OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences has developed this Food for Thought curriculum for high school students. Activities are based on a special issue of Oregon’s Agricultural Progress magazine devoted to the topic of Food in Oregon.
This issue of the magazine, written for a general audience, explores the research that brings food to the table in an Oregon-style feast, from wine to seafood, and beef to berries. In addition, the magazine examines food-related concerns, such as hunger in Oregon, food safety, and nutrition education.
The curriculum, designed by OSU agriculture education student Emily Holden, incorporates reading comprehension and hands-on activities for science, social studies, and language arts, all linked to the state’s educational benchmarks. Some examples include:
- Students will learn about local food production by reading National Geographic writer Aimee Brown’s experience with an Oregon-based diet, then designing a locally based diet of their own.
- Students will learn about the chemistry of taste by reading about OSU’s sensory perception lab, then designing their own flavor wheel to describe subtle differences among similar kinds of foods.
- Students will learn why genetics make a difference in food crops by reading about OSU’s wheat breeding program, then making bread from different kinds of wheat.
Most of the 20 activities listed here can be completed during one class period; they are flexible enough to fit into existing lesson plans. The curriculum is available for teachers, free of charge.