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The Food Unit, by Beverly Stern

Guide Entry to 87.06.04:

The purpose of this unit is to help us become better food consumers. The method for doing so is to develop our understanding of food issues by working with and discussing information in four areas: the world food situation, food production, food storage and transportation, and becoming better food consumers.

The world food situation section looks at some of the significant differences between developed and developing countries, what world food security means, and some aspects of hunger and malnutrition. The food production section aims primarily at developing a sense of how a plant grows, that the carbon, nitrogen and water processes cycle and the energy process flows primarily to earth and away from it. Soil condition, fertilizers, pesticides, erosion, seeds, water and energy are considered important agricultural issues.

The part on food storage and transportation stresses that grains are the world’s most important food because they are easy to store and transport, can be grown with relatively little labor, have a high yield for work involved, and have high nutritional value. Wheat, rice and corn are the most important of the grains and together they provide the basic food for most of the world. This section further states that perishable foods have a variety of storage and transportation needs and that almost all U.S. domestic foods, both dry and perishable, are transported by truck.

The part on becoming better food consumers considers two approaches, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) 7 nutritional guidelines and an international approach, in trying to find suitable guidelines for food selection, preparation and consumption. As consumers, whatever we buy we encourage the production of that item. Each food item we buy has nutritional, environmental, and political effects.

(Recommended for Applied Math classes, grade 9; Consumer Math classes, grades 10-12; Home Economics classes, grades 9-12; Natural Science classes, grades 9-12; and Social Science classes, grades 9-12)

Key Words

Ecology Environmental Science Food Economics Home Basic Skills General Consumer Applications Mathematics

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