Where Does Your Food Come From?

An interactive lesson in which learners discover where food products in their lives and communities come from around the globe.

Objectives

To see where your community’s food comes from, and to learn the social and economic advantages of buying local produce

Materials 

  • Paper or index cards
  • Writing utensils
  • World map
  • String
  • Tape

Time

30 minutes for preparation; 30–45 minutes for game

Procedures

  1. To start, ask the kids to go home or visit a local store with a piece of scrap paper and find a product that they might find in the community shop (e.g., soap, rice, canned tomatoes, cookies, milk powder, black bags). Ask them to write down or draw the product and its country of origin, according to the product label. 
  2. When the group reassembles with their information, have a world map set up on the wall or floor. Divide the participants into teams to consider each kid’s product, one by one, and ask where it comes from. If the opposing team’s participants can guess the product’s country of origin, they win a point and you will tape a card with the product described under the country on the map. Attach the string to the card, and tack the other end to your country. Now participants can see where the products came from and how far they had to travel to get to their community.

Discussion Questions

  1. What does this activity show us exactly? (The percentage of foods and other products that are imported from somewhere else.)
  2. Why is it important to eat locally? (It supports local farmers and craftspeople; it requires less fossil fuel use because transportation time is shorter; locally grown food is often fresher and more nutritious.)
  3. If your product was not local, try to brainstorm some ways to replace the imported product, such as creating reusable bags made with old fabric versus buying new ones, eating locally grown vegetables, and using community-made soap.
  4. Imagine you are running your household and it is you who decides what to buy. How can you talk with your store owners and encourage market vendors to have local products brought to the market to sell to people?

This lesson plan is an activity from the Environmental Activities for Youth Clubs and Camps, a resource developed by the Peace Corps Office of Overseas Programming and Training (OPATS). It was contributed by Peace Corps/Togo.

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