal produce available in the Northeast. Depending on how close or far our part of the earth is from the sun. growing seasons are based on when frosts occur.
1986). Dried fruit concentrates the natural sugar of the fruit and can taste as sweet as candy. raw food.or removing most of the water. Obviously this is tricky business. other produce is also dried to save it for long periods of time. but in the proper environments some fruits and vegetables can be maintained for a considerable length of time. 1980) Frozen foods must be frozen quickly and maintained at a constant temperature to preserve the highest level of nutritional quality. freezing fruits and vegetables maintains the nutritional quality closest to that of fresh. This form may a good choice for preserving your homegrown produce! Climate-controlled: Ever notice how some produce perishes quickly in your lunch bag but keeps for days in the refrigerator? The cool environment of the refrigerator helps us keep food fresh well after it has been picked. families still preserve their homegrown produce by canning. This process keeps food in an airtight container that is impermeable to the organisms that cause food to rot. Most grocery stores have an extensive stock of canned food because it stores well and is generally inexpensive. Sweet crops such as corn and peas need to be kept near freezing (32° F) because at higher temperatures sugar reactions speed up and ruin the eating quality (Frisch. For example. Most young people have eaten raisins. many of the apples and potatoes we enjoy in the winter are stored in temperature-and humidity-controlled environments for months until they are eaten. Dehydrated: Another method used to preserve food is dehydration . (Newsome. Dehydrated vegetables can be found in some prepared dry soup mixes available. Food may be canned in large glass jars or in aluminum cans. Many varieties of produce can be frozen to enjoy at a later time. the quality of the product begins to deteriorate.Fresh/Frozen: If we had a garden full of strawberries and were not about to eat them all. Although it is more common to notice dried fruit. Crops such as broccoli and greens will keep twice as long at 32° F as they do at 40° F. Root crops such as carrots and beets need to be kept below 45° F to avoid becoming inedible. However. The best temperature and humidity to maintain produce varies considerably for different fruits and vegetables. This form of food storage is able to preserve foods for many years. several options would be available to us. Canned: In many communities. . We could clean and freeze them to enjoy the same garden grown strawberries well into the winter. after one year of storage. Of all the processes to preserve food. Some foods can be stored longer than others and maintain freshness. Raisins are dried grapes that can be kept for many months.
Also.usda. The first activity will help us rediscover the food guide.Before freezing. By exploring the Northeast Regional Food Guide.gov For more information on the Northeast Regional Food Guide. we will see how our community is connected to the food guide through the variety of foods available in our region. Most food preservation techniques require the input of energy and other material resources. In addition. We have probably seen the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service Food Pyramid on display in school cafeterias. using the variety of food preservation techniques currently available. which can destroy contamination from microorganisms but also leads to decreased shelf life. the technique used to preserve the food depends largely on the type of fruit or vegetable you are trying to preserve. direct your browser to: www.nutrition. we can preserve and maintain local produce through the cold Northeast winter. steam or hot air for a short period of time. 1980). Much of the food our families purchase can come from local sources if we are able to make educated food choices.com/bcom/eb/article/printable/4/0.120854. Due to slowing down or stopping the enzyme process. Lesson Resources: We have included the USDA Food Pyramid and Dietary Guidelines as a companion to this lesson. About the lesson… Most of us will have had an opportunity to learn about the basic food groups.edu/FoodGuide/ For more information about food preservation and processing.00. Heat processing can consist of exposing food to boiling water. To find out more about the USDA guidelines you can find information on the Internet at: www.cornell. It is difficult to weigh the preservation techniques based on how much energy is required to produce and maintain the food in various forms. it is important for us to become aware that many of the foods we regularly consume do not come from the community near us. and (Newsome. However. html . The result of this necessary step in food preservation is nutrient loss. the type of heat processing necessary varies from one type of produce to another. or dehydration it is common to heatprocess fruits and vegetables to remove air. you may want to consult: http://britannica. canning.5722. Most of us get our food from grocery stores that import food year round so that fruits and vegetables are available even in the winter.
cafeterias. Even young people from rural areas are increasingly becoming removed from their local food system. If you are working as a large group. We can compare the steps that we were able to think of to the list provided at the end of this lesson. We will create informal illustrations of the path of the food item. Finally. • List several activities that occur at various steps in the food system. Key Concepts • Systems • Interdependence . This lesson will create the basic framework for exploring more in-depth issues and concepts related to the food system in the coming lessons. have the instructor help you create a master class list of the activities in the food’s path. Food System Basics will help us develop an understanding of the food system by building on what we already know and experience. Several models have been created to help us conceptualize the many complex interconnections that exist in the food system. define and describe steps in the food system. most of us are likely not to be aware of how food gets from the field to table. we should be able to: • Identify. This activity will help us think more critically about all of the steps involved in creating the food supply available in our grocery stores. from farm to table. we will follow the path of a simple food item. Learning Objectives Upon completion of this lesson. We will also make a list of activities or processes that occur within each step in the food system. • Explore the meaning of the term “local” in reference to the food we eat. In the first activity of this lesson. we will discover what “local” means in terms of our food system. • Describe our individual participation in the food system. and restaurants.Lesson 2: Food System Basics Summary Although we participate in the food system each day by eating. such as fruit juice.
Harvesting – Apples are harvested by hand.• • • • Inputs Outputs Food System Models “Getting to the Core” If we look at how apples work themselves through the food system. grading and waxing – Apples are washed. Changing (also called Transforming or Processing) – Not all apples are sold as fresh fruit. In the United States. Marketing/Retailing – Apples can be marketed a number of different ways and through different sales channels. Cooking – Apples of course can be eaten without any cooking – right from the tree! But they also can be baked whole or in pies and other pastries. a buyer arranges for shipment and a trucking company is contracted for shipment (4-5 days from Washington State to the East coast. for example). etc. Apples can be canned. or added to many different products. Transporting – If not sold locally. or as part of a food product. Apples are grown (they grow on trees). made into sauce. . and waxed. Growing – Apples grow on trees in orchards. graded. depending on how the fruit is sold: fresh and whole. WA to Maryland. or made into a fruit salad – such as Waldorf salad. Temperature-controlled trucks travel 2. they are harvested. we can find them at every stage of the system. How many food products can you think of that contain apples? Packaging – The packaging of apples is different. Washing. Storing – Apples are sorted by size and then packed into 40-pound cartons. apples are picked by migrant or resident farm laborers from Mexico and Latin America. Ladders are used in the case of freestanding trees in order to reach all of the apples. made into pie filling or applesauce. The pickers will fill bags that are attached to their ladders and lower them into boxes being towed with a tractor.800 miles from Spokane. Sometimes trees are attached to wire frames so that they are spread out horizontally and the fruit is easy to reach for picking.
Apple cores can be composted! If apples are made into a food product. the package needs to be disposed of or recycled. composting and Recycling.Consuming – Yum! Disposing. Activities • • • • From Field to Table Steps in the Food System Food Thread Food for Thought Journal Going Further Background .
The goal of this activity is to generate thinking about what a food system is and how a food product ends up in the grocery store. Think about how the food item got to your grocery store. and food products such as bread. ready-to-eat cereal. or strawberry jam are processed foods. applesauce. grape juice. You might think about the kind of plant the food came from. tomatoes. or strawberries. Think about the fresh fruit or vegetable the processed product was made from .grapes. and other ingredients are all part of this picture. You may want to use the guiding questions below to help focus your thinking to particular parts of the food path. Materials • • • Simple processed food products or the labels of such products Writing board and markers Paper and pens/pencils Before Class Collect labels of commonly consumed food products. whole fruits and vegetables are “whole” foods. For example. Think about the path of those products from the field to your table.Activity 1: From Field to Table Summary Since a good way to introduce a new concept (such as the food system) is to put the idea in the context of something familiar. the first activity consists of discussing a commonly consumed food product. tomato soup. applesauce. If you are leading a discussion for a large group. First think about the “whole” foods and then the processed foods. you may want to refrain from “answering” the students’ questions at this point. Class itself • Write down on paper a common whole and a processed food product. the label. Draw informal • • • . Have you ever seen the plant or grown it in a garden or on a farm? What are the steps involved in changing a raw food into the final product being considered? Considerations about the packaging.
When you are done.illustrations of the path that the food item followed from the farm to your table. re-use. throw it away (where does it go?). recycle. . burn it. Guiding Questions • • • • • • • Where do the ingredients in this food product come from? How were they grown? What do you have to do to the ingredients to make it look this way? What was added to make this product? What did we do to it to make it look the way is does? Where does the container come from? What do we do with the container when it is empty? Ex. This activity is a way to bring out the your understanding of the food system. You will use it for later activities.landfill?. and at the end of the unit. you may want to make another illustration so you can compare what you initially thought about the food system to what you learned during the activities. put your name on the drawing and put it aside.
If you have a large group. use the writing board to create a master list. buying seed. if you choose the step of Growing. What are the similarities and differences between your list and the Steps in the Food System list? • To help you think more deeply about the steps of the system. Materials • • • • Labels used in Activity 1 Writing board and markers Paper and pens/pencils Photocopies of Steps in the Food System list Before Class Prepare photocopies as needed. several of the steps in the food system from the Steps in the Food System list (provided with this activity) will be identified during this exercise.Activity 2: Steps in the Food System Summary Beyond identifying the steps in the food system. it is important to have an idea of what activities go on in each step. Ideally. For example. you might write down: cultivating the soil. Class itself • Look at your list from the last lesson. Design your own job title for something that a person might do in that part of the food system. watering. What steps did you include and why? If you have a large group. spraying. etc. pick a step in the food system. . divide into smaller groups so that each step of the food system is covered. planting. Make a list of several activities that take place in each step of the system. testing soil.
Steps in the Food System Growing | Harvesting | Storing | Transporting | Changing (Transforming or Processing) | Packaging | Marketing | Retailing | Preparing | Consuming .
if you are quite ambitious. Creating your own “Food Thread. Choose other food items to trace through the food system. Class itself 1. Materials • Photocopies of “Getting to the Core” from this lesson • Writing board and markers • Paper and pens/pencils Before Class Make photocopies as needed. or how it would “thread” its way through the food system. strawberry or orange depending on what interests you. Draw the path this food item would take. This food might be a potato. The important thing is that the food that is chosen should have some meaning and relevance to the food system you are discovering. or a product native to your location. choose a food product that contains more than one food from more than one food group – yogurt for example. you should cement your understanding by creating a “Food Thread” for one item.” Read the “Getting to the Core” for this lesson. This activity will also introduce you to the concept of “local” in the food system. Refer to the Background section for information about local food systems. . 2. What does “local“ mean? This term can have many meanings depending on how it is approached.Activity 3: Food Thread Summary Now that you have identified not only the steps in the food system but various activities within each of those steps. Or. which applies the food system concepts to apples. tomato.
Materials • • Photocopies of “Food for Thought Journal” Pens/pencils Before Class Prepare photocopies as needed. . complete the Food for Thought Journal for Lesson 2. Class itself In the journal you will be able to study one of your own meals to think about where your food comes from in the context of the steps of the food system.Activity 4: Food for Thought Journal Summary As an independent assignment.
Questions of the Day: Describe a meal that you ate today or yesterday. Did you help prepare the meal? Was there anything in your meal that you think may have been grown or produced locally before it was in the grocery store or your cabinet? How would you find out if it were grown or produced locally? What steps in the food system are represented in what you ate today? Which foods were represented by which step? If you could ask someone anything about the foods you ate today. what would you ask and why? .
Give them about 4 minutes to list people who are members of each step. Have them list as many names as they can think of next to the step within which the person works. . which steps take place within your community. Continue Activity 2 by playing a top ten game.If time allows. but also introduce different career possibilities that you have not yet considered. Also. Ask a spokesperson from each group to share their total points and the step with the most and least names recorded in their group. Have them use specific names. you can use the telephone book to find out if there are any food producers or processors in your town. which steps might use a lot of resources. as a bus-person at a local restaurant or a cashier at a fast food establishment. Post the results. Have groups take turns guessing what activities other groups have listed for their step in the food system by acting out (without words) the particular step or activities. Designate point keepers for the game. At the end of the designated time ask the groups to count all persons listed in each step of the food system. try one of these games: 1. Creating a list of family and/or friends who work within the food system would not only be interesting. Record the results. Game: At the start of the game give each group a copy of the 10 steps. You might be surprised to find that even you are involved in working within a food system. 2. This could lead to a discussion about which steps you think are most expensive. Williams in the produce department at Greene’s store. for example: Mr. This is a time to have the group brainstorm together now that they are better versed in what the food system is. Are you in the food system game? Before the game: Make a copy of the “Steps in the Food System” list. This could be an indication as to which steps you are most and least familiar with.
10. 3. Examples of a locally grown food advantages Examples of a regionally grown food advantages Examples of a globally grown food advantages disadvantages disadvantages disadvantages What is the basis for peoples’ choices when selecting foods? . 4. 8. 6.COMMENCEMENT LEVEL CHALLENGE Food for Thought Journal 2 Things to think about: List the 10 steps within a food system. List the advantages and disadvantages for the consumer choosing foods grown in different areas. Which of the steps would occur in a local market? Which of the steps would occur in a regional market? Which of the steps would occur in a global market? Does the number of steps through which a food goes affect the cost of the food? ___yes ___no___maybe Give some examples of foods grown and marketed locally. 9 5. 2. 7. 1. regionally and globally.
For example. water. are on going and must be given greater consideration as we conduct our work. . which have biological.Background You probably know more about the food system than you can readily express. and oftentimes interdependent elements that function together as a complex. but every component of the food system uses inputs and results in outputs. fertilizer/compost. there is a high degree of interchange both among the subsystems and with the larger environment. machinery and energy to run the machinery as inputs. and waste that may be incorporated back into the soil or disposed of in another way. sunshine. unified whole. either directly or indirectly. One core concept of a system is that a change in one element of a system has an impact. physical. including our research and education programs. Dynamic adjustments in the food system to external and internal forces. and socio-economic aspects. most of us do understand that apples grow on trees somewhere and that farms grow most of our food. “Growing” generates crops that serve as human foods. Inputs and outputs vary a great deal depending on the type of food system being considered. The primary goal of the lesson is to identify the major steps of the food system and explore some of the activities that take place in each step. If we ask ourselves where a food might come from we will often respond. In a true system the components of that system are treated or considered as a whole and cannot be considered in isolation from other related components or elements of the system. the larger external environment.” However. the degree to which system components interact with. Given the nature of food systems. on one or more additional elements in that system. human work. Each step is defined and discussed below to help gain a clear idea of how food-producing activities are arranged in the food system. Another core concept is that systems generally require inputs to function and produce outputs that need to be dealt with one way or another. What is a System? A system is a group of interacting. Relationships and interdependencies between the components are key elements of a system. It may take time and discussion to define many of the steps in the food system that we are less familiar with or have not experienced. Inputs and outputs in the food system are too numerous to list here. soil. the “Growing” segment of the food system requires seeds. interrelated. or are insulated from. “the grocery store. Systems vary in the degree to which they are "open" or "closed" -that is.
shallots. Most fruits and vegetables are highly perishable unless processed or preserved from their fresh form. packaging. Mechanical harvesters that require fuel to run harvest most grain and cereal crops. Storage is required for all crops that are not marketed soon after harvest. many of the pesticides and fertilizers common in most of our agriculture are not allowed in organic agriculture. fuel. Other fruits and vegetables are harvested with machines. gases. yams. and packing materials. Grains and cereals store well for years with no energy input. buildings and land. garlic). if the proper temperature and humidity are maintained. or in greenhouses and fish-farm tanks to produce our food. spreading out. different resources may be needed. raw materials. all of which store well for extended periods of time. carrots. bulbs (onions. and delivering food to various places. pesticides). and human labor) and human-made (machinery. we store food on a daily basis in our refrigerators. at an orchard. seeds. Harvest can be very labor-intensive step in the food system if we are talking about many of the fruits and vegetables that are too delicate to be harvested by machine. water. Depending on what is harvested. root vegetables (potatoes. made into food products. rutabagas. fertilizers. The inputs required for storage include energy to maintain the cool environment. climate. and cabbages (red and green). built equipment. or farmers’ markets for sale as a whole fresh product . Different crops can be stored for different lengths of time. Exceptions to this include apples.Steps in the Food System: Food Production involves many of the activities that take place on a farm. Apples are often kept in controlled atmospheres to make them available many months after they are harvested. Some of the inputs required for this step in the system are labor. or tend animals. parsnips). Of course. turnips. fuel. Most of what we find in . both natural (soil. Storage refers to keeping a stock or supply of a certain crop to maintain safety and quality for some future use. combined with other ingredients. other food stores. in bodies of water. farm products can be transported to a site where they will be transformed in some way. Alternatively. Food production depends on the "input" of several resources. Farm products can be taken from their original sources and delivered to supermarkets. The inputs required vary depending on what is being grown or raised and the type of agricultural system that is in place. packaged and then distributed through a number to marketing channels. Distribution is the process of dividing up. A farmer owns or rents land to plant crops. For example.like many fruits and vegetables.
pasta is kept in cardboard boxes. Transformation or Processing changes made to a food's structure. Much of the food we eat on a regular basis is transformed in some way before we eat it. cardboard. Some of them are labor. or create new products altogether. Packaging is a way to protect food from spoilage on its way to our grocery stores. Marketing.grocery stores today has been transported great distances and has undergone some degree of processing. It may include drying. and preservatives. Marketers determine how to make food appealing to consumers. Packaging is also a way to divide up the goods in a standard way so that people can purchase a known quantity quickly. and machinery. Some of the inputs necessary to make packaging are paper. We currently transport food by truck. bread is packaged in plastic or paper bags. character. fuel for cooking and freezing. food is changed in some way to enhance flavor. Almost everything we purchase at the grocery store is packaged in some way. make it last longer than the processed raw foods it came from. tomato sauce and the pasta is covers. glass. or the cheese you had on a cracker (and the cracker itself!). is another way to make food available at times or places that it might otherwise not be. A significant portion of the money we spend on each food item goes to marketing teams who determine what people want from the food they eat. the juice you had with breakfast. water. A few foods (tomatoes and bananas primarily) that will be transported a significant distance are usually harvested before full ripeness so that they will withstand the bumps along the way. a variety of inputs are necessary for this step in the food system. boat. The inputs for this step in the system are people’s labor and time. Think of the bread on your sandwich. (or it may give the illusion of need in an effort to get people to buy a product!). sugar. in addition to advertising and packaging. machinery. . There are many different ways to process a food. Sales and Purchasing is the process of determining and catering to the consumer’s wants or needs. or condition. cooking. During processing. Turning fresh strawberries into jam. Processing may enhance the nutritional content of a food. and in many cases may decrease nutritional content. It can provide a place for advertisement of the goods contained within. train. pre-cutting and cooking potatoes for frozen French fries are all ways to process food. and plane. making juice from fresh apples. etc. or adding preservatives to lengthen shelf life. Strawberries are put into plastic quart containers. freezing and canning. ink. aluminum. composition. plastic. Depending on the type of food and processing technique.
models have been developed to help us understand this complex and interdependent system. or in institutional kitchens that feed hundreds of people. composting and recycling -.Some food that is purchased. Food packages may also have different fates with different environmental impacts. such as a farmer’s market. processing. Food packing materials such as paper. the retail sector of the food system. and fuel to maintain the food.Retailing is how food is brought to the consumer. someone else does the cooking. Models may be linear in nature -starting with production and proceeding to transportation. Cooking can happen in the home. Food can be sold to groups of businesses that sell the products in grocery stores or restaurants. Consuming is the step of the system when we purchase or eat food. cooked and served as part of a meal is not eaten and instead is thrown out. All food packages. of course. When we purchase food from a restaurant. . and various appliances. glass and tin can be recycled depending on the services provided by the community. since we pay for the food item and all of the activities required in bringing the food to our table. A family might consider consumption to be when they eat food because that is the time when a meal is enjoyed together. The primary input for this step is financial. The inputs needed for cooking depend on what is being done with the food. The food system has been conceptualized [and modeled] in several different ways (Sobal et al. as well as our time. Some inputs may be water. aluminum. This food can go into the garbage or can be added to a compost pile and turned into a valuable. or “disappears” from. can be thrown away and added to the solid waste accumulated by a community. Models of the Food System Since we cannot “see” the whole food system at one time. If we start with fresh ingredients. With many food products available today. at restaurants. “cooking” amount to nothing more than re-heating and presenting a dish or entire meal on a plate. However. Another way of retailing is bringing goods to a market for consumers to purchase. packaging to hold and label goods. rich fertilizing material to add to a home garden or a farmer’s field. Disposing. People studying the food system may consider the purchasing of food to be consumption because that is when it is taken out of. heat. Some of the inputs needed for retailing may include transportation to the market. cooking “from scratch” can be quite involved and enjoyable. 1998). cardboard. many food packages can be recycled. plastic.
There are other ways to think about the food system. the food system is not closed as depicted by the "disposing" step directed away from the cycle. socio-cultural. the food system is undoubtedly more complex than it might appear from a linear model. influenced by it. In addition. including food webs and food circles or cycles. which are departures from the linear approach. et al. as the model shows. the uni-directional flow clockwise around the cycle. (1998) have also placed a linear schematic of production. Figure 1: Sobal. They can more clearly reflect the complexity of the interaction among the system components and may convey the sense of a closed system. which greatly influence the food system and are. consumption. and economic-political spheres. However. and nutrition in a broader context of biophysical and social realms. Each component or subsystem depends upon inputs both natural and man-made. and produces by-products that are either recycled or end up as waste that is absorbed by the larger environment. Farm and Health Policy Education places this linear model in the biophysical. in turn.The Whole Story of Food -. and consumption. In addition there are feedback loops by which one component or subsystem affects another. . The model developed as part of an elementary school curriculum -. But. A model developed for the Northeast Network for Food.marketing.is an example of a circular portrayal of the food system.
misses the impacts any step might have on the one preceding it. Also. This model emphasizes the interdependencies of each of the components and the inputs necessary and outputs that result from each step. each step results in outputs that are at least in part absorbed beyond the bounds of the system. Sometimes the steps may occur in a different order depending on what food product is being produced in the system. some people will purchase fruits to process and . they are rarely seen in the real world because any defined system could also be redefined as part of a larger system with which it inherently interacts. Likewise. Figure 2: For Discovering the Food System we have taken elements of several food system models and created a new one. often food is stored at home in a refrigerator after it has been purchased from the retail store. Most likely you can bring up steps that might happen out of this order. These steps of the food system are presented in a typical order. Further. It is worth noting that although closed systems may be an ideal for which to strive. For example. in actuality each of the steps in this circular model is dependent on inputs (most obviously energy) from outside the system.
educational setting. Figure 3: About the lesson… In activity 2. you can build upon that understanding. etc. The length of time for this activity should be limited to approximately half of an hour. . and the type of food and level of cooking in the household.package at home by making jam. This provides an opportunity to gauge your perspective of food systems. you can create drawings of all of the steps you think it takes to get food from farm to table. experience with gardening and farming. to see what you already understand about it and to build on that understanding. The activities in this lesson are adaptable for most learning environments. Once you know what you already understand. The goal of this part of the lesson is to think about the food system. Pre-existing ideas about food and food sources will vary with the geographic location. Adding to this arrangement of steps in the food system by exploring different foods will help you understand the parts of the system more deeply. This may take time and patience but will help you identify what you already know. A key point to keep in mind during the lesson is to explore your ideas.
“Think Globally. what we choose to eat is connected to a food system. Other ideas are offered in the Going Further section." "regional." and "global" food systems. • Explain how our food choices can affect the community and global system. 5.” and “global. or global. Defining the terms “Local. Eat Locally Summary When we hear the common saying. we will be able to: • Have an increased understanding of how the steps in the food system are interrelated.” We will then participate in an activity to demonstrate these differences in energy consumed in local and global food systems.” “Regional.” “regional. Yet. That food system may be very local. such as an apple from a neighboring orchard.” food may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Key Concepts • Local food system (and “localization”) • Global food system (and “globalization”) • Regional food system (and “regionalization”) • Community • Sustainability • Food Miles • Cost versus Price Activities 1. • Have an increased awareness of how energy is needed and used in the food system. such as apples coming from New Zealand. • Explore the concepts of "local. 4. Act Locally. The first activity will help us define the terms “local. Japan.” and “Global. or Canada.” Local and Global Food Systems – Energy Comparison Local and Global Food Systems – Energy Comparison Follow-up Miles in Your Breakfast Food for Thought Journal .Lesson 3: Think Globally. Learning Objectives Upon completion of this lesson. 2. The major goal of this lesson is for us to become familiar with local and global aspects of our food system. 3.
“local”.” and “global” for future use. brainstorm to focus your ideas. raised or caught) and the place where it is purchased for consumption. Materials • • Writing board and markers Paper and pens/pencils Before Class Review Background material and guiding questions Class itself • Start this lesson by discussing or thinking about the meaning of the terms. Where do your oranges come from? What areas of the world do other foods you buy come from? Using the guiding questions below. Discuss or think about what the term “global” means.Activity 1: Defining the terms “local.” The distinctions between these different systems are based on the distances between the sources of the food (where it is grown.” and “global” Summary In order to understand food systems and how they are interconnected.” “regional. “regional”. Once you have generated ideas. Refer to the Background section for definitions.” “regional. Much of the food found in a grocery store arrived there through a food system that is global. we must first understand the terms used. we will define the terms for this lesson. and “global. This lesson will help us define “local. • • • Guiding Questions • • • • • What do you think the term “local” means? What makes a food a local food? What makes up your local area? What does the term “regional” mean to you? What is your region? What does the term “global” mean to you? .
we will follow the path of a strawberry – in a form they choose and from a place and type of farm that they choose. One of the important points in this lesson is that all food systems (local. For each food system.Activity 2: Local and Global Food Systems – Energy Comparison Summary To help us learn about the amount of energy and other resources used and outputs generated by the food system. we will calculate the amount of energy in the food system. Materials • • • • • • Photocopies of Strawberry food system story Photocopy of “Steps in the Food System” list from Lesson 2 Photocopies of the Energy worksheets as needed Local and national road maps. There are examples to give you ideas as well. Check with your local cooperative extension to find out where strawberries are grown in your area. if needed Writing board and markers Paper and pens/pencils Before class To prepare for this activity. regional and global) require the input of natural and human resources. then using the energy worksheet. small farm or come from across the country. make copies of the strawberry food system story. the level and kind of outputs generated. Then. frozen or in jam and they could come from a local. calculate the amount of energy used for the kind of strawberry food system we chose. using a food system worksheet. however. Review the food system model and have a copy of the “Steps in the Food System” list from Lesson 2 on hand to which to refer during the activity. vary a great deal in the level of inputs required. Food systems. The strawberries used in this example could be fresh. Even a very local food system will require some resources and generate some level of output. we will compare a local with a global food system. . We will first decide on a food system “scenario” for their strawberries. We will first set a number of parameters about either a global or local food system. Make copies of the local food system. and the benefits or costs that result for a given community.
• Do you eat strawberries? • Have you ever picked strawberries? If so.” Record your results in the appropriate column of the energy and resource score sheet. use a road atlas or Mapquest. divide into 2 groups and one take the local scenario and one the global). filling in the missing information as you go along. If there are enough of you. Once you have completed the worksheets and score sheets. Complete the worksheet. Complete the worksheets after all the missing pieces of food system information are added. to use a location for the market near where the you live and a farm location that is between 50 and 100 miles from your town for the local food system. the gas mileage for the truck). 2. 3.e. . a few thousand miles away for the global food system. Think about your experiences with strawberries. There may be other particulars that you think of to add to the worksheet not noted there. This is fine and should be encouraged. Compare the results of the two sheets so that you can see the differences on energy and resource use between the two systems. [Note: To make this exercise as “real” as possible.] Decide on the type of farm. or vice versa. where do you pick strawberries? • What is your local season for strawberries? (When are they ready for picking?) • Can you pick strawberries here in the winter? • Where are the strawberries grown that you buy in the winter? • What are some of the different ways that you can buy strawberries in the supermarket? (Frozen. location of strawberry farms nearby) and other information will be a matter of some judgment (i. Some of this information will be based on data that you will have ahead of time (i. Look at the strawberry food system story. fresh). 5. 4. Calculate the energy and resources used and the amount of CO2 and garbage generated as “outputs” or “externalities. in yogurt. try another scenario (global if the first was local.e. To determine distances between specific locations.Class itself 1. jam.
the strawberry fields are usually fruited for only two years. In the Northeast (as in Canada and the Midwest). Most strawberries produced in the United States are grown as annuals (plants that are planted each year and last for one season) in California and Florida over a long season and then shipped to be sold fresh in supermarkets all over the country from December through October. all his/her income from farming would have to be made in a few weeks out of the year! On a conventional farm. On an organic farm. Few farms grow only strawberries – most strawberry growers produce other fruits and vegetables as well. it is good for you. and as a fruit contain no fat. . The precise length of the strawberry season will vary depending on the location. other crops are planted on the field when strawberries are not planted and manure is used to fertilize the soil. because it is difficult to maintain enough nitrogen from organic sources. strawberry production can involve inputs of synthetic herbicide (for weed control) and a synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. or frozen whole or sliced for use in ice cream. they will bear fruit for several years before needing to be replaced with new plantings. Weeds are a problem mostly in June.to five-week period beginning in late May and ending mid-June. Strawberries can be found fresh. Since plants will not produce much fruit without sufficient nitrogen. jams. the strawberry would be it! The strawberry has become one of the most popular small fruits in the United States.If ever there were a taste of summer. jellies. strawberries are generally grown as perennials. yogurt and toppings. If this were the only crop a farmer grew. Not only does this fruit taste good. Here in the northeast. that is. Americans eat about 6 pounds a year. The fruits ripen over a three. July and early August of the year the plants are planted. There is definitely a “season” for strawberries here in our region. several varieties are grown locally to be marketed as fresh berries. because the strawberry season is so short. Strawberries are good source of vitamin C. or processed into juices. On average. How many of these ways have you had strawberries? There are many different varieties of strawberries.
they need to be handled carefully. Strawberries can also be grown in controlled. 2. frequent harvesting of the field (once every two days) is critical.Labor costs tend to be higher in organic production. Yields also tend to be lower as well. where as on a conventional farm average yields are about 7. Average organic yields are about 5. . The berries headed for the fresh market (store or farmers’ market where they’re sold as fresh and whole fruit) are placed into commercial containers.000. kept cool. or colored plastic mess boxes. 4. pesticides and fertilizers) costs are likely to be lower.000. the down side of this is that these berries usually do not develop the same intense flavor as fruits harvested at the fully ripe stage. That means they ripen quickly and even faster after harvest. 7.000. 4. wood (also stain and are expensive). greenhouses are heated with the input of energy. but chemical (herbicides. and 3. Organic strawberry production can be as profitable as conventional production if the price of the organic fruit is about 30% . In addition to the building materials for the structures. like clamshells (reduce moisture loss but juice can gather in the bottom).000. and transported quickly to a processing facility or to where they will be marketed fresh.000 quarts per acre. This means that once ripe strawberries are picked.000. These can be plastic tunnels over raised beds in the field or full greenhouses. high-technology environments for off-season production. Have you seen strawberries with white tips? These not yet fully ripe berries will retain their firmness much longer than those harvested fully ripe (making them better long-distance travelers) and will lose less water during storage.000. If a berry is picked before it is fully ripe it will have a longer storage and/or shelf life than those harvested at the fully ripe or overripe stage. This sound good. Because berries ripen so quickly. They maintain quality for only a few days at room temperature (that’s the strawberry’s shelf life) and about a week refrigerated – depending on the variety that is grown. clear plastic containers.000 quarts per acre in consecutive years on an organic farm. Containers can be made of pulp (inexpensive but stain easily). Strawberries are extremely perishable. doesn’t it? But. and 1.40% higher than conventional.
strawberries are very fragile and need to be handled carefully at every step along the distribution chain from farmer to consumer. 1998. say from California to New York State. Midwest. the berries will be picked and placed directly into cartons. Smaller forced air units can be improved with a small walk-in cooler and a few fans! Regardless of size. the less loss from decomposition and rot. After the berries are transported from the field and pre-cooled. if a farmer plans to sell the berries directly to consumers at a nearby farmers’ market. jams. The average total loss of strawberries from harvest to the consumer’s table is estimated to be more than 40%! A 14% loss occurs from farmer to wholesaler. and Engineering Service. unloaded and stacked in the back room. a 6% loss from wholesaler to retailer. there are many steps involved in getting strawberries from a farmer’s field to your table! And the path can vary quite a bit. At some later time. (Eds. many steps are involved. and Handley. These losses can be decreased with good handling practices.is probably the most important step to take after harvest to maintain good quality. ISBN 0-935817-23-9. 162 pages. If the berries are to be transported great distances. they would then be loaded into a truck. Large producers may have a separate forced air cooling facility specifically designed for removing field heat. Forced air cooling is the most frequent method used. Of course. and Eastern Canada. and a 22% loss occurs from retailer to consumer. D. 152 Riley-Robb Hall. cooling with forced air will require resources for the unit or facility and will use energy to do the cooling. M. and finally set up on the produce display for sale. Cooperative Extension. the flats (the wooden crates in which pint-sized cartons of strawberries are placed for transport) might then be wrapped. transported to a distribution center and unloaded into a warehouse. kept cold over night. NRAES-88. NY 148535701. Cooling – and doing it quickly! . transported to a retail store. loaded in a refrigerated truck.To maintain quality after harvest. Source for “Strawberries From Farm and Table”: Pritts. berries must be stored at low temperatures. Other marketing options include customer harvest (pick-your-own) and processed (frozen. This is critical for berries that will be transported great distances. As this story reveals. jellies. Strawberry Production Guide for the Northeast.). Agricultural. etc. Remember. with high carbon dioxide and low oxygen levels. . Natural Resource. This involves channeling refrigerated air through the containers holding the fruit. Ithaca.). loaded onto a smaller truck along with other products and transported to the market the next morning. The fewer steps.
determine the approximate distance the strawberries are transported from farm to market and the distance the consumer travels from the home to the market and back.e. Try to be as realistic as possible. the location of the consumer and his/her mode of transportation. Enter the amount onto the worksheet. Enter amounts onto worksheet. Instructions: (refer to example as needed) 1) Fill in the blanks in the header of the energy cost worksheet. source of strawberries. 3) Using a road atlas. use a decimal. Note that for the “Consumer” stage of the food system.).e.5 pounds for a half of a pound). Compare how energy use differs depending on the food choices made (i. and the type of shopping trip. berry form. 7) Sum the values for each stage to calculate the total energy used in the food system to provide x pounds of strawberries for the given strawberry scenario (x = the number of pounds of strawberries purchased. you will enter the total weight of food purchased during the shopping trip. etc. . find the energy cost per unit for each stage of the food system appropriate for the strawberry scenario you selected (i.3 pounds). form consumed. See Energy Key for details. . 5) Choose the amount of strawberries that will be purchased during the trip (Hint: a quart container of berries weighs approximately 1. Enter values onto worksheet. Refer to Table 1: Choosing A Scenario (see below) for guidance. mode of transportation used by consumer). For example. Enter the appropriate values onto the energy cost worksheet. Note: if less than a pound is purchased. farm. 6) Calculate the total energy use in each stage of the system by performing the mathematical operations indicated. 2) Using the Energy Key below. Enter distances onto worksheet. determine the length of time the berries will be stored.Worksheet: Energy use in the food system – Strawberries Objectives: To calculate and compare the energy costs of providing strawberries for several food system scenarios *. Choose the type and location of farm that the strawberries come from. 8) Repeat steps 1 through 7 for as many scenarios* as desired. the location of the market. the form of berries. 4) Using the Energy Key.
Each set of assumptions is a scenario. . medium and high birth rates. such as low.* NOTE: A scenario is a hypothetical situation described by several key factors. demographers often compare population projections that are calculated based on different sets of assumptions. For example. It is often compared with variations of the same general situation.
Category Farm Type: Small scale Helpful Information The farmer raises only a few (2 to 4) acres of strawberries and sells them directly to the customer from a roadside stand or at a farmer’s market. Availability of local produce may be limited. Choosing a scenario. or take public transit depending on their Retail Wholesale Processing Berry Form Market Type Roadside stand Farmers’ market Cooperative Grocer Supermarket Consumer Transportation . It is usually oriented toward whole foods and health-conscious customers. The market is usually located near a population center. The farmer raises a medium acreage (approximately 10 acres) of strawberries and sells them directly to the customer from the farm (a pick-your-own operation) or from a farmers’ market. The transformation of berries into different forms requires additional inputs of resources. A large (often open-air) structure at which many farmers sell produce or other farm products. A building (often simple) located on a well-traveled road that is on or near the farm.Table 1. Though the automobile is certainly the most common mode of transportation. Consumers may be able to walk. fertilizers. bike. pesticides) and yields are modest. Inputs are greater than small scale and yields are higher. There is no direct connection with the customer. The market is usually located near a population center.. Few external inputs are used (e. A large store that sells produce and thousands of other food and non-food items. Yields and inputs tend to be high.g. Yields and inputs vary. They are commonly sold fresh. The farmer raises a large acreage (50 or more acres) of strawberries and sells them to a processing plant to be made into a strawberry product (such as jam). or as jams and jellies. frozen. Strawberries are available in a variety of forms. several options may be available. There is no direct connection with the customer. A medium sized store that sells produce and hundreds of other food and non-food items. The market is usually located near a population center. The farmer raises a large acreage (50 or more acres) of strawberries and sells them to stores or distributors.
Assumes that the consumer only buys strawberries. Common for a trip to a farmers’ market where not all foods are available. from a short trip to buy milk and bread to a full week’s groceries. Common for a trip to a pick-your-own farm or an impulse shopping trip. Assumes that the consumer buys strawberries and an entire week’s groceries.proximity to the market and to bus or train service. Shopping Information Just berries Small trip Week’s groceries The size of a typical shopping trip can vary greatly. Examples are shown below. Assumes that the consumer buys strawberries and one-third of the weekly groceries. . Common for a trip to a supermarket or other large grocery store.
Jar holds 16oz (1lb). Producing season is April through September. U-pick operation. Fresh berries refrigerated during each day of transport. Bag holds 16oz (1lb). Producing season mid-May through June.18 kcal/lb/mi 2. Vans/pick-ups used for small scale and retail berries.Table 2.023 kcal/lb 722 kcal/lb 559 kcal/lb 69 kcal/lb 120 kcal/lb/mo All strawberries are considered hand picked Assume 1lb berries makes 1lb of jam.24 kcal/lb/mi Fossil energy cost per unit Comments 205 kcal/lb 506 kcal/lb 321 kcal/lb 946 kcal/lb 803 kcal/lb 390 kcal/lb Could be located in any state. Trucks used for wholesale and processed berries. Energy Key. Assume berries stored for 6 months. For berries frozen at home. Consumer can drive to farm. 0 kcal/lb 261 kcal/lb 825 kcal/lb 0 kcal/lb 1. Assume 1lb berries makes 1lb frozen. Box holds 16oz (1lb). For frozen berries. Producing season is January through April. Method Production (farm type) 1: Small scale Retail Wholesale – CA Wholesale – FL Wholesale – Northeast Processing – CA/OR Harvest: Hand picked Processing 2: Canning Freezing Fresh Packaging 3: Glass jar Paper box Plastic bag Wood basket Storage 4: Frozen Refrigerated Shelf Transport 5: Truck Van / Pick-up Consumer 6: 0 kcal/lb/mo 0. Processing occurs throughout picking season. For fresh berries. For storing jam. . Basket holds 16oz (1lb). Storage for jam.
Pimentel (ed. p. Funt. p.000lbs of produce for trucks and 1. Pages 15-21 in D. Fuel and Energy Efficiency.S. et al. The amount of weight added to weight of berries based on the average amount of food consumed per capita in the U. Representative United States Strawberry Energy Budgets. Department of Energy. 7 – Distributes the energy cost of traveling to/from market amongst all items purchased during a shopping trip (not just strawberries). University Press of Colorado. 195) 4 – Energy cost of frozen storage is from Pimentel and Pimentel (1996.) Handbook of Energy Utilization in Agriculture. G. Energy Information Administration (2002). Pimentel. p. Pimentel (ed. Energy values for gasoline are from Cervinka (1980. Please note the following: the cost shown for “Wholesale – Northeast” is from the energy budget of Maryland strawberry production (Galletta and Funt. A “week’s groceries” assumes that an entire week’s worth of food is purchased. Boca Raton. p 15). 1. Packaging. Boca Raton. Food Supply. 1980. Worksheet References: Cervinka. and R. 1980. . 2000). Niwot.) Food. CRC Press. and Preparation. 1980. 6 – Energy cost of consumer driving to and from market based on vehicle fuel efficiency and energy value of fuel. Florida.000lbs of produce for vans/pickups. p. Cargo capacity is assumed to be 40. Energy Information Administration (2002). Fuel efficiencies of “cars” are 1999 estimates from U. Pimentel and M. V.) Handbook of Energy Utilization in Agriculture.C.302-4). and cargo capacity of vehicle. 475pp. D. p 15).J. Energy values (in kcal) for diesel and gasoline are from Cervinka (1980. Pages 297-306 in D. 300). Florida. 188) 5 – Energy cost of transporting strawberries from farm to market based on fuel efficiency. and Society. Food Processing. CRC Press. 475pp. Pimentel. 2 – Energy costs of canning and freezing are from Pimentel and Pimentel (1996. Fuel efficiencies of “trucks” and “vans/pickups” are 1999 estimates from the U. 1980. Energy. 363pp. p. Colorado. 1996. A “small trip” assumes 1/3 of weekly food purchased during trip. Galletta. the cost shown for “Wholesale – CA” is an average of the two California energy budgets (Galletta and Funt. 3 – Energy costs of packaging are from Pimentel and Pimentel (1996.302-3). Department of Energy.Car (just berries) Car (small trip) Car (week’s groceries) Bike or walk 1790 kcal/mi 1790 kcal/mi 1790 kcal/mi 0 kcal/mi Units purchased = wt berries Units purchased = wt berries + 11 lbs/person 7 Units purchased = wt berries + 32 lbs/person 7 1 – Energy costs of producing strawberries are derived from Galletta and Funt (1980).S. p.670lbs per person per year (Putnum. 1980. Pimentel (eds. 188). and M.S. the cost shown for “Processing” is a weighted average from energy budgets of California and Oregon (Galletta and Funt. energy value of fuel. Pages 186-198 in D.
2000.doe.html) .C.S.. U. FoodReview 23(3): 2-14. and J. 379pp.8: Motor Vehicle Mileage. Washington. Government Printing Office. Energy Information Administration. Allshouse. Page 57 in Annual Energy Review 2000. Fuel Consumption.eia.Putnam. J. 2002. D. U. Per Capita Food Supply Trends: Progress toward Dietary Guidelines. (Available online: http://www. and Fuel Rates.S.S. Department of Energy. L. Table 2. 1949-1999. Kantor.gov/emeu/aer/aerpdf.
Ithaca. Distance traveled (duration stored) × NA × Amount purchased Total energy use Consumer information (mode of transportation & location): drives car Shopping information (# of people and size of trip): Production kcal/lb 390 2 lbs = 780 kcal Harvest kcal/lb 0 × NA × 2 lbs = kcal 0 Processing kcal/lb 825 × NA × 2 lbs = 1650 kcal Packaging kcal/lb 722 × NA × 2 lbs = 1444 kcal Storage 120 kcal/lb/mo × 4 mo × 2 lbs = 960 kcal Transport 0.Energy Cost Worksheet: SCENARIO: Strawberry form: frozen valley. CA .18 kcal/lb/mi × 2700 mi × 2 lbs = 972 kcal Consumer 1790 kcal/mi × 5 mi ÷ 24 lbs = 373 kcal All stages 6179 kcal . NY . supermarket . small trip for 2 . NY people Stage in food system Energy cost per unit . Farm information (production type & location): wholesale – central Market information (type of market & location): Ithaca.
.Ithaca. Market information (type of market & location): NY .Ithaca. scale – central NY Farm information (production type & location): small Consumer information (mode of transportation & location): walks . . Shopping information (# of people and size of trip): .Energy Cost Worksheet SCENARIO: Strawberry form: fresh . Energy cost per unit Distance traveled (duration stored) × × × × × × × NA NA NA NA __________ __________ __________ × × × × × × ÷ Amount purchased Total energy use just buying berries farmers’ market . NY for 2 people Stage in food system Production Harvest Processing Packaging Storage Transport Consumer All stages __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ = = = = = = = __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ .
Energy Cost Worksheet SCENARIO: Strawberry form: __________________________ Farm information (type of production & location): _____________________________________________ Market information (type of market & location): _______________________________________________ Consumer information (mode of transportation & location): _____________________________________ Shopping information (# of people shopped for & size of trip): ___________________________________ Stage in food system Energy cost per unit Distance traveled (duration stored) × × × × × × × NA NA NA NA __________ __________ __________ × × × × × × ÷ Amount purchased Total energy use Production Harvest Processing Packaging Storage Transport Consumer All stages __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ _______ = = = = = = = __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ .
Guiding Questions o What made the biggest difference between the two systems for energy use? o How can the food system be changed to decrease the amount of energy used and pollution generated? o Is it better to eat a local conventionally grown strawberry.Activity 3: Local and Global Food Systems – Energy Comparison Follow-up Summary After getting an idea of the energy used in both local and global food systems. or one that is grown organically on a farm 2. You may want to use the “Steps in the Food System” list to remember each step as you talk about them. Materials • Photocopy of “Steps in the Food System” list from Lesson 2 • Energy worksheets and materials from Activity 2 • Writing board and markers • Paper and pens/pencils Before class Prepare photocopies as needed and review questions. it is now time to consider some of the questions and problems that arise in trying to eat locally. It does give a fairly good idea of the various places in the food system where energy is used and is a good approach for showing how food systems differ.500 miles away. It is important to remember that this food system exercise is a simulation and is not meant to be an accurate accounting of exactly how much energy and resources are needed and how much pollution or garbage are generated by the systems. then shipped to a local market? o What would happen if we only bought strawberries from California? o What if we only bought strawberries locally? o If we only buy locally. packaged. who will buy strawberries from California? o Is it always possible to eat locally? Are there foods that we cannot grow in the north that we have to eat? . Class itself Discuss with someone else the worksheets you filled out in Activity 2.
would we still have the same amount of energy consumption for the local system? o How are the two paths we followed different? Did we compare the same number of strawberries being produced and transported? o Where do you get your food? o Have you ever seen any fruits and vegetables labeled in the supermarket so you can tell where it is from? .o Assuming you can only purchase local foods at the farmers’ market but you have to buy all your other groceries at the supermarket.
What beverages are in the breakfast? Orange juice or apple juice? Coffee perhaps? Or hot chocolate? • If you are working with a group. • Going through each item. but all the ingredients that go into the item – eggs. etc.Activity 4: Miles in Your Breakfast Summary Now that you have compared global and local systems with respect to energy consumed. it is time to apply that knowledge to your own daily habits. French toast can be made at home but it can also be bought frozen) . for example French toast. Which items are or can be produced locally? Which items are homemade and which are store-bought? (For example. once each person has a list of individual food items. construct a master breakfast from these individual lists and put it on a board in front of everyone. and possibly jam. butter. bread (wheat. the syrup. This could be a typical weekday or weekend breakfast. in this case eating breakfast! Materials • Writing board and markers • Paper and pens/pencils Before class Review Background information as needed Class itself • List all of the foods you have in a typical breakfast. milk.) – as well as what goes on it. think about or discuss with someone else where it was probably grown or raised. Do not only list the item.
Materials • Photocopies of “Food for Thought Journal” (one per student) • Pens/pencils Before Class Prepare photocopies as needed. complete the Food for Thought Journal for Lesson 3. . Class itself In the journal.Activity 5: Food for Thought Journal Summary As an independent assignment. you will be able to study one of your own meals and the food system it comes from in terms of the resources needed and used.
Questions of the Day: Describe a meal you ate yesterday or today. Did you help prepare the meal? Where do you think the foods in your meal came from before it was in the grocery store or your cafeteria? What are some resources that were used to grow or produce these foods? Were any of the foods packaged before you ate them? What resources were needed to make these materials .
For an enlightening and fun web-based activity. you must collect all of the ingredients and bring them to one place.” “Calculate Your Ecological Foot Print” at <http://www. How does the food system path of the pizza compare to the path of the strawberry? Could we fit all of the resources and energy into that same bowl? Consider an entire day’s worth of food. calculate their “environmental footprint. When you begin to think about it. our food system is very complicated. . Even small changes to the system that save resources and energy can have a great effect on our environment. If you want to make a pizza.org/leadnet/footprint/intro. Make a list of where all of the ingredients come from.rprogress. a non-profit research and policy organization that develops policies and tools to reorient the economy so that it will value people and nature first. The site is sponsored by Redefining Progress <http://www.htm> provides 13 simple questions that will assess your use of nature. a good way to put this lesson into the context of your lives is to examine a food you commonly eat. A discussion about pizza is really engaging for everyone.lead.org/>. First consider what ingredients go into making a pizza. This uses a lot of energy and resources. A lot of resources and energy is used to bring food from the field to table.If time permits.
3. 10. regionally or globally. 5. Record 10 produce items that are being sold this week and record where they are grown. 7. 2. 6. see if you can discover if produce sold is grown locally. Produce sold this Local Regional Global Specific location week Red Delicious apples X Washington State 1. 9. 8. What do you know about the migrant workers? About their lives? About their wages? About their benefits? How do they affect our food system? What questions do you now have about our food system? Where or who would you go to get these questions answered? .Commencement Level/ Independent Thinkers Food for Thought Journal 2 Things to think about: * How would you describe a food system? * Using the produce section of your newspaper ads. Migrant workers are employed by processors and farmers to help get the produce from the farmer to the consumer. 4.
transportation and distribution are reduced.” The distinctions between these different systems are based on the distances between the sources of the food (where it is grown. there is an emphasis on the development and maintaining of relationships between people in different sectors in the food system – farmers. “local”. Regional food systems are based on the existing state distribution infrastructure. bed-and-breakfast inns. many inputs necessary for food production. processing. Due to this close relationship between the food production industries within a community. . Because food is marketed directly. or through institutional markets such as restaurants. 1999). In such a system. local food systems are generally confined to a relatively smaller geographic area – what can be delivered by truck within a few hours. U-pick operations. and nutritional needs of a particular geographic location (Garrett and Feenstra. distribution and consumption are integrated to enhance the environmental. Examples of local food systems include farmers’ markets. regional” and “global. and produces 5 to 17 times more CO2 (from the burning of the fuel) than a regional or local food system. production/processing/retail enterprises. and consumer. roadside stands. processors. A community food system is a food system in which food production. or “community food systems” are thought to benefit the local economy by keeping food-related enterprises nearby and employing residents of a community. Since foodproducing businesses are located within the community they are also stakeholders in the healthfulness of their food production practices. for example. and by keeping the rural landscapes agricultural. economic. For example. and sales directly to hotels. processing. Local food systems. by keeping local farms in business. social. and institutions. the global system uses anywhere from 4 to 7 times as much energy (fuel to transport the food).Background Food systems can be characterized as. distributed in large semi-trailer and mid-size trucks. A cooperative network of state farmers that supply state retailers and wholesalers. Much of the food found in a grocery store arrived there through a food system that is global – local supermarkets are supplied by national and international sources. restaurants. hospitals. distributors. and conference centers. raised or caught) and the place where it is purchased for consumption. characterizes a regional food system. Another important distinction between these systems is the hidden costs and benefits of each that do not show up in the price we pay for food. using light. By contrast a local food system is one in which much of the food is marketed directly from farmers to consumers through community supported agriculture (CSA) enterprises and farmers’ markets. on-farm sales. relatively small trucks for delivery.
there are many community benefits to a strong local food system as discussed in the Community Food System Primer. There are significant benefits to our global community while our local communities may experience many of the drawbacks of globalization (Harmon et al. In the past 30 years there has been a significant global increase in fossil fuel use. fossil fuel use is the increased use of trucks to transport goods. registered an 18. there were 787.1-percent increase between 1990 and 2000. 5. Although it may not be possible in some areas of this country. Total world carbon emission from fossil fuel burning more than quadrupled since 1950.658 billion gallons of fuel. A study conducted by the Center for Agricultural Business indicated that in California alone more than 485. This means that most of the northeastern communities are capable of creating strong community food systems.790. so does the release of CO2 and other gases. While the local food systems are participants in the global food systems. the distribution of farms and agricultural business has shifted as well.997 in 1970. The United States. Along with these changes.3 billion gallons of fuel. When viewing the global system as a whole. but another important issue is the carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases that are released when fossil fuels are used. which accounts for 24 percent of the global total. The supply of fossil fuel to meet this increasing demand is one issue (the peak in oil production is predicted to occur in 5 to 20 years). 1999). In 1997.In addition to the environmental benefits to local food production. The issues surrounding the globalization of our food system are complex and extensive. These gases absorb heat and may contribute to an increase in global warming. and these vehicles consumed 6. 3.612 million tons in 1950. In 1965. it appears that production has increased to meet the demands of the population. food security and maintain healthy green spaces within the community. in the Northeast it is possible to eat local and regional foods year round and maintain a balanced and varied diet.S. Community food systems support local economy.000 combination trucks registered in the United States. their contribution is diminishing because many smaller businesses are unable to compete with larger production farms in the country. As fuel use goes up. Since certain areas of the country can produce large quantities of particular foods at low prices.100 miles to reach their destinations. One reason for the rise in U.939 in 1990 and 6. much of the market for those foods has shifted to the global food system.000 combination trucks that used 20.480 in 2000.000 truckloads of fresh fruit and vegetables leave the state every year and travel from 100 to 2. . Emissions totaled 1. there were 1. Many of these trucks transport food throughout the country.
A resource may be water. gasoline. In order to help you understand this complex system we used a simplified model that we can experience and touch. A Food Mile is the distance food travels from where it is grown or raised to where it is ultimately purchased by the consumer or other end-user.For more information about Community Food Systems. About the lesson… The basic concept used in this lesson is to create a model of the food system that will demonstrate how interconnected many aspects of the food system are.500 miles. see the Community Food System Primer included with these lessons. for example.146 and the average for vegetables 1. Energy vs. In order to make the lesson manageable we need to put some limitations on how energy consumption is represented.685 miles. This can be confusing since energy is a resource. Maryland. or other sources of power needed for the step in the food system. .596 miles. Resources in the context of this lesson are meant to be any inputs necessary. For example. They are distinguished from one another to make it easier to observe the differences in energy inputs for the local and global systems versus the other inputs. paper. other than energy resources necessary for the step in the food system. While the preparation may seem complicated. Calculations in another study examining transportation and fuel requirements estimated that fresh produce in the United States traveled an estimated 1. found that the average pound of produce distributed at the facility traveled more than 1. in practice this lesson will provide an interactive. an initial energy input is required to prepare cardboard for cardboard boxes. One 1969 estimate of miles traveled by food in the United States cited an average distance of 1. energy is required. Therefore we do not consider the energy required to produce the inputs into the system. This technique allows us to understand the complexities beyond the model more easily. Resource In the lesson we refer to both "Energy" and "Resources". We need to be aware that to produce many of the Resource inputs.346 miles. Energy should be discussed as the input of electricity (from fossil fuels or otherwise). soil. with the average distance for fruits being 2. An analysis of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s 1997 arrival data from Jessup. or glass. exciting learning tool that will enable us to explore complex aspects of the food system. We hope to demonstrate how complicated the system is that brings food from the field to our table.
iastate.edu/centers/leopold/pubinfo/papersspeeches/pp p/intro.ag.One website of interest on this subject is: http://www.html .
Key Concepts • Food Labeling • Nutrition Facts • Costs versus Prices • Ingredients • Food System Labeling . What is on food labels (and what is not) can provide insights into why our food system is often mysterious and hard to understand. We will become familiar with the current standard for food labeling – what food manufactures are required to include – as well as what some voluntarily include. • List 3 of the nutrients included on the “nutrition facts” labels. • Become familiar with words used to describe aspects of food products. Learning Objectives Upon completion of this lesson. Food labels primarily provide information about what is inside the product. • Become aware of health claims on food products. we should be able to: • Identify the major components of a food label. this lesson provides an opportunity to develop different kinds of food labels that provide information about the "food system" that is “inside” a food package.Lesson 4: Food Labels and the Food System Summary Food Labels and the Food System helps us learn what kinds of information can be found on food labels and how to read the Nutrition Facts table. and any additives Additionally. • Develop 2 food system messages for a food product label. the nutrient content. number of calories.
“Getting to the Core” This is a “Nutrition Fact” label found on a jar of applesauce. Vitamin C Activities • Reading Food Labels • Food System Labels • Food for Thought Journal Going Further Background . Notice the nutrients that are included and the ingredients in this apple product. Nutrition Facts Serving size ½ cup __________ Amount Per Serving Calories 52 Calories from Fat 0 _________________________ % Daily Value* Total Fat 0g 0% Saturated Fat 0g 0% Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 0mg 0% Potassium 170mg 5% Total Carbohydrate 22g 7% Dietary Fiber 5g 20% Sugars 16g Protein 0g _________________________ Vitamin A 2% Calcium 0% Vitamin C 8% Iron 2% *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs Ingredients: Apples.
distributor. What else is on the food label? Are there any health claims? Is there any information that is directly related to the composition of the food? What is that information? 5. • Paper and pens/pencils Before Class Collect packaged foods as appropriate. Repeat with other food packages. Materials • Packaged foods (or the food labels from the packages). Choose one of the food packages. Identify the different components of the food label . Review the Nutrition Facts Table and list the different nutrients that are listed. Are all food labels the same? What similarities and differences exist? . Review Background materials. These should include the Nutrition Facts Table and Ingredients List. Ingredients List.product name. What do the numbers following each mean? 4. 2. Class itself 1. manufacture and address. Nutrition Facts Table.Activity 1: Reading Food Labels Summary The first step to understanding how food labels may or may not illuminate our understanding of the food system is to become familiar with the information contained on the labels themselves and in what order. Look at the Background information on food labels with respect to the package used as an example. 3. What are the DRV’s and RDI’s? 6.
Class itself 1. After brainstorming on this.Activity 2: Food System Labels Summary Now that we understand the content of food labels and what is and is not included. (Note: some of the questions on the Food System Inquiry Guide are already answered on standard food labels. we can see how food labels may be improved to inform us about the food system. think about what information you would like to have on a food label. Can you pick these out?) . and think of additional questions that might be answered on a food label. Materials • Photocopies of the Food System Inquiry Guide • Food labels and packages from Activity 1 • Writing board and markers • Paper and pens/pencils Before class Prepare photocopies and collect food labels as needed. 3. look at the Food System Inquiry Guide. Review the food system model from Lesson 2 2. For each part of the food system. List the suggestions on the board or paper.
.Activity 3: Food For Thought Journal Summary As an independent assignment. Materials • Photocopies of “Food for Thought Journal” • Pens/pencils Before Class Prepare photocopies as needed Class itself In the journal. you will be able to use foods found in your home cupboards to examine the food labels and see what information from the food system is contained within. complete the Food for Thought Journal for Lesson 4.
or packaging of this food product? .Questions of the Day: Describe the food label of a product you have in a cupboard at home. what kind of information would you like to see about how the food was grown? What kind of information is on the food package about where the food was grown? If there is none. What nutrition information do you find on the label? What information is there about how the food was grown? If there is none. what kind of information would you like to see there? Is there any information on the label about the processing.
Commencement Level/ Independent Thinkers Food for Thought Journal 2 Things to think about: List the steps within a food system. About which of these steps can you learn something from the information on a food label? What would a food system food label look like? What are the most important food system facts to put on a label? .
There are very clear guidelines for how claims can be stated and there are 10 specific nutrient-disease relationship claims that are allowed: .” If a health or nutrient-content claim is made about a food. a symbol (such as a heart). Food labels provide nutrition information about most food items in the grocery store. However. Food labels also provide nutrient reference values. cholesterol. This includes information on the amount per serving of saturated fat. FDA requires nutrition information be displayed as well. Health claims about the food are also allowed. There are uniform definitions for terms that describe a food's nutrient content--such as "light. expressed as % Daily Values. “requires nutrition labeling for most foods (except meat and poultry) and authorizes the use of nutrient content claims and appropriate FDAapproved health claims. What is a Health Claim? A health claim is a statement of a relationship between a nutrient or a food and the risk of a disease or health-related condition. that help consumers see how a food fits into an overall daily diet. A health claim can be in the form of a third-party reference (such as the National Cancer Institute). dietary fiber. which. and other nutrients of major health concern." "low-fat. Health claims -. Meat and poultry products regulated by USDA are not covered by NLEA. Food labels provide information about its manufacturer and its nutritional content.S. such as calcium and osteoporosis. USDA's regulations closely parallel FDA's rules. and fat and cancer – are also clearly stated and defined. useful nutrition information about food products found in the grocery store. or a vignette or description.claims about the relationship between a nutrient or food and a disease or health-related condition. the food label offers complete. NLEA FDA's rules published in 1992 and 1993 implement the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 (NLEA).Department of Agriculture. a statement. among other things.Background The information found on a food label can help us make informed choices about what to eat. The Food Label Under regulations from the Food and Drug Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U." and "high-fiber"--to ensure that such terms mean the same for any product on which they appear.
at a bakery. • cookie counters. deli. fruits and vegetables and cancer Fruits. and other foods that contain no significant amounts of any nutrients. Nutrition Information Panel In the "Nutrition Facts" panel.• • • • • • • • • Calcium and osteoporosis Fat and cancer Saturated fat and cholesterol and coronary heart disease (CHD) Fiber-containing grain products. an ice cream store in your local mall. such as those served in hospital cafeterias and airplanes." Do all foods carry Nutrition Labeling? No. The claim also must be phrased so that consumers can understand the relationship between the nutrient and the disease and the nutrient's importance in relationship to a daily diet. sidewalk vendors. There are several foods that are exempt from the nutritional labeling requirements: • foods served for immediate consumption. some spices. vegetables and grain products that contain fiber and risk of CHD Sodium and hypertension (high blood pressure) Fruits and vegetables and cancer Folic acid and neural tube defects Dietary sugar alcohols and dental caries (cavities) The food must contain specified levels of the nutrient in the claim in order for the claim to be made. and candy store • food shipped in bulk. food manufacturers are required to provide information on certain nutrients. The mandatory (underlined) and voluntary components and the order in which they must appear are: total calories calories from fat calories from saturated fat total fat . as long as it is not for sale in that form to consumers • medical foods. diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of this disease. An acceptable example of a claim is: "While many factors affect heart disease. and those sold by food service vendors--for example. such as those used to address the nutritional needs of patients with certain diseases • plain coffee and tea. and vending machines • ready-to-eat foods that are not for immediate consumption but are prepared primarily on site--for example.
But. of macronutrients (such as fat. cholesterol.saturated fat polyunsaturated fat monounsaturated fat cholesterol sodium potassium total carbohydrate dietary fiber soluble fiber insoluble fiber sugars sugar alcohol (for example. in grams or milligrams. NLEA defines serving size as the amount of food customarily eaten at one time.400 mg. for the first time. It is uniform and reflects the amounts of a food people actually eat. The order in which they must appear reflects the priority of current dietary recommendations. For example. carbohydrates. Serving Sizes The serving size is the basis for reporting each food's nutrient content. sugars. that amount represents less than 6 percent of the Daily Value for sodium. however. sodium. mannitol and sorbitol) other carbohydrate (the difference between total carbohydrate and the sum of dietary fiber. which is 2. the sugar substitutes xylitol. a food with 140 milligrams (mg) of sodium could be mistaken for a highsodium food because 140 is a relatively large number. Servings are expressed in both common household and metric measures. The amount. The serving sizes that appear on food labels are based . and sugar alcohol if declared) protein vitamin A percent of vitamin A present as beta-carotene vitamin C calcium iron other essential vitamins and minerals The required nutrients were selected because they address today's health concerns and our understanding of the relationship between diet and health. Declaring nutrients as a percentage of the Daily Values is intended to prevent misinterpretations that arise with quantitative values. a column headed "% Daily Value" appears on the far right side. In actuality. and protein) is still listed to the immediate right of these nutrients.
although. teaspoon. in part. This group has the highest risk for excessive intake of calories and fat. and protein. DRVs for some nutrients represent the uppermost limit that is considered desirable. and sodium are: • • • • total fat: less than 65 g saturated fat: less than 20 g cholesterol: less than 300 mg sodium: less than 2. slice. sodium and potassium.400 mg . Grams (g) and milliliters (mL) are the metric units that are used in serving size statements. DRVs for the energy-producing nutrients are calculated as follows: • • • • • fat based on 30 percent of calories saturated fat based on 10 percent of calories carbohydrate based on 60 percent of calories protein based on 10 percent of calories. The DRVs for total fat. total carbohydrate (including fiber). RDIs for protein for special groups have been established. A daily intake of 2. (The DRV for protein applies only to adults and children over 4. DRVs have been established for macronutrients that are sources of energy: fat. and common household containers used to package food products (such as a jar or tray). piece. 1 oz (28g/about 1/2 pickle). Because of current public health recommendations. comprises two sets of dietary standards: Daily Reference Values (DRVs) and Reference Daily Intakes (RDIs). Only the Daily Value term appears on the label.) fiber based on 11. Ounces may be used. which do not contribute calories.000 calories. fraction (such as "1/4 pizza").5 g of fiber per 1.000 calories has been established as the reference. the Daily Value. Daily Values--DRVs The new label reference value. tablespoon. as well as for cholesterol. cholesterol. because it approximates the caloric requirements for postmenopausal women. saturated fat. but only if a common household unit is not applicable and an appropriate visual unit is given--for example. This level was chosen.on FDA-established lists of "Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed Per Eating Occasion. saturated fat. to make label reading less confusing." FDA allows as common household measures: the cup. DRVs for the energy-producing nutrients are based on the number of calories consumed per day.
” and “contains a small amount of.” “low source of." A synonym for fat-free milk is "skim. RDAs for the time being. The name change was sought because of confusion that existed over "U. poultry. and game meats. the values for the new RDIs remain the same as the old U. extra lean: less than 5 g fat.5 g or less saturated fat.” “few. or only trivial or "physiologically inconsequential" amounts of.Daily Values--RDIs "Reference Daily Intake" replaced the term "U. 4. High. • • • . cholesterol. and "sugar-free" and "fat-free" both mean less than 0." the values determined by FDA and used on food labels. This term means that a product contains no amount of. and "RDAs" (Recommended Dietary Allowances). Thus." Low.S.5 g per serving. and calories. These are the core terms: • Free. minerals and protein in voluntary nutrition labeling. saturated fat. These terms can be used to describe the fat content of meat. "calorie-free" means fewer than 5 calories per serving. sodium. sodium. RDAs.S. seafood.” Lean and extra lean. less than 2 g saturated fat. cholesterol. and less than 95 mg cholesterol per serving and per 100 g. RDA." "no" and "zero.S. and less than 95 mg cholesterol per serving and per 100 g.S. and calories. This term can be used if the food contains 20 percent or more of the Daily Value for a particular nutrient in a serving. RDAs. the values determined by the National Academy of Sciences for various population groups and used by FDA to figure the U. However. For example. lean: less than 10 g fat. saturated fat. sugars. Synonyms for "free" include "without. Nutrient Content Claims The regulations also spell out what terms may be used to describe the level of a nutrient in a food and how they can be used." which was introduced in 1973 as a label reference value for vitamins. one or more of these components: fat. This term can be used on foods that can be eaten frequently without exceeding dietary guidelines for one or more of these components: fat. descriptors are defined as follows: Low-fat: 3g or less per serving Low-saturated fat: 1g or less per serving Low-sodium: 140 mg or less per serving Very low sodium: 35mg or less per serving Low-cholesterol: 20 mg or less and 2 g or less of saturated fat per serving low-calorie: 40 calories or less per serving Synonyms for low include “little.
. "light brown sugar" and "light and fluffy. which call for certain required ingredients. it must provide 10 percent of two or three of these vitamins or minerals or of protein or fiber. that the sodium content of a low-calorie. In addition. or reference. These foods can be labeled "healthy. In addition. if it is a single-item food. The 10 percent of Daily Value also applies to "fortified. However." if they do not contain ingredients that change the nutritional profile. and. conform to standards of identity. in the case of enriched grain products. This term means that a food. product. the reduction must be 50 percent of the fat. in addition to meeting the other criteria. Second." More." "added. whether altered or not." and "extra and plus" claims. If the food derives 50 percent or more of its calories from fat. For example. Alternative spelling of these descriptive terms and their synonyms are allowed--for example. This term means that one serving of a food contains 10 to 19 percent of the Daily Value for a particular nutrient. but in those cases.• • • • • • • Good source. A "healthy" food must be low in fat and saturated fat and contain limited amounts of cholesterol and sodium. whether altered or not. a reduced claim cannot be made on a product if its reference food already meets the requirement for a "low" claim. canned and frozen fruits and vegetables and certain cereal-grain products. as long as the label explains the intent--for example. protein. Reduced. Healthy. that a nutritionally altered product contains one-third fewer calories or half the fat of the reference food. "light in sodium" may be used on food in which the sodium content has been reduced by at least 50 percent. "hi" and "lo"--as long as the alternatives are not misleading. "Fewer" is an acceptable synonym. This term means that a nutritionally altered product contains at least 25 percent less of a nutrient or of calories than the regular. Light. The sodium content cannot exceed 360 mg per serving for individual foods and 480 mg per serving for meal-type products. This term means that a serving of food. low-fat food has been reduced by 50 percent. or fiber. This descriptor can mean two things: First. contains a nutrient that is at least 10 percent of the Daily Value more than the reference food. Less. the food must be altered. it must provide at least 10 percent of one or more of vitamins A or C. pretzels that have 25 percent less fat than potato chips could carry a "less" claim." "enriched. contains 25 percent less of a nutrient or of calories than the reference food. such as frozen entrees and multi-course frozen dinners. The term "light" still can be used to describe such properties as texture and color. If it's a meal-type product. Exempt from this "10-percent" rule are certain raw. calcium. iron.
W. "fresh" can be used only on a food that is raw. The regulation defines the term "fresh" when it is used to suggest that a food is raw or unprocessed. ." are not affected.'Fresh' Although not mandated by NLEA. DC 20250 Meat and Poultry Hotline: 1-800-535-4555. is required on all foods that have more than one ingredient." The agency took this step because of concern over the term's possible misuse on some food labels.gov/label. S. Other uses of the term "fresh.fda. Because people may be allergic to certain additives.." "frozen fresh. identifying all ingredients helps them better avoid those harmful to them. Blanching (brief scalding before freezing to prevent nutrient breakdown) is allowed. Lesson Resources FDA General Inquiries: 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332). or declaring what is in a food product.. USDA Food Safety Education and Communication Office 1400 Independence Ave. has never been frozen or heated. Room 1180 Washington. Food Safety Hotline: 1-800-332-4010 FDA's food label information on the Web: www." such as in "fresh milk" or "freshly baked bread. and contains no preservatives.) "Fresh frozen. FDA has issued a regulation for the term "fresh." and "freshly frozen" can be used for foods that are quickly frozen while still fresh.html.cfsan. (Irradiation at low levels is allowed. Ingredient Labeling Ingredient Labeling. In this context.
food product or meal analyses. food systems stories are frequently in the news. and is therefore available for use and interpretation. or the interests of the class. Also.Section 2: Discovering the Food System Project This section provides a guide for conducting a Discovering The Food System project. identifying who is directly involved in those aspects. club. as well as a public survey about some aspect of the food system that interests you the most. arrange to meet them. and interviews with people who represent the food system. Step 1: Finding Food System Facts provides tools and guidelines to locating and understanding data that has already been collected on the food system. What you choose to focus on and the methods you use are flexible and should be guided by your own individual interests. contact community members who are part of the food system. and finally. This is similar to the processes being used across the country to conduct community food assessments. The program does not end with discovery. You are provided with tools for exploring your food system. The food system discovery is accomplished through a search of existing food system facts. This step in the Discovering The Food System project provides an opportunity to gain experience with a qualitative social science methodology: the open-ended inperson interview. . actually conduct in-person interviews. however. You will learn about the breadth of issues related to the food system that you might read about in any daily newspaper. It is this flexibility that will insure a high level of engagement on your part. and formulating questions about issues for those most likely to have interesting insights. or group with whom you are working. You will practice basic interviewing techniques in a role play. Step 2: Learning from People in the Food System will help you gain a better understanding of your food system by helping you interview some of the people that you will identify as being part of the food system. This step in the food system project builds on the previous step by guiding you in a process of clarifying the aspects of the food system that most interest you.
as well as how to collect and compile the results mathematically.) .Step 3: Community Survey – Getting Ready provides you with an opportunity to gain experience with a classic quantitative social science methodology: the survey. deciding what method of distribution is best for your needs. You will learn how to prepare a survey for distribution. In the in-person interviews and gathering of food system facts. questions and concerns undoubtedly will have surfaced. and how people can make change in the food system. You will learn how to design a questionnaire. (Story telling. By now you will have learned a lot about the food system. and chose a population sample before distributing the survey and compiling the results. Here. Step 5: Sharing Food System Stories with Your Community introduces you to the tools for you need to share your newly obtained food system understandings with the community with an eye for creating community change. Reporters. how it has changed over time. you will get a chance to learn how some segment of the broader community feels about these issues. how it works (and does not work). Community Action and Change. who makes decisions that help shape it. PowerPoint projects. Newspaper articles. You will learn about the potential impact information can have on policies in a school. several interests. or in the broader community. Step 4: Conducting a Community Survey will help you to move from preparing the survey to actually conducting it.
For each fact we find in our hunt. we will be better armed with the facts to go on with our own exploration of our local food system. However. we had an opportunity to consider some of the important issues about the food system. Learning Objectives Upon completion of this lesson. we need to become aware of some of the basic facts about our personal food system. We will also have used that information to choose our Discovering the Food System project topic. As we develop our food system project. we will need to cite the sources of our information.Step 1: Finding Food System Facts Summary In the previous section. Upon completing this lesson. The information we acquire will show how the food system has changed in recent years. we will be able to interview members of the food production system and survey a community of consumers. before we begin investigating our local community food system. This lesson will help develop skills for gathering some important food system data by using community resources at hand. • Interpret graphs and describe changes in the food system • Begin to consider why these changes have been occurring Key Concepts • Population • Commodities • Community • Cooperative Extension • Resources . we should be able to: • Use a variety of resources to gather information about our community and local food system.
2001). the record low for apple production was a scant 2 million bushels or approximately 100 million pounds in 1945.“Getting to the Core” Would you believe this? One out of every ten pounds of apples grown in the United States comes from New York State. second only to Washington State. That’s enough to give every person who lives in New York City an apple every day of the year! As impressive as this number sounds. Indeed. New York farmers produce over one billion pounds of apples annually∗. when New York farmers harvested an astounding 54 million bushels or approximately 2. 1991-2000 (New York Agricultural Statistics Service. New York used to produce even more apples than it does today. On average. Despite the occasional vagaries of agriculture. Have you had your apple today? Activities • • • • Preparing for the search Developing your search Searching for specific food system data Food for Thought Journal Going Further Background Average annual production of apples in New York State was 1. New York is the one of the largest producers of apples in the country. apples continue to be a mainstay of New York farm production and remain one of America’s favorite fruits. The record high year for apple production was 1896.083 million pounds during the last decade. In contrast.6 billion pounds. ∗ .
Activity 1: Preparing for the search Summary To hunt for information about your community's food system you will need to use many resources. The search for this information will help give you the basic picture of different aspects of your food system Materials • • • Photocopies of Food System Fact Hunt worksheet Pens/pencils Telephone directory. the type and number of food system-related businesses in your community and the amount of food production that occurs. It contains basic information you will need. . In order to orient you to the process of information gathering. there are specific basic facts you should start off with. This activity is intended to help you find those resources. telephone. or access to the Internet on a computer Before class Prepare photocopies as needed Class itself • Fill out the Part 1 of the worksheet. including population data.
ers.gov/epubs/other/usfact/US.html The population of the United States is _______________________________ Source: www. Part 1 My State is: My County is: My Town/City is: United States Data Source: govinfo. one group take the state data and one group collect the county data). fill in the questions you have developed and the information you discover regarding those questions.HTM Total Percentage employed in farm or farm-related jobs: .orst.Name of team/group Name of individuals Directions: There are two parts to this activity.library. Good luck. search away! If you are doing this project at the “commencement level. Use the resources provided to search for the facts about food systems for the first part. such as a class setting. If you are doing this project in a group. For the second part. Make sure always to include the year the data is from.edu/stateis.usda.” estimate your answers in the left-hand margin before you research the material. Compare the results after the research is done and record variations and reasons for the differences in your journal. Compare results using overhead transparencies or posters. divide into 3 sections and have each group take one section (For example: one group take the US data.
Total Percentage employed in food production only: Percentage of total land area used for farmland: Most farms in the US are (circle): Family Owned Partnerships Corporation Other
The average age of farmers in the US is: Source: www.usda.gov/nass/aggraphs/graphics.htm The number of farms in the US in 1910: The number of farms in the US in 1995: The number of US farm workers Increased / Decreased from 1910 to 1995. (Circle one) In In In In 1910, 1995, 1910, 1995, farm workers earned _________ per hour. farm workers earned _________ per hour. there were _________ million farm workers in the US. there were _________ million farm workers in the US.
Source: govinfo.library.orst.edul The population of my state is _____________________________
Total Percentage employed in farm or farm-related jobs: Total Percentage employed in food production only: Percentage of total land area used for farmland: Most farms in my state are (circle): Family Owned Partnerships Corporation Other
The average age of farmers in my state is:
Top 5 Commodities produced in my state: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Top 5 Commodities exported from my state: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. County Data
The population of my county is ___________________________ The number of farms in my county: The number of farms with milk cows: The number of farms with beef cows: The major crops produced on farms in my county are: The major crops / commodities exported from my state are: Guiding questions about the research might include one of these: What is happening to the number of farms in your county (local), state (regional) or our country (global)? What is happening to the ownership of these farms? Is it important to know the commodities produces and exported by your state? Why?
Part 2 Group Research Topic:
Website: _______________________________________________________________ Facts:
Website: _______________________________________________________________ Facts:
Website: ________________________________________________________________ Facts:
Website: ________________________________________________________________ Facts:
Compile a list of topics to research from your ideas. community gardens. create a list of specific data and information that would help you understand more about the topic. you need topics that will engage your interest and lead to further study.Activity 2: Developing your search Summary In order for you to direct your search further. Once you have chosen a key topic to investigate. Section 1 Food for Thought Journal. kinds of crops grown. it will help if the leader searches for the information prior to the lesson. Section 1 Food for Thought Journal entry Paper and pens/pencils Before Class If this is activity is being used with a group. you listed questions you had about the food system. You should find at least one issue related to the food system that you would like to explore further. Class Itself 1. etc. you can either use these ideas or develop other ideas for topics of your Discovering the Food System project. . 2. In the Lesson 3. This will help in directing students in a way that is maximizes the use of class time. Materials • • Your Lesson 3. farmers’ markets. Examples include: the number of farms in the county where you live. Make sure to define the topic well enough that you can search for the information using the resources and websites provided in this lesson. Pick a topic to research about the food system. number of supermarkets. This activity aims to help you find those topics and narrow your choices down to a few manageable possibilities. You may want to ask others what they think is important to learn more about. Review Background information as needed. For this lesson. Your ideas should reflect what in the food system you would like to know more about.
get help from someone else like a parent or teacher or friend. Note: If you are using the Internet. keep track of people's names and departments in the agencies you call. access to the internet or local phone books Pens/pencils Before Class Prepare photocopies as needed Class itself 1. there is a large amount of data available about many aspects of the food system. you can contact those people again. While searching for information. Materials • • • Worksheets from Activity 1 Photocopies of Background material as appropriate. Included in the Background material for this lesson you will find a list of websites with great food system and agricultural facts that cover a variety of topics. If you have further questions later on.Activity 3: Searching for specific food system data Summary Now that we have started familiarizing ourselves with how to search the World Wide Web or other resources for local statistical data and found some topics of interest to focus on. Fill out Part 2 of the worksheet. Also. If you are using community resources. when searching out specific information it may take quite a few phone calls and transfers before you find the right person to speak with. You do not want to accidentally call the same people again and again! If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of calling people you do not know to ask for information. there are many helpful people working in your community. The websites will provide general data and graphs that summarize much of the pertinent statistical data you want. it is time to start our search for specific food system data. Seeking information over the phone is often a daunting task! .
Activity 4: Food for Thought Journal Summary As an independent assignment. you will have time to reflect on your newly completed fact hunt. discuss what surprised you about the information you found out. use these questions as a way to discuss your results with others in the group or other groups who may be researching different topics. In discussion. • Are there fewer farms in your area than you thought? • Are there more people in your town than you thought? . Finally. If you are working as part of a group. you can draw some conclusions about the process of gathering the information. Blending what you have found with what others have found can provide a bigger picture of what is happening in the food system. through discussion. Materials • • Photocopies of “Food for Thought Journal” Pens/pencils Before Class Prepare photocopies as needed Class itself In the journal. some other questions to consider are: • What was most difficult to find? • What information was easy to locate? • Also. complete the Food for Thought Journal for Step 1.
Questions of the Day: What was the most surprising information you discovered in this lesson? Why was it surprising? Do you think most people in your community know about this information? Why? Did your estimation and actual data differ? Why?
If the estimation is close to the actual data, what could this indicate? Why is it important to record the publication date with your research information?
What fact or topic would you like to know more about now that you have learned more about food systems?
Who might you ask to find out more about this topic?
A wonderful exercise to help us connect with what is going on in our community food system is to hunt for a local newspaper article that pertains to some aspect of the food system. Write a paragraph summarizing the article and explain your point of view about the issue. The businesses mentioned in an article could be a possible lead to an interviewee for Step 2 or a contact in Step 3 of the food system project. Another activity for this lesson is to print out any graphs you found during your fact hunting and write a paragraph explaining the graph and interpreting what it could mean in relation to the food system.
Background Conducting a search using Internet search engines can take a lot of time and produce little useful data. The websites provided contain links and lists of other websites that will be useful for investigating most aspects of the food system. The websites included in the Resources list have been well researched and will be most helpful for finding specific information. If this lesson is being done in a setting where the Internet is not accessible, most of the information you are looking for can be gathered by contacting state agencies. Some states in the Northeast have fewer offices that are responsible for monitoring aspects of the food system and state agriculture. It will be most helpful to start your search by contacting your State Department of Agriculture and the Extension office of your state's Land Grant University. Many of the addresses and phone numbers of the state offices for the Northeast have been included below. These offices are responsible for the type of data that you will be looking for. These basic contacts will lead to the names and numbers of contacts able to give more specific information.
When searching these websites, look for places to click that say, "graphics," "state fact sheets," or for maps provided when you scroll down the page. From these basic starting points you will find links to other places to find specific data. United States Data http://www.ers.usda.gov/epubs/other/usfact/US.HTM http://www.usda.gov/nass/aggraphs/graphics.htm State Data http://govinfo.library.orst.edu/stateis.html http://www.ers.usda.gov/epubs/other/usfact/ County Data http://govinfo.library.orst.edu/ag-stateis.html
org Delaware Cooperative Extension System University of Delaware Townsend Hall Newark. Food.C. MD 21401 . and Rural Resources State House Station 28 Augusta. Hartford. ME 04338 207-622-3118 Contact: Eric Sideman Maryland Cooperative Extension Service University of Maryland 2120 Symons Hall College Park. ME 04333 207-287-3871 Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association Box 2176 283 Water St. Augusta. DC 20017 202-576-6993 Healthy Harvest Society 1424 16th St. NE Washington. MD 20742 301-405-2907 Department of Agriculture 50 Harry S. Dupont Highway Dover. Hartford. MD 20705-2351 301-504-6559 Maine Cooperative Extension University of Maine 5741 Libby Hall Orono. Giesecke Department of Agriculture. 20036 202-462-8800 Alternative Farming Systems Information Center National Agricultural Library Room 109-C 10301 Baltimore Blvd.Non-Internet State Resources about the Food System Connecticut Cooperative Extension System University of Connecticut 1376 Storrs Road Storrs. ME 04469-5741 207-581-3188 Contact: Carol C. NW #105 Washington. Beltsville. CT 06114 Ph: 203-296-9325 FAX: 203-296-8326 Contact: Mark Winne Email: hn2838@handsnet. D. CT 06106 203-566-3671 Hartford Food System 509 Wethersfield Ave. DE 19901 302-739-4811 District of Columbia Cooperative Extension Service University of the District of Columbia 901 Newton St. CT 06268-4036 203-486-4125 Department of Agriculture State Office Building 165 Capitol Ave. Truman Parkway Annapolis. DE 19717 302-831-2506 Department of Agriculture 2320 S.
410-841-5700 Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association 6201 Harley Road Middletown. Box 231 New Brunswick.edu New York Cooperative Extension Roberts Hall Cornell University Ithaca.O. Medford. NJ 08903 908-932-9306 Department of Agriculture CN 330 Trenton. MA 02202 617-727-3000 NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association) Massachusetts 411 Sheldon Road Barre. NH 03824 603-862-1520 Department of Agriculture. and Food P. Markets. MD 21769 301-371-4814 Contact: Marty Rice Massachusetts Cooperative Extension System 212C Stockbridge Hall University of Massachusetts Amherst. NJ 08625 609-292-8853 NOFA . Boston.School of Nutrition 126 Curtis St. MA 02155 Ph: 617-627-3223 FAX: 617-627-3887 Contact: Molly Anderson New Hampshire UNH Cooperative Extension 59 College Road Durham. NJ 08903-1231 Ph: 908-932-9224 FAX: 908-932-6837 Contact: Michael Hamm Email: Hamm@aesop.O. PO Box 231 New Brunswick. Food and Environment Tufts University . NH 03302-2042 603-271-2505 New Jersey Rutgers Cooperative Extension Cook College P.rutgers. Box 2042 Concord. NY 14853 607-255-2237 Department of Agriculture and Markets 55 Hanson Place Brooklyn. NY 11217 718-722-2830 .New Jersey 60 S Main St PO Box 886 Pennington. NJ 08534-0886 609-737-6848 Certification: Henry Krzewinski Urban Ecology Program Department of Nutritional Sciences Thompson Hall. MA 01005 Ph: 508-355-2853 Contact: Julie Rawson Center on Agriculture. MA 01003 413-545-4800 Department of Food and Agriculture 100 Cambridge St.
NY 14853 607-255-9832 Pennsylvania Cooperative Extension Service Pennsylvania State University 217 Ag Administration Building University Park. Box 158 Port Clinton. Box 21 South Butler. NY 13154 315-365-2299 Farming Alternatives Program Department of Rural Sociology Warren Hall Cornell University Ithaca. Box 6031 .R. NY 10001 Ph: 212-645-9880 FAX: 212-645-9881 Contact: Kathy Lawrence NOFA .O. VT 05405-0059 Ph: 802-656-0037 FAX: 802-656-8874 Contact: Kate Duesterberg West Virginia Cooperative Extension Service West Virginia University P. VT 05620-2901 802-828-2500 NOFA .O. PA 16802 814-863-3438 Department of Agriculture 2301 Cameron St.R.O. Box 177 Richmond.Vermont R. Food. RI 02881 401-792-2474 Rhode Island Division of Agriculture 22 Hayes St. VT 05477 802-434-4435 Contact: Enid Wonnacott UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture University of Vermont 590 Main Street Burlington.Just Food . RI 02908 401-277-2781 Contact: Dan Lawton Vermont Extension System University of Vermont 601 Main St. PA 19540 215-562-5502 Contact: Jodi Snyder Western Pennsylvania OCIA R. PA 17110-9408 717-787-4737 Eastern Pennsylvania Organic Crop Improvement Association P.NYC Sustainable Food System Alliance 307 7th Avenue Ste 1201 New York.New York P. Providence. VT 05401-3439 802-656-2990 Department of Agriculture. Burlington. Harrisburg. 2 Box 116A Volant. PA 16156 412-530-7220 Contact: Ron Gargasz Rhode Island Cooperative Extension Service University of Rhode Island Woodward Hall Kingston. and Markets 116 State St. Montpelier.
Morgantown. Box 642 Morgantown. WV 25305 304-558-2210 Mountain State Organic Growers and Buyers Association (MSOGBA) P.O. WV 26507 304-293-4801 Contact: Keith Dix . WV 26506-1900 304-293-5691 Department of Agriculture Room 28 Main Unit State Capitol Kanawha Blvd. Charleston.
• Describe 2-3 ways to conduct personal interviews. we are all in the food system because we all eat! But here we focus on those community members who really make the food system happen.Step 2: Learning from People in the Food System Summary This step in the Discovering the Food System project provides the tools and guidelines we will need to identify people in the food system and to decide who best to interview. Of course. and then how best to set up the interview. Learning Objectives Upon completion of this lesson. Having the opportunity to interview people with first-hand experience can provide a better understanding of the food system. • Consider how and where we will meet with this person to interview him or her. food processors. • Describe 2 interview settings. chefs and restaurant personnel. Key Concepts • Food System • Interview • Close-ended questions . Our interview can be as easy as briefly asking some questions of a school lunch server. farmers. Because the food system is complex there are a great number of people and varied jobs to be identified. we should be able to: • Identify at least one member of our community involved in the food system. Then you can make choices about who specifically to interview. It is important not to limit our exploration of who is in the food system. The “Steps in the Food System List” from Lesson 2 of Section 1 will be useful for this lesson because it is important to think about people in terms of their particular part or function in the entire food system. The first step in planning to conduct a person-to-person interview is to identify people in the community who are involved in the food system in some way and to explore how they are involved. or as complex as interviewing grocery store owners.
• Open-ended questions .
the interviewer can choose different formats of questions to help keep the conversation interesting. questions with long answers. and how many years is a tree harvested before it is replaced? 5) What is your favorite variety of apple and why? Multiple-choice questions: a) It has become more difficult for apple growers to earn a profit during your lifetime.Multiple-choice questions “Getting to the Core” Interviewing in the Food System If you had the chance to talk with an apple grower. 1 – Strongly agree 2 – Agree 3 – No opinion 4 – Disagree 5 – Strongly disagree . Open-ended questions: 1) How long have you been farming and have you always grown apples? 2) What varieties of apples do you grow and what are they usually used for? 3) To whom do you sell apples? 4) How long does it take for a tree to begin to produce fruit. questions with short answers. questions that are demanding. Two commonly used formats are open-ended questions and multiple-choice questions. an interview should contain a variety of questions: easy-to-answer questions. 1 – Strongly agree 2 – Agree 3 – No opinion 4 – Disagree 5 – Strongly disagree b) An apple a day keeps the doctor away. what questions would you like to ask? What questions do you think a grower would like to answer? What kinds of questions might require a tactful approach? These are all things to think about when preparing to interview someone. thought-provoking questions. In general. Some examples from both types of formats are shown below. and questions that are fun. In addition. particularly a person you do not know.
1 – Strongly agree 2 – Agree 3 – No opinion 4 – Disagree 5 – Strongly disagree d) Agriculture would benefit if more young people considered a career in farming. 1 – Strongly agree 2 – Agree 3 – No opinion 4 – Disagree 5 – Strongly disagree e) Perennial crops like apples are good for the environment and satisfying to grow. 1 – Strongly agree 2 – Agree 3 – No opinion 4 – Disagree 5 – Strongly disagree Activities • Putting people in the Food System • Identifying people in the Food System • Developing the interview topics • Deciding how to interview • Preparing for the interview • Food for Thought Journal Going Further Background . Everyone should drink it. 1 – Strongly agree 2 – Agree 3 – No opinion 4 – Disagree 5 – Strongly disagree Bonus Question: Cider is nectar from the gods.c) Imported apples and apple products are a major source of competition for your business.
Activity 1: Putting people in the Food System Summary
Before we can identify whom we want to interview, we need to start to identify what types of jobs the people who work in different parts of the food system hold.
• • • “Steps in the Food System List” from Lesson 2, Section 1 Paper and pens/pencils Telephone directory (optional)
Review the parts of the food system as needed and prepare photocopies if necessary.
• • • Name the different parts of the food system. You can refer to the “Steps in the Food System List” from Lesson 2, Section 1. Divide your paper in to one column for each part of the food system. You will probably want to spread this onto more than one piece of paper. Briefly consider or discuss the different jobs that could be related to each part of the food system. Some may fall under more than one column. For example, a farmer grows food but also harvests it. A store manager may store as well as retail food. Set your lists aside for a few minutes, then return to them. Is anything missing? Add to the lists until you are satisfied you have exhausted all possibilities. The yellow pages from a telephone directory may give you some ideas as well.
Activity 2: Identifying people in the Food System
Now that we have a sense of some of the jobs people can hold when working within the food system, we need to put faces into our own food system. We need to ask ourselves: who are the members of our own community who deal with food in some form as a part of their work? From there we can decide whom to interview for our project.
• • • • • Our lists from Activity 1 Post-it © notes or index cards (approximately 5 per person) Clear tape Writing board and markers or Paper and pens/pencils
Gather materials as necessary
To start off this lesson, create an Information Tree to identify and define the people in your community. 1. Draw a large silhouette of a tree with limbs but without leaves. This can be on the chalkboard or on a large piece of paper. Label the limbs from each of the steps of the food system: Growing, Marketing, School, Neighborhood, Processing, etc. 2. Hand out the Post-it® notes and markers. On them, write down the people you meet during your daily activities. For example, you might write: lunch server, mom, grocery store worker, farmer, etc. Do not forget to think about what you do on the weekends or after school. 3. Put your Post-it® notes on the tree limb that best fits the person you have on the note. 4. Look at your lists from the previous lessons. Can you add to your tree by considering more unfamiliar jobs and who works them? Do not forget even unpaid activities such as preparing the family meal. How many opportunities to work with food are represented?
5. Think about whom you may want to interview. Where will you meet with them (at home? In a classroom? In the cafeteria? On a farm?) 6. If feasible, you may want to interview more than one person. If you are working with a large group, you may want to break up into smaller groups. Each small group can choose a different person to interview so that you can compare notes after the interviews.
Now that you have narrowed down what you want to explore about the food system. 2. Do you want to explore any of those questions in your interviews? Do you have other questions about the food system. Section 2. Materials • • • • Food for Thought Journal entries for Lessons 1-4.Activity 3: Developing interview topics Summary Before we can interview anyone. This will ensure that our interview advances our knowledge in the topic we have chosen to investigate. Are there people on those lists whom you normally see on a daily basis whom you can interview about your topic? If not. now that you know more? Your interview should help you learn more about the topics you investigated in Step 1. Section 2 Worksheet from Step 1. look at the information tree and lists you developed in Activities 1 and 2. Class itself 1. filled out “Information Tree” from Activity 2 and lists from Activity 1 Paper and pens/pencils Before class No preparation needed. who is the best person to interview on your topic? How will you get in contact with them? By phone? By scheduling an interview at their office? . Section 1 and Step 1. Look at the questions and interview ideas you wrote in your Food for Thought Journals from Lesson 1-4 and Step 1 of the Discovering the Food System project. we need to translate the topics we decided upon in Step 1 into interview topics and questions.
we will brainstorm to see how many different types of interview options we can think of.Activity 4: Deciding how to interview Summary Almost as important to deciding who to interview is deciding how to conduct the interview. etc. ever answered the phone and been asked by the caller to answer questions about a particular topic? This is another type of interview. talk shows or listening to the radio to familiarize yourself with some interview techniques. at school. Materials • Paper and pens/pencils Before Class You may want to spend some time watching news broadcasts. You may want to fill out the first part of the Food for Thought Journal entry for this lesson. radio. on the streets. or public hearings. • . Most interviews will be person to person (one-on-one) but groups can interview one person. In this activity. as it will help you record what you hope to get out of your interviewing experience. or members of your family. Describe the different interview settings you are aware of: phone. at your school or within your community? These could be news broadcasts. talk shows. Where will you meet with your interview subject? (at home? In a classroom? In the cafeteria? On a farm? Over the phone?) The location of the interview may affect the choice of interview technique you choose. Have you. public place. Decide what form of interview you will conduct. Class itself • • • • What interviews have you observed on TV. This works well for a class or club situation. at a public meeting.
• Thank the interviewee for their time! • . You can easily tailor this activity to what is practical for your own situation. For example. processors. • Get their permission to take notes or record the interview. depending on you and the amount of time you have. You may even want to interview a grocery store manager to find out how connected to food system a grocery store is. • Try to use questions that make the interviewee think and talk more. One great resource is grocery store managers because they will have information about local and regional farms. or it can be much more elaborate and involve contacting your extension or county offices for help.Activity 5: Preparing for the Interview Summary Interviewing can be easy or complex. packagers and distributors. If possible. generate a list of tips and techniques of conducting a good interview. What is the overall goal of an interview? Some of these tips might include: • Always tell the interviewee your purpose for conducting the interview. interviewing can be as simple as developing some questions for family members or arranging time to talk to the lunch staff at your school cafeteria. From your research. • Try to avoid “yes” and “no” questions. Watch television interviews for tips on body language and tones of voices that reveal reactions to good and bad interview questions. Materials • • Model Script from Background material for this lesson Paper and pens/pencils Before Class Read over the Background material and consider how to tailor it to the person you wish to interview. Class Itself • Use the script provided in the Background material to model interviewing techniques. find others to help you role-play through the script for practice. • Be observant of body language and tone of voice.
Take turns interviewing family members or friends until you are comfortable with the interviewing process. Do not forget to introduce yourself to the interviewee. If you are working in a group. Include as many details as possible. Get feedback as to the questions you are asking. . complete the Food for Thought Journal about your interview. so you can use your notes for your essays in Section 3. based on the topic that you chose. It may be helpful to record the interview on cassette tape. take turns asking your questions. Now you are ready for your interview! Remember to take careful notes during your interview. Impromptu questions are always good as well: follow your instincts and have fun! On the same day of the interviews.• • • Generate a brief list of questions to ask your interviewee.
. Class itself In the journal. Materials • • Photocopies of “Food for Thought Journal” Pens/pencils Before Class Prepare photocopies as needed. You may want to fill out the first part before the interview and the second part immediately after the interview. complete the Food for Thought Journal for Step 2.Activity 6: Food for Thought Journal Summary As an independent assignment. you will have time to think back about the different jobs you identified within the food system as well as your actual interview experience.
Questions of the Day: Before the interview What surprised you the most about identifying people in the food system? Were you aware of all of the different kinds of jobs that were named in the activity? What jobs were new to you? Which ones were you already aware of? What are you most interested in learning more about in the food system from the interview you intend to conduct? After the interview What did you enjoy about your interviewing experience? What didn’t you like? .
what? .What was the most interesting thing you learned from the person you talked with? What did you learn from the interview about the food system that you didn't know already? Were there issues raised by the interviewee that you would like to research more? If so.
What percentage of the community is that? This can help you see how one person. If there are 300 students in a local school and each could meet 20 people. Make a list of every person you know from your community. add everyone’s lists together. This can be all of your family. write down all of the different kinds of work you observe going on that keep the store running smoothly. Earlier. you investigated your town's population. neighbors. Tally the number of names on your list. business owners. or small group. If you are working with a group. if this is a school group. when in a grocery store. if there are 5 students in a group and each listed 20 people. what percentage of the community would you reach without meeting new people? For example. What are the kinds of work that needs to take place beyond the store in order for it to function properly? In the school cafeteria. what are the different jobs you see people doing? What other jobs are involved beyond the school walls that are necessary for lunch to be served everyday? As an alternative to Activity 1. then the group can reach 100 people. write an article about it to share with the community via a newsletter or local paper. can make an impact in their community. teachers. it is likely you all know the same cafeteria workers). Following your interview.Write down your observations about the kinds of work that are part of the food system that you see when visiting a business or other setting. the school itself could reach 6000 people. For example. What percent of the community do you reach? If you wanted to collect or distribute information. etc. . try this more mathematically intensive activity. not counting the people you may all know (for example.
Decide on a time limit for the interviews. people identified. However. Remember to ask permission if the interviews are to be videotaped or recorded. you will be preparing essays discussing your interviews so that you can share what you have learned with your community. discuss with the others and compare experiences. they are learning very little. start with close-ended questions and work them into a more interesting form. Later on. and a place has been decided for the interviews to take place you are ready to go. What are your observations about the interviewees? Did they seem to enjoy talking about their jobs? Were they enthusiastic about seeing the finished product? There are a number of ways to express the interview results. For example: "Do you enjoy your job?" might be better phrased as: "What do you like best about your job?" "What are the three things you enjoy most about your day?" "What about your job gives you the most satisfaction?" Preparing for the Interview Once the questions have been formulated. and insights about the interviewing process.Background Interviewing can be a complicated undertaking. Below are suggestions of how to conduct good interviews. the experience will be very valuable and can help you learn much more than you would from even the most exciting class lessons. Building good techniques for interviewing can be difficult. If you are in a group. Divide your comments into two general categories: what was learned about the community food system. In order to practice asking questions that are open-ended. so that you and your interviewees do not get tired of questions and answers. After Interviewing Think back over what you have learned. Avoiding close-ended questions When an interviewer asks a question that yields a "yes" or "no" answer. .
INTERVIEWER: What's your favorite part of the day? FARMER: Lunch. If these contacts are not available. INTERVIEWER: Do you like farming? FARMER: Yes. I am a farmer in ___________(Town). (301) 457-2422. contact your county offices for the information. At that site click on your state and county to get population estimations. Population Division. INTERVIEWER: Thanks. • Phone: Census Bureau: Statistical Information Staff. Population Division. 20233. INTERVIEWER: Do you have cows? FARMER: No.gov/datamap/www/index. and I'm doing a study about local foods. The fastest method of obtaining the statistics should be through the website. MODEL INTERVIEW #1 INTERVIEWER: Hi. U. and I'm doing a study about local foods. I'm _________.S. MODEL INTERVIEW #2: INTERVIEWER: Hi.census. INTERVIEWER: Do you eat locally grown foods? FARMER: Sometimes.html. my name is _________. my name is _________. Bureau of Census. Washington. I am a farmer in _____________(Town). I'm _________. FARMER: Hi. FARMER: Hi. • Mail: Population Estimation Program. FARMER: You're welcome.References To obtain population information for your county check the following: • Internet: www. go right ahead. FARMER: Bye. INTERVIEWER: Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about your farm? FARMER: No. D. INTERVIEWER: Bye. .C.
Thank you! . and it adds that way. I will send you an invitation in the mail. great question! Well. not at all. you've been really helpful. and we're all friends. It will be on display at our community celebration in May. and to all our local supermarkets. I've gotten to know them. I do business with lots of different people. let me think here. I've hired five local people. I also sell my products to different people. it feels good that you're interested in what I do. INTERVIEWER: Great. INTERVIEWER: Is it all right if I take notes? FARMER: Certainly. In fact. Here is a phone number where you can reach me. INTERVIEWER: Can you tell me something about the people you do business with? FARMER: Well.INTERVIEWER: Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about your farm? FARMER: No. I usually buy my feed from __________. go right ahead. Would you mind if I called you later if I have any questions while I'm writing up my notes? FARMER: No. Come to think of it. so they have jobs. INTERVIEWER: Can you tell me something about the people who buy your products. I'd like that. You'd be surprised at the number of people who tell me how beautiful the farm is. INTERVIEWER: How long have you been farming in our community? FARMER: I've been here most of my life. we've started up a small ball team with our family members. INTERVIEWER: Gee. and where they're from? FARMER: The company that buys my milk comes from Syracuse. so there are many people that I work with. or any feelings during this interview that you want to discuss? FARMER: Well. and that's good. And. I sell my apples to all my neighbors and friends. My farm is a habitat for wildlife. my farm really does benefit the community a great deal. and I hope you'll attend! FARMER: That sounds like fun. I'm going to be doing a project using all the information I've learned today. and then I often go to the local auto parts shop to buy the parts I need for my tractor. INTERVIEWER: Is there anything you'd like to add. Of course I'll come. INTERVIEWER: What do you think are the benefits of your farm to our community? FARMER: Wow. By the way.
This is another step in your project that can be small scale. or surveying the village. we rely on other methods.Step 3: Community Survey – Getting Ready Summary Now that we have talked with a community member directly involved in the food system. or elaborate. If time is an issue. surveying a grade level. By designing. town. surveying a target number of adults. it is time to explore another way of getting information. and ask a small number of questions Learning Objectives Upon completion of this lesson. we can explore what the members of our community think about an aspect of the food system. distributing a survey to members of a faith-based community. and discussing a small survey. This step is designed to give us a sense of how questionnaires can be designed to give wanted information. It can range from surveying a school classroom and/or students’ family members. neighborhood. distributing. choose an easy target group. In order to find out about the views of a larger group of people. we will be able to: • • • Choose a topic for a survey Identify a survey sample within the community Choose well-designed questions for a short questionnaire Key Concepts • Survey • Population • Sample • Representative • Subject • Questionnaire • Scaled Response . on a larger scale. etc. In-person interviews are effective for gathering in-depth information about a topic from a small number of people. depending on the time issues and the needs of you or your group.
or sending it to them on email (web-based survey method). Rarely f. What do you want to know? How many people like apples? Why they eat them? How often they eat them? Which varieties they like best? In general. The options for answers are provided and the respondents choose the one answer that most closely reflects how they feel. Once each day b. You can also find out how important something is or how strongly people feel about issues by asking them to agree or disagree with statements that you write. calling them on the phone and asking the questions (telephone survey method).“Getting to the Core” So. A few times a month e. indicate how much you like it by circling the appropriate answer. you can find out bushels of information. Surveys often use “closed-ended” questions. I don’t like apples There are many ways in which apples are consumed? For each of the following form. This “research instrument” can be disseminated to your sample (some of the people in your community) by mailing a paper copy to them (mail survey method). 3 to 5 times a week c. a survey involves a questionnaire. a. fresh whole apples a lot a lot a little a little not at all not at all b. apple sauce . stopping them on the street or at a grocery store (in-person questionnaire method). Here are some sample questions: How often do you eat fresh apples? a. you want to find out about what people in your community think about apples – great! By surveying a representative sample of people living in you community. 1-2 times a week d.
Choosing the topic Choosing a survey sample Preparing a Food System survey Food for Thought Journal Going Further Background . apple pie Activities 1. apple juice a lot a lot a little a little not at all not at all d.c. 4. 2. 3.
or conversations around the dinner table. . This lesson is an opportunity to find out what the community thinks about either one of these previous topics. Earlier. you chose to investigate a specific aspect of the food system. collect the group’s ideas and discuss together. If you are in a group. or perhaps a new topic.Activity 1: Choosing the Topic Summary There are several ways to generate interesting questions to ask about the food system. Issues and topics can come from articles in the local paper. you either continued to explore the same topic or picked a new area to find out more about in the interview. based on your interests. • • Make a list of the most interesting or surprising points you have discovered during Step 1 and 2. or to find out where the food for their school cafeteria comes from • Survey a neighborhood to see whether they would buy produce grown by the young people • Survey produce department managers of local grocery stores to learn about the variety of local or organic produce carried in their store. Materials • Results from Steps 1 and 2 of Section 2 and Food for Thought Journal entries from both Sections • Paper and pens/pencils Before Class No before class preparation needed except to collect materials Class itself Examples of surveys: • Survey young people about their knowledge of shopping and what is local • Survey a school community to explore their views as to how the cafeteria might accommodate locally grown foods. Consider what you would most like to research further. Then. stories heard on the radio.
it is time to decide whom you want to survey. Pick enough so that the sample represents the larger group. food shoppers. The challenge is to pick a small enough sample so that the survey is possible and not too expensive. This means you need to decide whose viewpoints from your local community you want to hear. (for example. but large enough to tell you something about that group’s viewpoint.Activity 2: Choosing a survey sample Summary Now that you have a topic. supermarket employees. from the group. Class itself • Decide the overall group or community of interest whose opinions you wish to know more about. parents of school students. Materials • Paper and pens/pencils • Optional: it may help to have access to a local phone directory Before Class No before class preparation needed. local food service providers. teachers of the school. school students themselves. otherwise known as a sample. . etc. residents of a particular neighborhood.) • Pick some of these people.
Materials • Materials from Activities 1-2 and Steps 1 and 2 of this section • Writing board and markers • Paper and pens/pencils Before Class Review Background material on preparing surveys. It will help you make sure you get the answers and information you are looking for. Also decide on what order to put the questions in. so that it guides the questions that will follow. Write these on a board or on paper. In what order do you want your subtopics? When you are satisfied with your set of brief. Look over the Background information on surveys and the example below to get a sense of how different orders of questions can make a difference. brainstorm about what specific details are important to learn about. For example. Questionnaires can have different sections to address specific subtopics relating to the main question. give your survey an exciting title! This can come quite easily from the overall topic or question of interest. a main question for the survey might be “Where does your family do most of its grocery shopping?” From this broad topic. For this survey.Activity 3: Preparing a Food System survey Summary Developing the questions is a critical. What is the most critical item that you're interested in? Write this question first. • • • • . focused questions. After you have several questions written down. Review the different types of questions that can be included in a questionnaire. Think of examples of questions for each type. deciding on question type and wording. try to keep your questions focused and simple. go through each. but creative step in conducting a survey. Class Itself • The first step is to look back to the main topic for your questionnaire. This activity is aimed to helping you develop the best questions possible for your survey.
. below is a segment from a real questionnaire used to gather ideas about Pennsylvania’s Food System that relate to the subheading “cooking and shopping:” (Harmon et al. paper bags and other food containers? Not at all important 1 2 3 4 5 very important How important to you would it be to take your own bag for shipping (either canvas or paper)? Not at all important 1 2 3 4 5 very important How important to you would it be to recycle food packaging (aluminum cans. or plastic)? Not at all important 1 2 3 4 5 very important How important to you would it be to compost your food scraps? Not at all important 1 2 3 4 5 very important 2. 1999) If you did the shopping and cooking for your family… 1. glass bottles. 3. How important to you would it be to reuse plastic bags.For example. 4.
Class itself In the journal. . Materials 1. Photocopies of “Food for Thought Journal” 2. you will have time to reflect on your experience preparing a survey for your community. Pens/pencils Before Class Prepare photocopies as needed.Activity 4: Food for Thought Journal Summary As an independent assignment. complete the Food for Thought Journal for Step 3.
If the study population to be sampled happens to be . will require a small budget for printing. Surveys can take less time and be an inexpensive way to reach larger numbers from a wider geographic area. effort. Data is gathered from people in their natural settings using a questionnaire (one type of survey instrument) to obtain written or verbal responses. Systematic collection of similar data from each respondent allows the exploration of relationships among variables that are measured. we can gather interesting information on those issues. opinions. In any community we can often identify issues of concern to a great number of citizens. Or. When a small group of people is selected in order to find out something about the entire population.Background Why conduct a survey in a community? The primary goal of a survey of a group of people is to describe attitudes. so that it is more likely to be representative of the population. powerful tool in community decision-making. NY. for example telephone surveys. or views on a particular subject. a relevant population would be all the people in Healthville who do the food shopping for their household. it saves time. With a survey. Others. A "mixed methods" approach of combining interview results with data gathered from a quantitative survey using a questionnaire or structured interview guide can be an influential. and money to get the information you want from some but not all of the people in your population of interest. the relevant population would be produce managers in the Healthville grocery stores. like a mail questionnaire. VT. or mailbox stuffing may require more resources. The rule of thumb for this unit is to keep it simple and focused.e. if you want to learn more about which fruits and vegetables are grown on farms in Garden County. In general. you might assess the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake and the age of the respondents (i. NY. if we want to know which fruits and vegetables are purchased most frequently in the town of Healthville. The sample is usually selected randomly. The first thing to decide is who you want to describe and what you want to know about them. then the relevant population would be all the farmers in Garden County. how does intake change with age?). For example. Or if you want to know which locally produced fruits and vegetables are available at the grocery stores in Healthville. Some. For example. Planning a Survey There are many items to consider when planning a survey. and in convincing community members and leaders about the value of a given topic. this smaller group is called a sample. envelopes and postage. although the information may not be as detailed or rich as individual interviews. hand delivery. There are many ways to survey a group of people who represent the population of interest.
we learned more about our local food system from people who actually represent that food system. All it took to convince school administrators to change their policy was the evidence of an informal poll (Lesko. Only five people said they would not be willing to pay an additional five cents for using biodegradable paper cups in the cafeteria. and the store manager has granted permission. So the first step is to decide the focus of the survey and then what specific questions to ask on the questionnaire. he or she becomes a subject in the study. As soon as someone agrees to participate in a survey. we gathered facts and data about our food and agriculture system.community members with children enrolled in the local middle school. shoppers can be approached at the store entrance and recruited to fill out a short questionnaire. An informal survey asked teachers and seniors five questions related to school policy. Your Surveys Can Create Change! As an example. Potential Survey Topics Interest in farmers markets Factors influencing fruit and vegetable purchases Important qualities of area food stores Preference for locally grown foods Concern about hunger and food insecurity in the community Perceptions about school meals Concerns about changes in agriculture . The community survey provides a chance explore the attitudes within our community about some aspect of what we have learned. There will be many potential topics to explore in the survey. questionnaires could be hand-carried home with students avoiding any postage costs. If the study population is shoppers at a local supermarket. the high school ecology club in a Massachusetts school community conducted a survey that had immediate results. Questionnaire Development From Step 1. 1992). Out of two hundred surveys distributed. The survey results were presented to the faculty and student government and. one hundred and seventy-six came back. From Step 2. as a result. Styrofoam cups and trays were no longer used at school.
small independent grocery store. or vague? You will want to be as specific as you can. so no one can misinterpret of the question. with 1= not at all willing. or Community Supported Agriculture. c) farmers’ market. Is the terminology you are using familiar to everyone? Are the questions biased? For example. in a question. other") • The key to good questions is that there is no doubt on the part of the respondent what the question is asking. clarify and describe if the phrase is likely to be unfamiliar. rate your willingness to drive an extra 5 miles to purchase food directly from a farmers' market. 3 = somewhat willing. you should define it first. demanding. "Describe the food quality in the school lunch program" is less biased. "Where do you get your food?" is less clear than. farmers' market. “Check each of the following places where you buy food for your household. For example. Here is a checklist to help guide the development of questions: • Is the question specific. closed-ended responses will be easier to analyze and interpret than open-ended responses. For example. • Open-ended questions. A good way to make sure the questions are not misinterpreted is to pre-test the questionnaire with a small number of people who are like those who will be participating in the survey.Interest in cooking and shopping There are several different kinds of questions that can be used in a questionnaire. if you planned to use CSA. In general. ("I typically shop at the following: large supermarket. or difficult to answer? Keep them simple. giving them a line for the "other" response. a) Grocery store. gourmet food shop. "Do you agree that the school lunch program is lacking in quality?" is loaded with bias. food cooperative." Do the questions contain jargon or abbreviations? If so. • • • • . A questionnaire can use all of these types or just a few. food wholesale outlet. Are any questions too probing. b) food cooperative. etc. 5 = very willing. in which participants write their own response • • Yes/no responses Scaled responses (on a scale of 1 to 5.) Closed-ended responses that allow the participant to choose the response that best suits them.
never Intensity: None. moderate problem. somewhat less than others. How far back are you asking your respondents to remember? Be sure that any questions related to a time frame are appropriate. 1995. about the same as others. Inc. you will likely come up with your own scaled response options. severe Influence: Big problem. Questions related to buying habits on a week by week basis.• Are you trying to ask two questions in one space? Keep your questionnaire clear and concise by having your respondents answer one question at a time. Comparison: Much more then others. definitely false Frequency: Always. Sage Publications. sometimes. very mild. don’t know. Source: Fink. mild. will be easier for your respondents. moderate. true. no problem. small problem. somewhat more than others. Arlene. • • • Five Types of Scaled Responses to Consider: Endorsement: Definitely true. How to Ask Survey Questions. What level of expertise will someone need to understand the questionnaire? Do not assume that participants have a breadth of knowledge about the community food system. very often. How is your language? Avoid double negatives. fairly often. very small problem. as opposed to relating to a full month or year. much less than others These are suggestions but of course. Questionnaire Format . almost never. false.
A. Lesko. Inc. Arlene. and provide directions for how to answer the questions. Lesson Resources To be added. and Maretzki. A sample questionnaire is provided at the end of this lesson. Sage Publications. These usually appear at the end of a questionnaire. Inc. 1999. Include contact information (name. organization) so that people can get in touch if they have concerns or questions. Group questions together that are similar. S. MD. W. Harmon. Use the same answering procedure throughout the questionnaire. Harmon. Choose a title that reflects your purpose. Here is an example: Do you drive or take public transportation to purchase your food? (Please circle letter) a. How to Ask Survey Questions. for example). For this activity. and upper case letters for responses. 1995. 1992. . try to keep questions all on one sheet. DRIVE USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OTHER (Explain: ____________________________________) If you ask demographic questions.Questionnaires can be complex and in booklet form. such as age or gender. b. References Fink. A. c. R. USA. so that the questionnaire flows instead of jumping around. address. group them into one brief section. or simply one to two pages of paper. The Pennsylvania State University College of Agricultural Sciences. You may want to use lower case letters for the questions. The Food System: Building youth awareness through involvement. or use plain type for questions. This can be easily reproduced on a photocopy machine. Information. two-sided at most. This also lets them know if an organization is sponsoring the questionnaire (your school or 4-H club. Kensington. and bold type for answers. phone or email. No Kidding Around! America's Young Activists are Changing the World. and You Can Too.
Over the past month. The first set of questions has to do with farms in Bounty County. To what extent do you agree or not? (Please circle number). Agriculture in Bounty County is important to the local economy Having farms nearby makes my community a better place to live. Brown's 6th grade social studies class gathered facts about the food and agriculture system in Bounty County. It’s unimportant to have local farms because all my food can be imported To save local farms it is better to buy foods grown by local farmers I would be willing to pay 5% more for my food if doing so helped keep local farmers in business Agree 1 2 Don’t Know 3 4 Don’t Agree 5 B. 1 2 3 4 5 D. Your responses are very important to us! Thank you for participating in this survey! 1. 1 2 3 4 5 . This questionnaire is designed to take just a few minutes of your time to complete.The Healthville Community Food System A Survey of Citizen Interests and Concerns Introduction. Did you know that there were 300 farms in the early 1900s and now there are only 75 farms in our county? Did you know that 5 farmers go out of business each year? We'd like to know how you feel about the state of farming and agriculture in Bounty County. Question A. students in Mr. 1 2 3 4 5 C. 1 2 3 4 5 E.
1 2 3 4 5 C. The second set of questions has to do with food shopping and eating. If farmers go out of business it’s because they are bad managers Cafeterias in schools.F. I will not buy them Supermarkets should offer locally grown foods on a regular basis A diet made up totally of foods that are produced locally would not provide enough variety to maintain good health I’d like to buy fruits and vegetables grown by local farmers. but the quality is not as good as imported produce Agree 1 2 Don’t know 3 4 Don’t Agree 5 B. 1 2 3 4 5 E. 1 2 3 4 5 2. 1 2 3 4 5 D. hospitals and companies should serve food grown by local farmers 1 2 3 4 5 G. 1 2 3 4 5 . In the summer and fall I buy some of my food from a farmers’ market I prefer food stores that offer a variety of locally produced foods If the price is higher for local foods. 1 2 3 4 5 F. Question A.
The last set of questions has to do with you and your household What is your gender? (circle one) FEMALE What is your level of education? 1 2 3 4 5 6 Completed some high school Received high school diploma Some college or technical school 2-year college or vocational school 4-year college or university degree Advanced degree YES NO MALE What was your age at your last birthday? ________years Have you ever lived on a working farm? (circle) Have you ever grown a vegetable garden? (circle) YES NO . Locally grown produce doesn’t taste as good as imported produce Locally grown produce doesn’t look as good as imported produce 1 2 3 4 5 H.G. 1 2 3 4 5 3.
and which questions are being asked. Before distributing them. we can prepare self-addressed and stamped envelopes so the surveys can be returned easily at no inconvenience to the respondent.Step 4: Conducting a Community Survey Summary Now we know what our topic is. Be sure to provide a timeline (For example: “We would like these back by May 10 to complete our activities. we may want to set up a box to which our respondents can return their surveys. Our decisions for this activity will depend on the resources we have available.”) Learning Objectives Upon completion of this lesson. who the survey sample is. If we have a small amount of money available to our group. We are ready to distribute the survey. Discuss survey results and perform a series of simple calculations to inform this discussion Key Concepts • Distribution method • Mail Survey • Telephone Survey • Response Rate • Percentage . A simple way to distribute a survey is to hand-deliver them to the survey sample group of people. The important thing is to think through an easy and inexpensive way to ensure that we will get the surveys back. we can hand-deliver as well as collect and return the questionnaires. we will be able to: • • • Prepare a survey for distribution Distribute a survey and collect completed responses. If the survey sample consists of parents within a school system.
ready for distribution Before Class Prepare your surveys for distribution as needed. Remember that the method of distribution will affect your survey sample. Methods will vary in the time and money required. the sample would be “parents of students in the __ grade at ______ school. For telephone surveys you will need your local phone directory and a phone. there are many other ways to conduct surveys. One of the easiest ways to distribute questionnaires within your community is to send them home with a selected set of students for their parents to complete. Telephone surveys require access to phones and resources for any long-distance charges and the time of people to ask the . In this case. If you decide to mail them. you will need envelopes and stamps. Materials • Your surveys.Activities • • • Distributing the Questionnaire Sharing the Results Food for Thought Journal Going Further Background Activity 1: Distributing the Questionnaires Summary The first step of getting your surveys completed is deciding how you will distribute them and who your survey sample will be. Class itself Decide on what method you will use to distribute your questionnaires and collect the information. Review Background material from Step 3.” However. Mail surveys require resources for postage and paper.
the next step is to figure out what all the responses tell you! You can learn a lot about what the data means by simply tallying the results. the students can bring the completed versions back to you. you will have to do all three steps. farmers’ market. you need a way to collect completed questionnaires. recording data. The third person can also record as an extra check for accuracy. distribute the completed questionnaires evenly among the members. your survey sample will be whomever you choose to get the sample. and checking for accuracy. If sent home with students. You should use a blank questionnaire and add check marks next to the response on the completed questionnaire to tally the responses. You. In all of these cases. When organizations. Whatever the method of distribution you choose.questions on the phone. If you are working alone. and businesses conduct surveys. Materials • Your completed surveys • Paper and pens/pencils • Calculator (optional) Before Class Make sure that you have received enough questionnaires back or finished conducting enough telephone interviews to have a good number of responses. researchers. they use complex calculations to understand what the survey information means. yourself. or another . Activity 2: Sharing the Results Summary Once the questionnaires have been completed and returned. We will perform some simple calculations. or library. One person in the group should read the results from the completed questionnaire while another records the data. Remember that it is important to get permission first before conducting in-person surveys at such public places or private businesses. Class Itself • If you are working with a group. Other methods involve recruiting people at various locations such as at a grocery store. reading.
The other thing you know is how many people responded – the total number of completed questionnaires. responded). 4. (For example. You can also calculate the percentage for different response categories: Percentage = Total number who strongly agree. You also know how many questionnaires were sent out originally (or how many people you talked to). you can calculate: The response rate = Total number returned/total number sent This is expressed as a percent. for example..person. • Once you have completed recording your set of data. should double-check that you have marked the appropriate response correctly. You now have the total number of responses from everyone who responded to your survey./total number of respondents The survey may reveal.. a 65% response rate means 65% of those who received the questionnaire. • . go through the entire questionnaire and compute the totals for each question. that 75% of residents in a neighborhood agree that they are willing to buy produce from young people. So.
. you will have time to reflect on your experience putting the surveys together. Materials • Photocopies of “Food for Thought Journal” • Pens/pencils Before Class Prepare photocopies as needed Class itself In the journal. complete the Food for Thought Journal for Step 1. distributing them and compiling the results.Activity 3: Food for Thought Journal Summary As an independent assignment.
which tool helped you learn more about the community? . which tool helped you learn more about the food system? Between the interviews and the survey. or a similar one get included in the survey? Describe a response from the questionnaire that surprised you. Why did it surprise you? Between the interviews and the survey.Questions of the Day: Write one of the questions you wanted to include in the survey Did that question.
This is a good opportunity to explore beyond the basic requirements if you have a specific interest in research or computers. If you are intrigued with this. Some of these programs are simple to use and can produce interesting graphs and statistical percentages of the survey results.If you have a computer. you can analyze the results of their survey using a program. . you will most likely have access to a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel.
it is time for us to share the results of all this fine work. conducted interviews and carried out a survey. it can also be the most meaningful and empowering. Stories from food system people are often new and interesting to the broader community. we can create or increase awareness among others about the community food system. Also included are ideas of settings in which to share information about the community food system. In sharing what we have learned with others. students have brought about real change in their communities as their work has led to actions on important public issues. and the attitudes and interests of consumers within a community will be important to leaders and community stakeholders alike. researched a topic.Step 5: Sharing Food System Stories with Your Community Summary Now that we have learned about our food system. This final step in the process allows us to gather all of the food system information together into an interesting story. Although in many ways. The sky is the limit! We may make important discoveries about ourselves and our power to inspire and create change! Learning Objectives Upon completion. Like the other aspects of Discovering the Food System. this is the most “wide open” of the activities. Through similar projects across the country. we will be able to: • Prepare information for sharing. this activity can be as simple or complex as you would like to make it. Results can be displayed in creative ways. exhibiting or presenting in various ways • Share our presentations with the community to increase food system awareness • Identify ways we can help improve our community food system Key Concepts • • Presentation Bar graph . Included in this section are various techniques for presenting what we have learned.
whereas figures are best used to show a pattern or trend. 2) the headings or legend.3 2.3 1.1 (Environmental Protection Agency and Agricultural Research Service. They should convey the information accurately in a clear and concise manner. Region Northeast Midwest South West U. 2000) . Each has its strengths and is intended for a particular purpose.1 10.4 2.6 9.• • • Pie chart Results Student Assessement “Getting to the Core” Reporting Data Once you have collected information. do you know what to do with it? The presentation of data is as important as the data itself! Tables and figures are the two major means of reporting quantitative data. Table 1. Average Whole Apples Apple Juice Apple Sauce -----------------------.6 11. The basic anatomy of a table or figure consists of four parts: 1) the title. 3) the body. Both figures and tables are great because they can display a large amount of information in a digestible format.1 18.4 Source: Food Commodity Intake Database. Some examples are shown below. 1994-1996. Average annual per capita consumption of selected forms of apples in the United States by Census region.S.8 2.8 13. and 4) the source of information.2 15.2 11. it is best to use tables when the individual numbers are important. Version 2.7 12.9 14.5 3. In general.lbs/person/yr ----------------------12.
2000 Activities 1. 2.Spartan 2% Jonamac 2% Jonagold 2% Golden Delicious 5% Crispin (Mutsu) 5% R.I. Greening 6% Cortland 6% Other 11% McIntosh 20% Empire 12% Rome 11% Idared 9% Delicious 9% Figure 1: Varieties of apples grown in New York State by weight. 3. 4. 6. 1999 Source: New York Agricultural Statistics Service. Presenting the Food System Facts Presenting the Interview Experiences Presenting the Survey Results Reaching Out Wrapping Up Food for Thought Journal Going Further Background . 5.
If not. you conducted a search for information about food systems. you may have found enough information to create a graph of your own. Class Itself • What important information about your community food system did you discover in Step 1? You may have found useful graphs that demonstrate important aspects of the current state of your food system. Much of the information you gathered was relevant to your specific food system. Some venues might be churches or banks. This useful background information should be included in the presentations to share with the community. • . Materials • • • • Results from Step 1. Section 2 to familiarize yourself with what you discovered.Activity 1: Presenting the Food System Facts Summary During Step 1 of the project. If you have more than one graph. combine them on one poster along with your paragraph. This poster can be used to depict food system facts and can be prominently displayed in your community. Write a short paragraph explaining and interpreting a graph or collection of data you acquired in Step 1. Section 2 Posterboard and markers Paper and pens/pencils Rulers Before Class Go over information gathered from Step 1.
. If you are part of a group. These essays can be shared in school and community newsletters. as well as local newspapers. you may want to divide the work by having each person write a paragraph of the essay.Activity 2: Presenting the Interview Experiences Summary The experiences you have had with your interviews gave you an indepth perspective of the food system. one might write the introduction containing background information about the interviewee. another might describe the interviewee’s business and how it is connected to the community food system. You need to share these unique experiences with others! Materials • • Food for Thought Journal entries about your interview experience and any other notes you took Paper and pens/pencils Before Class Review your journal entries and notes Class Itself • Using the information you have put in your Food for Thought Journals and any other notes you took during the interviews. write a short 1-2 page essay about your interview. For example. A third person can write a paragraph about the interviewee’s opinions on the questions asked.
You can share these at many different sites in the school or community. those results can be put into an exciting format that can be shared with others. an explanation of the results. a paragraph explaining who completed the survey. You also gathered and discussed the results.Activity 3: Presenting the Survey Results Summary During the Discovering the Food System project. or more than one copy of the poster. or create bar graphs and pie charts to show how people responded to the survey. The poster can contain an example of the survey. you created a survey and distributed it to a survey sample. Materials • • • • • Results from surveys Posterboard and markers Rulers Paper and pens/pencils Glue or staples or tape Before Class Review Background material on presenting results. you can make a poster. At this point. . and/or the graphs and charts that display the results of the survey. as well as the “Getting to the Core” part of this lesson’s introduction Class Itself • To present the results of your surveys for the community. You can describe your results in words.
These are all possible locations where you can present your posters to members of the community. Class Itself Below you will find a variety of ways to reach out to your community and through which to share the results of your project. for example school board meetings. Community or Town Meetings Throughout the year there are many meetings of local organizations. the school newspaper may be able to print the interview essays and survey results. although you may wish to review your project results. If you are working within a school. In many larger towns and small cities there are local television news programs. parent-teacher conference night. During those times you can be talking to the neighbors about your project. Local radio stations may also be willing to conduct interviews with the young people. Read them over and choose which one suits your situation the best! Local Media In every community there are a variety of media that are used to let the community know what is going on. Regardless of your setting there are a variety of possibilities available. Materials No materials needed Before Class No real preparation needed. Some of these programs are interested in sharing what students in the community are up to. Often during these meetings there are coffee breaks or intermissions. If you have access to an Internet web page. Most towns have some kind of local newspaper that is usually interested in sharing this type of project with the rest of the community. it may be possible to share the results of the Discovering the Food System investigations online. This activity will introduce you to a variety of choices. .Activity 4: Reaching Out Summary There are many ways that you can reach the community. and town meetings.
. Since many of people patronize markets are interested in their community. there will likely be much interest in that setting. Many of the local businesses are very interested in raising food system awareness since they are stakeholders in the food system. These are potential places to present the posters to the community.Local Businesses and Meeting Places Many communities have grocery stores and other smaller businesses that are interested in working with groups of young people. Some communities have a local farmer's market.
crayons. Compare them to the first set of illustrations. Now is the time to compare what you knew earlier with what you understand now. . you created illustrations of the food system. colored pencils • Any pertinent information about the food system you have discovered Before Class Review the information you have learned about the food system and the Student Assessment section in the Background material. Materials • Paper and pens/pencils • Markers. before you had done any research to understand it more fully. Class itself Create an illustration of the food system. This can be an informal illustration.Activity 5: Wrapping Up Summary In Section 1. a color drawing or even a detailed list of the steps in the food system.
complete the Food for Thought Journal for this lesson. you will be able to wrap up your experiences with the Discovering the Food System project. .Activity 6: Food for Thought Journal Summary As an independent assignment. particularly how you chose to present it to your community. Materials • Photocopies of the “Food for Thought Journal” • Pens/pencils Before Class Prepare photocopies as needed Class Itself In the Journal.
or why not? Would you expect questions from people who read or hear a news story about your food system research to have questions about it? What might some of those questions be? .Questions of the Day: What do you think are the best way(s) to communicate the information you have gathered about the food system to your community? Why do you think these ways are the best? Do you think information about your community food system is important for people to know? Why.
What kinds of changes do you think are possible from communicating information about the food system?
If you were to prepare the results from your community food system exploration again, what would you do differently?
You can interview a representative from a local TV station, radio, or newspaper to come to find out about the process of getting stories in the news. You may also be interested in writing a research report to document the results from your fact finding exercises, interviews and the community survey. Potential elements contained in a research report are described in the Background section.
Ways to Show Results. Suppose one of the questions on your questionnaire was: During the summer months, how often do you buy fruits and vegetables at a farmers market? 1 Once a week 2 Two times a month 3 Once a month 4 Less than once a month 5 Never There are several ways to display the results. Percentage. The percent of the total number of people who answered this question could simply be shown. The total will add up to 100 in most cases. 25% 40% 20% 10% 5% Once a week Two times a month Once a month Less than once a month Never
Pie Chart. A circle that is divided into portions (pieces) that represent the different possible responses to a question. The circle, or the whole pie, represents all the people who responded to the question. The pieces reflect how many of that total responded to the possible answers.
O c w k a e e n % 0 1 w c m t T i a n e o h O n m t a e n c o h % 0 2 e t a c o n e L s h n m o h t n N e r v
Bar Graph. Bars for each one of the response categories can be displayed. The height of the bar reflects the proportion of total respondents for each answer.
Student Assessment and Wrapping Up: Wrapping up a research report usually contains the following components: Introduction - which begins broadly and sets the context for the study. Some of the data gathered in Step 1, Section 2 will be useful here.
interviews." Graphics Press. Judd. They also want to know who participated in the study. Open with a clear statement on the support or nonsupport of the hypotheses (what you thought you would find) or the answers to the questions you first raised in the introduction. Begin by telling what you have learned from the study. Edward R.why did you do the interviews and conduct the survey? What were you interested in finding out? Methods .this section forms a cohesive narrative with the introduction. and then move to the more peripheral ones. 1992 .a research report often concludes with a very brief summary that restates in barest outline the problem. pie charts. the major findings.how did you go about finding the answers to your questions? (e. Research Methods in Social Relations.Objectives of the study . 563 pg. there should be a reference section. References Kidder. and you should expect to move materials back and forth between the introduction and discussion. and the major conclusions drawn from them. References. etc. Rinehart and Winston. and Charles M. The sources of the agriculture and food system data would be included here. etc. Discussion . Louise H. Tufte "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. If any other articles were used in the writing of the report.) What was the basic design of the research? People want to know what questions were asked. Holt. Where were the subjects? How many were there? How were they selected? Results – which begin with the central findings. graphs.g. Fifth edition. · Summary . Date. Often this section can begin by restating one or more of the main questions to be addressed in the research. questionnaires. Inc. the procedures. Results can be displayed in tables.
of course. The Committees produces reports of their recommendations and rationale to the Secretaries. Dietary Guidelines http://www.health. can be thrown away and added to the solid waste accumulated by a community. All food packages. composting and recycling – the step in the food system that follow consumption in the home or at a restaurant.. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee consisting of prominent experts in nutrition and health reviews current scientific and medical knowledge and recommend to the Secretaries revisions to the Guidelines. rich fertilizing material to add to a home garden or a farmer’s field. 5th edition) – Since 1980 and every five years since then. The Departments then review.gov/dietaryguidelines/ (Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2000. Food packages may also have different fates with different environmental impacts. the Guidelines provide advice for healthy Americans ages 2 years and above about food choices that promote health and prevent disease. This food can go into the garbage or can be added to a compost pile and turned into a valuable. However. Disposing. Specifically. A consumer is a person who can go to the store. Food packing materials such as . Bars for each one of the response categories can be displayed. it can mean the act of actually eating something or just the act of purchasing it. edit and publish the revised Guidelines. the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have jointly published the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. many food packages can be recycled. select which product they want and purchase it. The height of the bar reflects the proportion of total respondents for each answer Close-ended questions – a question in which the subject’s responses are limited to given alternatives Community – an interacting population of various kinds of individuals in a common location Consuming – a step in the food system. The Dietary Guidelines provide the basis for Federal nutrition policy and nutrition education activities.Glossary Annuals – plants that are planted each year and last for one season Bar Graph – a method of displaying survey information.
Food Group – the grouping of foods that are similar in nutrient composition. sweets. plastic. including one for the Northeast. Foods are clustered into groups that are similar in nutrient composition. The beekeeper is not compensated for the benefit his/her bees provide to a neighboring orchard in the form of pollination. The pollution generated by transporting food is not paid for by the trucking company in the price of the fuel. A few foods (tomatoes and bananas primarily) that will be transported a significant distance are usually harvested before full ripeness so that they will withstand the bumps along the way.nal. boat. packaged and then distributed through a number to marketing channels. whole grains. tortillas. glass and tin can be recycled depending on the services provided by the community.edu/foodguide/>. and plane.html) is the federal food guide that helps consumers implement the Dietary Guidelines (see above). or by the consumer in the price of the food. cardboard.usda. and delivering food to various places. Alternatively. Milk. farm products can be transported to a site where they will be transformed in some way. We currently transport food by truck. or a truck driver) that does not register as a cost or benefit to that agent or end-user. aluminum. Most of what we find in grocery stores today has been transported great distances and has undergone some degree of processing. These costs and benefits are “externalized” and not paid for directly at the grocery store register. cereal. Fruits. fish. oils. and Fats. Food Guide – a nutrition education tool that graphically represents how recommendations on nutrient intake are translated into recommendations on food intake.the process of dividing up. Farm products can be taken from their original sources and delivered to supermarkets. pasta. Distribution . <http://www. eggs.gov/fnic/Fpyr/pyramid.nutrition. poultry. spreading out. made into food products.like many fruits and vegetables. . combined with other ingredients. There are other food guides. On the USDA Food Guide Pyramid there are 6 primary food groups: Bread. Dry beans. or farmers’ markets for sale as a whole fresh product . train.cornell. yogurt.paper. cheese. nuts. The USDA Food Pyramid (http://www. Vegetables. Externality – exists when costs or benefits generated by an agent (say a farmer. meats. A food guide provides recommendations on what food groups to choose from and the number of servings of food from each group in order to get a nutritionally adequate and wholesome diet. other food stores.
Harvest Calendar – a calendar that indicates the period of the year when crops are being harvested. processing. A variety of harvesting methods are used across the world from hand picking to large machinery that can harvest large portions at once. transporting. Some or all of these steps in the food system may be within the community but they also may be part of the global or regional system instead. see the New York State Harvest Calendar http://www. and human labor) and human-made (machinery. marketing.involves many of the activities that take place on a farm. Growing Season – the period of time between when a seed or a start is planted and the when it is harvested. For example. The Food and Drug Administration regulates the information that is allowed on labels for foods marketed in the U.fda. Growing .html. seeds. Large corporate farms may use chemically manufactured pesticides to maintain their crop while a local farmer may use other plants as pesticides. Food production depends on the "input" of several resources.html Food Miles – the distance food travels from where it is grown or raised to where it is ultimately purchased by the consumer. planting. or tend animals. storing. This includes the growing. many of the pesticides and fertilizers common in most of our agriculture are not allowed in organic agriculture. at an orchard. in bodies of water. both natural (soil. and consuming of the product. harvesting.cfsan. pesticides).agmkt. fuel. A farmer owns or rents land to plant crops.Food Labels . Harvesting – the process of reaping a food product from the earth. http://vm. maintaining the food item to be harvested.the label on a food package that provides information about its manufacturer and its nutritional content. Food Production . For example.S. The inputs required vary depending on what is being grown or raised and the type of agricultural system that is in place.gov/~dms/flg-toc.ny.state.us/HarvestCalendar. There are a variety of ways to grow products depending on the culture and climate.the process of preparing the soil. This period is usually quite a bit longer than the harvest period. Food System . packaging. fertilizers. Many harvest calendars also provide information about when a crop is available from local harvest. climate. . retailing.the interdependent parts of the system that provides food to a community. water. or in greenhouses and fish-farm tanks to produce our food.
Packaging – the step in the food system in which food is put into containers that will be presented to the consumers. Marketing .labels and pictures on the boxes and containers in which food is packaged. Interviewer Effects or Interviewer Bias – effects on the respondent’s answers in an interview that are produced by characteristics of the interviewer (including the interviewer’s attitudes or physical characteristics like sex or race). . Input – something introduced into a system or expended in its operation to attain a result or output. or the whole pie. but soil. The circle. plastic. foil. The marketing step researches what people are attracted to and finds ways to show the consumers their products by television. etc. represents all the people who responded to the question. The packagers receive the food from the processors or the farms and put them in paper. cans. Perennials – plants that will bear fruit for several years before needing to be replaced with new plantings Pie Chart – a circle that is divided into portions (pieces) that represent the different possible responses to a question. such as nitrogen run-off from fertilizers used on a farm. Open-ended questions – a type of question on an interview that does not limit the respondent’s response to any pre-selected alternatives. Output – something that is produced by a system. water and air are also natural resources required to produce food. and magazine advertisements.Health claims .claims about the relationship between a nutrient or food and a disease or health-related condition. or undesirable. such as calcium and osteoporosis. for distribution to stores and markets. The pieces reflect how many of that total responded to the possible answers. Most people know that oil and gas are natural resources. and fat and cancer. Natural Resources – something from the earth that we can use to perform or create something we need or want. A large portion of the money used to buy the products goes to the development of attractive images to encourage the consumer to choose one product over another. Outputs can be desirable products. newspaper. such as crops from a farm system.
and interrelations of naturally occurring variables. A designated part of a universe from which a sample is drawn. Shelf life – the amount of time a food will maintain quality at room temperature Storing . unified whole. Subject – someone who agrees to participate in a study. For example. so that it is more likely to be representative of the population Serving size . and oftentimes interdependent elements that function together as a complex. Systems theory provides a holistic perspective for examining the boundaries of a related set (or sets) of elements. A core concept is that a change in one element of a system has an impact. For example. The sample is usually selected randomly. This may be at a family owned grocery store or a franchised supermarket.keeping food items in a climate controlled environment until it is used. Processing .a small group of people selected in order to find out something about the entire population. the aggregation of people or other research subjects to which one wishes to generalize his or her research. a processing plant may receive apples to process into applesauce or apple juice.Population – the total number of individuals occupying an area or making up a whole. freezing. Response Rate – the number of completed interviews or questionnaires divided by the number of eligible respondents in the sample. It is uniform and reflects the amounts of a food people actually eat. A food can be prepared in a variety of ways for a variety of uses. Some foods are more perishable so they cannot be stored for a long period of time while potatoes can be kept for many months. Sample .the basis for reporting each food's nutrient content. interrelated. this is done with apples in the northeast in order for local apples to available throughout the winter months. etc. cutting.the step in the food system that involves everything done to change the food form from its original. canning.an interdependent group of items that form a unified whole. System . Retailing – the step in which food is transported to market. Survey Research – the research strategy where one collects data from all or part of a population to assess the relative incidence. . also. either directly or indirectly. such as. boiling. distribution. A system is a group of interacting. on one or more additional elements in that system.
a part of the government that conducts surveys to determine the population number and the aspects of that population in the United States. and exploring the tendency toward a stable state of equilibrium (Sobal et al. truck. Census Bureau . In the instance of a farm stand. The focus is on relationships or processes at various levels within a system (Buckley. 1967). U. . Transporting . Systems theory rejects the idea that components of any system should be. the farmer may bring the food up to the stand by tractor thereby significantly reducing the transportation involved.the step in the food system that brings the food product from the producing farm or storage facility to the processing facility or right to the market if it is to be sold fresh. 1998).delineating subsystems.S. treated or considered in isolation from other related components or elements of the system. considering relationships among subsystems. train or barge. indeed can be. This can be by air.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.