Past, Present, & Future Food (lesson plan)

I’ve been debating posting my lesson plans for class here. However, I know that I frequently search the internet for materials to modify for my classroom. This is an experiment; both posting it here and my lecture videos. Depending on reactions, here is the first post. This topic comes from my anthropology course, Changing Climate, Changing Cultures. While I cannot post copyrighted materials, I will provide the citations. If you are interested in the learning questions, leave a comment below.

apple pie and raspberry pie
“As American as Apple Pie and Baseball.” Photo by Asya Vlasova on Pexels.com

Lesson Objectives

  • Explore how “food” is culturally constructed
  • Examine the relationship between food security and well-being
  • Consider how climate change will impact food security and food cultures
  • Evaluate ways to enhance food security through bio-cultural heritage

Required Readings

Associated Assignments

  • LQ1: Past, Present, and Future Food
  • DP1: Past, Present, and Future Food

Lesson Activity

1. Read the Salmon (2012) chapter on Native American agriculture and community resilience. Watch the CBS News (2016) video about a Dutch crop scientist and his experiment to find salt-tolerant varietals. Then complete Q1-4 in the LQ1 assignment.

2. On a piece of paper, write down at least 10 things that come into your mind in response to the following question, “What is food?” Look over your list. Are there bigger ideas connected to the human experience that define food as more than just it’s nutritional content? If family or friends are present, ask them this same question, write down their answers, and compare.

3. Watch the lesson slideshow video Past, Present, and Future Food Part 1A and Part 1B. As you watch, consider how the list/s you created connect to the categories discussed.

Past, Present, and Future Food Part 1A 

Past, Present, and Future Food Part 1B 

4. Complete Q5-6 in the LQ1 assignment.

5. Watch the video Maryland’s Beloved Chesapeake Bay Crabs (2017). As you watch, think about the following questions:

  • Which of the cultural food categories discussed earlier are touched on in this story about Maryland’s blue crabs?
  • Who is impacted when blue crab populations decline? How?
  • How may projected climate change further alter this culture?

Maryland’s Beloved Chesapeake Bay Crabs 

6. Watch the lesson slideshow video Past, Present, and Future Food Part 2.

Past, Present, and Future Food Part 2 

7. Complete Q7 in the LQ1 assignment.

8. Watch the video CFS – Making a difference in food security and nutrition (2018) . This video was produced by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, an agency that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and improve nutrition and food security. SDG is an abbreviation for Sustainable Development Goals. As you watch be sure to identify the four pillars of food security.

CFS – Making a difference in food security and nutrition

9. Watch the lesson slideshow video Past, Present, and Future Food Part 3. As you learn more about the four pillars of food security and how people access food, consider how climate change may affect food security for vulnerable groups we have discussed in class previously. Think about what could be done now to build resilience and adaptive capacity for future climate change.

Past, Present, and Future Food Part 3 

10. Complete Q8-9 in the LQ1 assignment.

11. Watch the video Planting for Change (2013). As you watch, answer the following questions:

  • What are the three crops they use and why were they selected?
  • How is traditional knowledge being used?
  • What social networks have been developed? What is the benefit of these networks?

Planting for Change 

12. Watch the lesson slideshow video Past, Present, and Future Food Part 4.

Past, Present, and Future Food Part 4 

13. Complete Q10 in the LQ1 assignment.

14. Complete DP1: Past, Present, and Future Food. Your response should be at least 100 words in length. You may either post an original response, or respond to a classmate. Should you choose to respond to a classmate, please provide more than “I agree” or “I disagree” – tell everyone why.

The lesson on Past, Present, & Future Food explored the relationship between climate change, food, and well-being. Enrique Salmon (2012) argues that we must adopt the “whole enchilada” approach to develop strategies that make our food systems more resilient to climate change.  That is, we need to understand how food connects us to the environment, to culture, to our past, and to larger social, economic, and political structures in order to plan for an uncertain future. Do you agree? Using at least two examples from the readings and lectures, explain why or why not.

Additional Materials

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