Last year I told you about Nourish: Food + Community, an exciting initiative that uses DVDs and a classroom curriculum to increase students’ food literacy, providing them with a “big picture” view of our food system and how food connects to the environment, health and communities.
Well, a few weeks ago, I was contacted by the folks at Nourish about a new resource they’ve added to the curriculum — a DVD containing fifty-four “bite-sized” videos from food experts and advocates like Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, Jamie Oliver, Anna Lappé and many others. Topics range from food policy issues, like GMOs and the Farm Bill, to lighter subjects like using herbs in food, or the importance of sitting down to eat together. (The entire “menu of bites” is here.)
Here’s an example of one mini-video, by Michael Pollan, on the importance of soil:
It seems that most, if not all, of these “mini-films” were taken from the main Nourish DVD (and some of them were already available on Nourish’s website and You Tube), but I can see why it’s useful, especially for educators, to have them all on one disc, searchable by title and by speaker (and viewable in “random shufle” mode as well). The length of the clips (usually around two to four minutes) makes them nicely digestible for kids, offering just enough information to start a meaningful discussion about the topic in question. [Ed Update: Nourish just informed me that "only 11 of the shorts are taken from the original Nourish DVD, so there are 43 new ones. And 30 of them are not available online, so there's a lot of never-before-seen material here." Thank you, Nourish, for the clarification!]
The entire Nourish initiative is aimed at K-12 teachers as well as other interested stakeholders, like farm-to-school and garden coordinators, food service staff and health professionals. But anyone can download the free 84-page, grade 6-8 curriculum guide here, and the Nourish DVD and the “bite-sized” movies DVD can be ordered here. So even if you can’t get your school interested in teaching the course, you can use these resources in your own home to get your kids thinking about food, where it comes from, why it’s important, and what we can do to create sustainable food systems, now and in the future.
I’m really excited to share these DVDs with my own kids and will report back here.
[Disclosure: When I review a book or video on The Lunch Tray, I'm usually provided a free review copy by the publisher or distributor. In this case, I was given the "bite-sized" movies DVD and the primary Nourish instructional DVD for review.]