Where does your food come from? Teaching tools from Sustainable Table, Sea Food Watch, Chris Jordan
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YES! Education Connection Newsletter YES! Education Connection Newsletter
Building a Just and Sustainable World    April 2009
“A significant part of the pleasure of eating is in one's accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes.” —Wendell Berry, author and farmer

farm, YES! Magazine graphic
Dear Educator,

What we eat is a big part of our day. From supermarkets to farmers markets—and, if you’re fortunate, your own garden—there are many choices to consider.

I eat in a healthy way, but have to admit I don’t always know where my food comes from. In this newsletter, we’ll ponder the source of your food. It’s not about feeling guilty. It’s about making informed choices, prioritizing (we all have budgets), and celebrating food.

We are delighted to feature Sustainable Table, whose rich resources on sustainable food and food-related issues offer viable solutions and alternatives for everyday eating.

Jing Fong, Education Outreach Manager, YES! MagazineHappy Spring,
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Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine

P.S. How about an Earth Day gift for a friend? Share YES! with our Special Gift Rate.

Your Stories
Chef Tom French
Reconnecting Schools to Real Food
Chef Tom French, director of the Experience Food Project, has a broad vision of a new school food system that provides students with healthy food, reconnects them with the source of their meals, and builds bridges between the classroom and the kitchen.
Here is Tom’s story

MORE OF YOUR STORIES: Growing Vegetables and Children's Confidence. Chicken Soup for the Soul in the Classroom. Campaigning for Quality Education. Discovering the Beauty of Teenagers.

SEND US your own story to share with our growing network of YES! educators.
YES! Recommends
film still from The Meatrix

Like YES! Magazine, Sustainable Table focuses on solutions. Sustainable Table not only provides information on industrial farming in a user-friendly and accessible way, but presents practical alternatives and tools for switching to good local food.

Sustainable Table is well known for its award-winning animated movie trilogy, The Meatrix. The heroes, Moopheus, Leo, and Chickety introduce your students to the meat industry, and reveal what happens at a dairy farm and a processing facility, where they learn how we feed our Fast Food Nation.

Check out its terrific primer on sustainability, including a sustainable dictionary, a chart comparing sustainable and industrial farming practices, and guides for sustainable shopping and eating.

YES! Classroom Tools

Andy Asmus, 28 & Emily Dietzman, 30 of Welcome Table Farm

Meet the Greenhorns

What does it mean to be a young farmer today? Your students will be curious to know why this generation of farmers chooses to work in the fields, instead of the office.

Just the Facts, YES! Magazine graphic
Who Controls Our Food?
Did you know that food prices worldwide increased 50% in 2008? Use this graphic to uncover other hidden facts of the world’s industrial agriculture system.

Mortenson Ranch
Renewed Ranches
The Mortensons know that healthy food requires a healthy ecosystem. Can a cattle ranch operate in harmony with nature?

The earth charter, the globe on a child's face, earthcharterinaction.org
Connecting Earth Charter and Everyday Life
This YES! Earth Charter Curriculum Module explores the charter’s principles through YES! articles combined with lesson plans.
Connect and Engage

What could you eat for only $3 a day? What's the difference between freshwater and farm-raised fish? You and your students will take eating awareness to another level with these resources.

food stamps
Food Stamp Challenge
Since 2007, elected officials, faith groups, and others have taken the Food Stamp Challenge to begin understanding what it’s like for millions of Americans who base their meals on food stamps. Ask your students what kind of choices they would make if they had to survive on $21 worth of food per week—the average food stamp benefit.

detail of a Seafood Watch pocket guide cover
Seafood Watch
More people are eating seafood as they become more health-conscious. Just as we’ve learned that all carrots are not the same, Seafood Watch will tell you that all fish are not equal. Explore Seafood Watch's education resources and regional guides that recommend seafood to eat and avoid in your area.

Michael Pollan asks us to “eat food, not too much, mostly plants” and lays out a few simple rules to complement this adage. Ask your students to create their own rules for eating that preserve their health and the health of the planet.

Michael Pollan at Yale, wikimedia
Words to Eat By
Don't eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.
Avoid even those food products that come bearing health claims.
Especially avoid food products containing ingredients that are
a) unfamiliar, b) unpronounceable c) more than five in number—or that contain high-fructose corn syrup.
Eat mostly plants, especially leaves.
You are what you eat eats too.
Eat more like the French. Or the Italians. Or the Japanese. Or the Indians. Or the Greeks.
Do all your eating at a table.
Don't get your fuel from the same place your car does.
Eat slowly.

From Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food, New York, Penguin, 2008.

More from Michael Pollan: "The Omnivore's Next Dilemma" >>

YES! Magazine logo
INDEX: in this issue
How to Get More YES!
YES! Tote, 100% recycled and made in the US.
YES! Web Picks
Exxon Valdez Exxon Valdez,
20 Years Later

The Exxon Valdez oil spill was one of the worst in history. Marine toxicologist Riki Ott was there for the “big one” and is still fighting to restore Prince William Sound and the vitality of her community.

Breaking Bread With Strangers
Jim Haynes For thirty years, Jim Haynes has hosted Sunday dinner for friends—and strangers. Dine with this world citizen and understand how food is the best way to bring people together.

Apple with organic sticker A Month of Organic Eating
Follow YES! intern Laura Kaliebe as she learns what it means to eat organic.

YES! in Spanish
Si logo - YES in Spanish
Protegiendo su agua
Stefan Mackowski, 3, disfruta del agua en el lago Halfmoon en Barnstead, N.H. Foto por Channing Johnson para YES! Magazine.Ciudadanos de Barnstead, NH, utilizaron leyes locales para mantener a las corporaciones gigantes lejos de su agua potable

:: Read article in English.
Visual Learning
Plastic Bottles, detail of a photo by Chris Jordan Self-Portrait in Waste
Use this photo to ask your students what they notice and are wondering. Then share the facts behind the image to connect to greater understanding and discovery.

DOWNLOAD :: Visual Learning Lesson Plan.

bottled water pledge icon LEARN MORE :: Bottled Water Pledge, Center for a New American Dream

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