In this lesson, students will:
- collect data on how much food they waste each meal.
- analyze and interpret student-collected data.
- design some solutions for preventing food waste.
Have you ever thrown away food after a meal? Have you ever thrown away a whole piece of food? What are some of the reasons you threw away that food?
During this Food Waste Audit, students will explore their own impact on our food system. Students will brainstorm solutions to reduce their food waste and be challenged to try out their solution!
In this lesson, students will:
Introduce the concept of food waste. Ask students:
In pairs ask students:
As a class:
Flipside Science: Reducing Food Waste
This video explores some easy ways you can help reduce food waste.
Reducing San Francisco’s Landfill Waste
Learn about how San Francisco is approaching food waste in landfills in this classroom activity.
Your Plan, Your Planet
In an effort to help people understand the impact of their waste, Google partnered with the Academy to launch an interactive web app that aims to reduce waste related to food, water and electricity. In addition to having access to helpful information about waste reduction, users can take quizzes, keep track of their waste reduction progress and more!
The global food demand is projected to increase by 60%-100% by 2050 as preferences shift towards richer diets. We can address at least part of the future demand by growing more crops, but meeting the world’s needs will require as much attention to our diets, reducing food waste, and improving food security worldwide.
Worldwide, we grow enough food to meet everyone’s needs, but food waste dramatically reduces the available food supply. That’s a problem for global food security as well as our climate, given the huge amounts of greenhouse gases that go into producing the wasted food. An estimated 25% of the world’s food calories and up to 50% of total food weight are lost or wasted before they are consumed.
But the food we directly throw away as consumers is simply one layer of the problem. The majority of the environmental impact of food waste is not from the food rotting in the refrigerator or spoiling in a field. Deep impacts stem from the agricultural resources needed to grow the food in the first place. Wasted food means that we waste all of the resources that went into agricultural production, like fertilizer, water, and energy.
Try these tips from San Francisco Environment to prevent food waste and save money before you shop, at the grocery store, and once you’re at home.
To Cut Food Waste, Spain’s Solidarity Fridge Supplies Endless Leftovers
This news story is about a community fridge in Spain, and includes a radio broadcast version.
Foley, Jonathan. “Feeding 9 Billion - National Geographic” Feeding 9 Billion - National Geographic, National Geographic.
Foley, Jonathan. “So, What Can I Do?” The MACROSCOPE, 19 Sept. 2016.
Disciplinary Core Ideas (Grades 6-8):
MS-ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
Science and Engineering Practices