Ever thought high school left you in want? Math – when have you ever used algebra in real life? Science – understanding why adding mentos to coke makes it blow up. Did they think we were going to sue this as a skill in real life? Is there something they know that I do not? Until the zombie apocalypse happens I don’t see how this knowledge is important in our everyday lives.
Home economics. The structure of the class (as I remember it from my humble public high school days) was you choose your recipe the week before. You then purchase the ingredients (parents a grumbling about the cost along the way), lug them next to your vulnerable text books and writing pads in you already over stuffed back pack and bring them to school. You store it in the schools fridge until class (hopefully there is room for all you kit) and when it is time, go back and get it all out again in a cluster of 30 other people scrambling to grab theirs too. You cook you food, you clean your dishes,and then the teacher comes around and tastes everyones food and grades them on how much they enjoy it. Then you store it again until home time, run back to the fridge at 3.15 when you remember it’s there, beg the bus driver at 3.20 to let you on with food (again. This happens every xday, why cant he just let you on???). Awkwardly stink up the bus with your foods for 30 minutes then walk it all the way up the steep hill to your home. Good times.
What I feel is missing. Nutrition. Understanding personal nutrition and meal needs and ability to out knowledge into practice (from grocery shopping to cooking methods). Knowledge of food industry practices from dairy to junk food ‘restaurants’ to agriculture. How to find out the actual nutrient value of non labelled food (fruit and vegetable. Just because the standard nutrient of apples is x, doesn’t mean that the apple you picked up from the grocery store or even from you friendly neighbourhood food market has x nutrient it. Also explain to them why.). Standardized testing.
The students learn their bodies personal factors from bone density, metabolism, allergies and personal taste preferences.Then they make a meal plan based of their knowledge of food and beverage and their own personal bodies. they will also need to express nutritional figures and explain their choices using rationale. Then the teacher, who will also be a nutritionist (we’re swamped with underemployed nutritionists here so that shouldn’t be hard) will grade them on how well they completed one, and give advice on what they ought be doing.
Learning to understand your own body and its limitations is important at that age. I personally doubt anyone gets harassed more openly or are more unabashedly, insensitively scrutinized by their elders, peers and everyone else about their meal habits and appearance as when they are in high school. The damage from inappropriate dieting can be devastating.
Cooking skills. Each cooking class should have a standard recipe. Simple to make ,very few ingredients and cheap to buy ingredients for because lets face it, these kids will either go to uni or enter lowest level employment at a fraction of minimum wage because they’re under 21 (and those guys only get a percentage of minimum wage) and they’re not going to be affording much for a while. Then grade them on how well they followed the method of cooking. Grade them extra marks for things that show ingenuity and creativity. But most importantly have a standard grading system for each one that makes the grading fair and is comparative to others.
Multiple Choice + Essay.
For this test I would have them watch a documentary the week prior to the test.
A multiple choice including everything they have learnt.
1. A person is sick with x disease, what meal do you make them, whats in it and why that meal?
2. Make a hypothesis based on movie x, explain the documentary and why you feel it supports this theory.
Students should also be taught about the food industries. What are the practices of the agriculture side? The dairy side? The meat side? The Corporate side of things. Should we care if Nestle ties to force their formula on 3rd world countries, or that palm oil fiasco? Should we care that the *junk food companies created a union for its industry to fight any government regulation they dislike (even at the expense of the people)? What about the addition of GMOs? Should our schools be teaching our children to look out for these things when determining what brands to buy? This is the sort of knowledge I feel would be great for a M.C. test. Each term a different doco is selected for testing. The manuscript for the movie is available online. Print off for students who learn better reading.
How does this relate to being vegan? How many children do you think will be vegan – or at least vegan-curious – if they watched Food Inc, Earthlings or even read about the meat industry killing practices? How many people will cut down on meat when they realise how it is affecting their health or even weight? Even those sporty sports who want to be best of the best will feel their ears prick up when they learn how much better they would be on the field without meat. The “I only get A+’s” crowd will get to feel more superior as their brains become stronger and smarter and increased concentration and memory on a vegan diet. Everyone gets moderate their own body effectively and become impervious to looks based teasing. It’d be very liberating.
As a non-mother, non-education related worker with no official background in nutrition, what are you thoughts on my suggestions? Like them, dislike them, see issues or holes in the theory, or have your own you’d like to throw in the mix?
1st day of high school was like magic: Pick a crowd, any crowd…
*What? You thought corporations were anti union? Nooo not at all! They’re against you having a union.