The story of food includes where it is grown and how far it travels.
In this activity, students research what produce grows in their area and in what season, and learn about the advantages and disadvantages of eating locally grown food. They create a seasonal circle and a resource booklet for obtaining local produce to share with their families.
How does eating locally grown and seasonal food benefit the health of people and the environment?
When we consider the story of our food, one important dimension is how far it travels to get to us. In the past, people grew their own food or gathered it from the local area. Today, our food may come from halfway around the world.
When fruits and vegetables are shipped, flown, or trucked long distances, they must be picked before they are ripe so that they can survive the journey. As a result, this produce is often less nutritious and less tasty, uses more fuel, and causes more pollution than locally grown produce.
There are many benefits to eating locally grown foods in season. Doing so supports the local economy, reduces the amount of pollution caused by transportation and storage, and provides fresher, tastier, and more nutrient-rich foods.
While eating locally grown foods has many benefits, it is not always practical to eat just those foods. In many regions, there is a limited variety of foods available at certain times of the year. A healthful and balanced diet may require whole, nutritious foods grown elsewhere.
Copies of Seasonal Circle and Local Food Resources student pages
Food samples (see Preparation)
Toothpicks and napkins
Copies of a local or regional map (see Preparation)
Paste or glue
Colored pens or markers
Paper brad fasteners