Field to Fork

Field to Fork:

Theory and Practical Lessons teachers: Zoe Sharp and Kate Beattie.

The unit the pupils were studying was Field to Fork that dealt with the sourcing and production of all types of food, where food comes from around the world, the ecological impact and the cost and freshness of mass produced and fast food.

Canteen Problem:

There was a noticeable contrast, however. to what is being taught and what the pupils eat for their lunch. Most pupils go off site and find a chip shop or a take away, ‘Some kids even have a chinese for lunch, full of sugars and fats.’ Zoe explained. ‘There is a lack of space for the canteen, two classrooms double up as the dining area, which means they become unusable for the hour before and after and they smell of chips all afternoon. The food standard also isn’t good, the catering company doesn’t provide a lot of choice or alternatives and it’s expensive. The room is gloomy, dated and there isn’t space for any more than 100 people. That’s another reason why the school allows pupils to go off site and find their own food at lunch time. But what they find isn’t healthy, it’s the same hypocrisy of teaching  something but not setting an example.’

Theory Lesson:

The class hand out also covered how the cuts of various meets and their nutritional content. The pupils would be asked to produce a poster that summarised the issues. ‘Perhaps the tags could also be used on these too that link to a wiki or blog page?’ Zoe suggested.

The conversations we had, recording the process of cooking and re-tracing the steps added another dimension to the conversation of produce and production: in addition to consumption and waste was also conversation and process, memories and narratives that broadened the conversation with the class from the action of cooking a meal to an awareness and observation of the interactions that constitute the experience of school.

For example, I suggested that (probably, but from the experience and memories of my multi-story school) one of the first thing that they would remember about the existing Portobello school building once they left would be the stairs. The pupils initially scoffed at the suggestion, but then came round to the idea that the stairs were an integral part of their interaction with each other and the building, used several times a day and were a unique encounter within the school.

Field to Fork, I suggested, also involved these immaterial processes that can be recorded and could be recalled later.

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