Food from home or away?

Activity

Study where our food comes from and start to understand the concept of seasonal growing. Understand that importing foods has an impact on the environment.

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): English, Geography, Social Studies

Learning objectives

  • To recognise different plant products
  • To understand that harvests are seasonal
  • To improve pupils' knowledge of UK and worldwide geography

Preparation

Ask learners to each bring in a plant-based supermarket product in its original packaging.
Check for nut allergies and other food allergies and omit these if necessary.

Equipment needed

  • A range of fruit and vegetables in their original packaging bought from a supermarket, including a coconut, pineapple, dates, olives, banana, mango, oranges, lemons, tea, coffee, rice or other exotics which are not commercially grown in the UK
  • World map.

Step by step

  1. Ask the question: 'Where does our food come from?' and make a list, e.g. names of various supermarkets/ local shops/farmers/ home grown/ grown at school/ grown abroad in warmer countries, etc.
  2. Introduce the concept that food can be imported or grown at home but home-grown produce depends on the weather, so it is SEASONAL.
  3. Using the real vegetables and pictures, decide whether they are grown in this country or abroad without reading the labels. Sort into two groups; local & imported.
  4. Read labels and see which country they have come from and then re-sort. Discuss what is classed as imported and the reasons why it is better to grow locally.
  5. Discuss the environmental impact of importing food and the advantages of growing locally.

Hints & tips

  • Do a taste test of imported fruit and home grown fruit (e.g. strawberries).
  • A greenhouse allows us to grow crops that would not grow outside in our climate such as chillies.
  • Use this activity as part of Supermarket Sweep class growing topic

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