#Agents of Change - Apples
At a recent teacher currency workshop designed for teachers delivering food courses - including Food Science, vocational courses and agriculture, it was identified that there was a surplus bounty of apples in the local area.
This four day workshop included a tour of the local family owned and operated farms, which looked at a range of practices. There was a diverse range of keynote speakers on topics relating to food systems, food waste and curriculum development for food related courses.
Teachers identified linkages to key areas in the new Australian Curriculum included relating to ethical, social and sustainability.
- Concepts including nutritional value and physical properties of food, sustainable production systems
- Technology and society social. Ethical and sustainable considerations
It was identified that surplus would be a timely topic of consideration.
The Short Term Problem
There is a need to develop a series of tasks that meet the WA Curriculum across learning areas that can find viable solutions for this food crisis.
Technology teachers (Home Ec) are looking at a short term solution of developing recipes and innovative ways of using the surplus apples. However, this is a long term problem that will require ideas to be generated from students to solve the problems of social, ethical and environmental sustainability to our regional areas.
This involves innovation in agriculture, science, HASS and technologies.
The Long Term Problem
A local food bowl region has a large surplus of produce (apples in this scenario)
While we believe that consumers drive the production limits and know little of the seasonality of fresh foods, what is the reality? Is it lack of knowledge and a demand for produce all year round or is it the big food chains and their own agendas.
Farmers now have to grow produce to meet the requirements and price points of big food chains.
This year, a surplus of 15 thousand kilos of apples have been secured from landfill. This only reflects a small percentage of apples that would end up in landfill, orchards are being removed and the loss of family farms, livelihoods and lives is the cost...
Due to this people are leaving regional areas brought on by the lack of employment opportunities. This means an increased pressure on cities and large regional hubs, to find solutions to an increasing problem and an additional concern for Australia with employment and mental health issues now on the rise.
Our responsibility as educators is to instill in our students an inquiring mind, and to look to develop curriculum that is solution driven. The next generation are the ones that can solve this ethical problem...