Growing A Sustainable Future

byAnna Herman

This unit explores how food and agriculture systems impact the health of people, animals and overall environmental health using the One-Health paradigm.  Our current industrial food system is at the nexus of dietary disease, water and air pollution and climate crisis impacts.  Seen through the view of One-Health, where health outcomes are measured as positive if all aspects of the interconnecting systems are healthy, industrial food production and processing is not sustainable, nor desirable.  There is much to learn from nature as well as indigenous and traditional human cultures around sustainable food growing and health supportive eating practices. Students will be asked to evaluate various practices and policies around food growing, purchasing, marketing, distribution and preparation and diets with an eye towards maximizing One-Health, and identifying barriers to achieving this in the context of their own lives and our community.  Students will have opportunities to visit local farms, purchase and share locally produced food, and meet with public health professionals and to examine to connect this learning to careers and community engagement.  Students will review case studies, complete inquiry driven research, food preparation and sharing, while managing a sustainable garden and fresh food box program in our school.

(Developed for Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources CTE, grade 12; recommended for Environmental Science, Health, and General Science, grades 9-12)

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