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Food Waste Learning Platform

Dear Families,

This is a work in progress.  An important concept and one with a number of local and close to home solutions.  Our work with Lift Up is a good start, but I think there is more we can do.

I’m going to make this a mantra after Labor Day. Please share your ideas and please share more on this topic and more learning platform ideas we should try this trimester.

Waste not want not- Food Waste in the USA

Food Waste happens a lot!  By our current estimates, 35% of all of our food is wasted between the production and consumption phases.  We throw out veggies that don’t look perfect.  We are too rushed to eat carefully.  We buy food and then go out to eat.  We allow food sensitivities to go too far…

Questions to students:

“What foods did you waste this week and why?  What foods did you throw away today?” This can be exaggerated and funny. We all have this problem from time to time.

“Who is affected by food waste?  List as many people along the producer>consumer supply chain as you can”

“What are some other problems or side effects that happen because of food waste?” How is climate affected by food waste related issues.

“What can we do to prevent or stop food waste?”

“Who was Benjamin Franklin and what did he mean by ‘Waste not want not?”

“What people and places in Glenwood, Newcastle, and Rifle could help us with this problem?”

“What can we do at home to stop food waste?”

Lesson 1:

Personal responsibility about food waste.

Sometimes problems feel too big to solve.  For example, what can we do about ugly carrots or misshapen tomatoes?  What if the have a tumor??  :)

Most of us are not farmers.  Neither are we scientists who genetically modify foods.  Those are big issues.

But what we can change is our attitudes and willingness to accept foods that seem weird or a little old.

Project:  Food journal

Every day at MTN School we will write a quick list of the foods we are that day.  Put a star by the ones you ate before they might be wasted!  Put two stars by healthy foods.  Put three huge stars if you ate everything in your lunch.

Homework:  Politely tell one friend in your class about food waste and how to stop it.  Tell your family too.

Lesson 2:

Menu planning and cooking

Every kid here is capable of planning meals, school lunches and shopping trips.  In fact, research has shown that kids who grow food, cook food, or prepare some part of their daily diets are more likely to become healthy eaters lifelong.


What foods have you cooked?  How do your family and friends feel when you help and share food? What favorite foods would you like to cook and when could you shop, prepare, and eat them?


Share your favorite recipe as a step by step list of ingredients and then as a first, then, next, finally paragraph.  Be specific.  Pretend the person reading your recipe and instructions has never cooked anything.

Share pictures of your cooking and eating as a bonus project.  Encourage others to try the foods you love the most.

Lesson 3:

Who in our communities can help with food waste? What do grocery stores, growers, restaurants, and schools do to address food waste?

We will ask the experts at Lift Up how they are fighting food waste and helping the homeless.  How can we help them?  What can we do on our own to help like they do?  Where?  How?


Come up with a plan and record a video or podcast to explain your Food Waste Solution.  Note: you may only record your final plan when you have written and practiced with notes.

Lesson 4:

Wild food gathering

On our last trip to the Colorado Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute we gathered lots of foods, especially some wild apples.  They were small but good, and we all pitched in to cut, core and fill a bunch of freezer bags.  Connecting to our food and nature that provides it is a key step in reducing food waste.

It’s almost time to do the same with the apples growing up Mitchell Creek from us.  Even when they are tart, they are great to freeze and add to smoothies.  We have baked apple pies with them too, and they are even way better than serviceberry muffins! :)


Ladder and great care with climbing harnesses and lobster claw safety slings.  Let’s climb and get lots of apples!  Plan to add at least a few pieces of frozen apple to smoothies with bananas and other fruits.

Remind Mr Ben to bring a tarp to stretch out between four kids who can catch the apples.

Apple pie bake over the weekend.  Could we maybe make enough to share beyond our group?

Lesson 5:

Smoothies are good.  Wash your cup and save it to use again.

Race each other tournament-style.


Bring your own plastic cup.


Wall Street Journal- Future of Everything Podcast

Food Waste Episode

Sent from my iPhone

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