If you were asked to draw a carrot, what would you draw?
Probably something that resembles this, right?
The local students that joined the Taste Before You Waste team last week did, too. All of the carrots drawn were orange, green-topped, straight, and Bugs Bunny approved. However, carrots of various colors, shapes, and sizes are edible and equally delicious! After showing pictures of various “ugly” foods to the students, we contemplated questions about our perceptions and idealizations of foods.
In addition to carrots, the students and the Taste Before You Waste team discussed the food waste problem and why it’s a personal and a global concern. The group of 13 and 14 year olds participated in various stations that focused on different components of food waste. The topics included social injustice in food and unequal resource distribution, food overproduction, expiration date myths, and what to do with “ugly” food (Moral of this station: you can always blend it into a tasty, healthy smoothie!). Of course, the students got the chance to utilize rescued and perfectly edible foods as well, using stale bread and overripe fruit to make sweet and oh-so-sweet bread balls.
The real focus of the gathering was to identify the food waste problem with the students: on average, 40% of all food produced is wasted. In the Netherlands, the equals approximately 47 kg per person per year! The first step to addressing the problem awareness. During this presentation, the students looked nothing short of surprised after it finished. The tone and seriousness in the room shifted and everyone seemed much more open to participating in the seeming “silly” stations TBYW organized for the event.
All in all, cinnamon baking smells were in the air, laughs were had, potentially wasted food was used, and most importantly, it was a ton of fun! Who says educational events have to be boring?
Check out some pictures of the students during the different activities!