Food Systems Education
Food systems education focuses on increasing awareness of the entire seed to table process – how our food is grown, the resources used to grow it, processing and transportation required to sell it, and the people involved every step of the way. It is intended to help connect people to their food and increase healthy eating habits. Most food systems education in Colorado has been developed and supplied through farm to school programs, but broader community-based efforts are emerging through grocery stores, farm tours, farmer meet-and-greets, and other events.
LiveWell Colorado recommends the establishment of a statewide farm to school program that incentivizes and provides technical assistance for farm to school and includes school-producer networks, and includes nutrition education. See Policy Recommendation #7 on page 22 of the Food Policy Blueprint.
Tools & Technical Assistance
An Ounce of Nutrition, a Colorado organization, provides curriculum to schools and supplies teacher trainings on how to successfully implement the “Food for Thought” High School curriculum, which addresses topics related to how food is grown, processed, distributed, marketed, sold and consumed.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture Markets Divsion promotes farm- and ranch- based education and awareness by advertising agritourism events.
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food is a USDA initiative dedicated to strengthening local and regional food systems. They host a number of educational and technical resources, and link to a wide variety of federal projects related to food systems.
The Nourish Curriculum, geared towards middle school students, offers a rich set of resources to open a meaningful conversation about food and sustainability including learning activities, handouts, and action projects.
FamilyCook Productions offers schools, community-based groups, and other organizations a variety of evidence-based curricula for Pre-K-12 that offer full spectrum food systems lessons from nutrition to cooking.