WEEKLY LEARNING: Highlighting 8th Grade Food Expedition
As part of Health class, students have been collaborating with MRH Gardener Mrs. Breed-Parks to study food systems. Students explored the steps involved in getting food from its source on the farm (or ocean, etc.) to our mouths. As part of this process they compared local and organic food systems to global, industrial food systems. Each student researched the ingredients of a food of their choice (Doritos was a popular one), and investigated their origin. Students also created posters diagramming the food’s path from farm to plate, including factories and distributors.
The 8th grade expedition included a visit to three different local food markets: Soulard Market, City Greens, and Whole Foods. Soulard is the oldest continuously operating farmers market west of the Mississippi (since 1779). It is not an actual farmers market though, since vendors are not required to grow what they sell, and many vendors are simply resellers of goods purchased from distribution centers. City Greens is a not-for-profit store with the idea of bringing healthy local food to low-income people. Households with incomes above $30,000 pay a membership fee to support the store. Most items are sold at cost and are cheaper than local foods purchased elsewhere. Whole Foods focuses on quality natural and organic products and sustainability.
Students had the opportunity to tour the three different markets, learning more about them. Their task included comparing eight different items of their choosing. The categories that students compared were “price, food origin, and quality of the food”. Students also reflected on which store would be the best fit for their family.
For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.