Monday, March 26, 2012

Curriculum Resource: Food Rules Animated with Actual Food

Regular readers of this blog know that Michael Pollan's book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, changed my life.  After reading that book, I dramatically changed what food I bought and where I bought it as part of my ongoing effort to reduce our family's carbon footprint.  I think it is an incredibly important book, and I urge everyone to read it in order to understand why our current food choices are not environmentally sustainable.

Pollan followed up that book and his In Defense of Food book with a guideline for what we SHOULD be eating entitled Food Rules:An Eater's Manual.  This distills his advice about what foods we should be eating, both for our own health and the health of the planet.

Now animators Marija Jacimovic and Benoit Detalle have created a short video of a talk on Food Rules that Michael Pollan gave.  His words are accompanied by a stop animation film using food itself to illustrate his points.....which I think is really kind of great.

So if you haven't read the books, at least start the ball rolling by watching the following video:

Michael Pollan's Food Rules from Marija Jacimovic on Vimeo.

We are talking about these kinds of issues in our Healing Oceans Together environmental group/educational coop.   But the books themselves raise issues that relate to many different disciplines, including biology, physics, chemistry, economics, political science, history.

I see these books relating to the posts I had last week about imagining the future and issues with STEM education.  They raise serious and potentially disasterous questions about our food production system, the breakdown of which could lead to our middle school students' future in competing for food in their own version of a "Hunger Game."  However, Pollan remains optimistic about things we could do differently, and does provide do-able suggestions for making better food choices.  So, as Maria raised in the comments, it does make our middle schoolers aware of potential problems in their future, but gives them reasons to hope and suggestions for things to do to improve the situation.

It is certainly a topic that can make many of these subjects very real to our students.

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