Learning Objectives

FoodWorks offers a rigorous and ambitious, yet fun and engaging opportunity for students to learn about local food systems and their relationship to sustainability, economic development, health, justice, and culture.  Through the 5th Day Curriculum, FoodWorks Talks, and other formal and informal activities and events, students are able to make progress on the following educational objectives:

  1. Understand what is meant by a local food system, its goals, and its relationship to food, nutrition and agriculture.
  2. Understand broadly the rationale behind local or regional food systems development and its connections to strengthening regional economy, reduced energy use, increased access to nutritious foods, recirculation of dollars into local community, agro-biodiversity, and community development and other potential advantages of local food systems.
  3. Understand roles of multiple stakeholders within a given community whose work contributes to the viability of a region’s agricultural economy (non-profits, produce retailers, farmer’s markets, restaurants, growers, public and private institutions, etc)
  4. Understand common definitions of sustainable agriculture, regarding: social, economic and environmental sustainability in the food and agriculture system, community food security, economic viability of small-scale agriculture and  regional food systems.
  5. Understand the environmental and social values implicit in sustainable agriculture
  6. Understand the growth trends in the sustainable and organic food industry, as well as the social and economic obstacles to widespread adoption of more environmentally sustainable farming practices.
  7. Experience the challenges and realities of consuming foods you produce, process, and prepare from field to fork.
  8. Begin to grasp the practical opportunities and challenges of making food system changes happen on local and global political, economic and ecological levels.
  9. Explore a sustainable regional food system, including examination of alternative modes of production, distribution, and consumption, or other innovative practices, that enhance long-term food system efficiency and sustainability.
  10. Understand some of the elements of what makes a local agricultural development initiative function, such as regional agricultural associations of farmers, retailers, and restauranteurs; regional product labels; relationship between producers and retail enterprises; and the role of non profits.
  11. Become familiar with the elements of  a local food system and their role and relationship within the system, e.g. farmer’s markets, community/school gardens, small scale food production and processing, etc.
  12. Understand how to examine “sustainable agriculture” and “sustainable food production” along a historical continuum and within multiple cultural contexts. Learn the social context and cultural values (including nutrition models) that motivate consumption of locally produced and processed food products.
  13. Look at how grocery stores, restaurants, processors, and abattoirs—more traditional parts of the food system– are incorporating local food options.
  14. Explore a plethora of local food businesses and infrastructure as a way to understand their relationship to the local economic development model. These businesses include innovative models such as co-operatives, eco-friendly distributors, non-profit partnerships, and Community Supported Agriculture.
  15. Understand the non-profit infrastructure and initiatives (urban agriculture, community and school gardens, gleaning, etc) to see how urban agriculture projects and policies are currently transforming the landscape, building community, and creating food security.   Consider success stories and challenges for the development of urban food production. Look at the relationship between municipal law and policy and urban agriculture.
  16. Understand the causes and consequences of urban and rural food insecurity.
  17. Understand the relationship between nutrition, food access, and equity.
  18. Understand the tensions between short-term stop gaps (food banks, meal programs, charitable services) and long-term food justice solutions (education, equitable incomes, affordability and accessibility of healthy food).
  19. Explore food traditions, and the role of food in culture.