Spoons Food Miles Relay teaches students about freshness, energy use, and about environmental and other benefits of buying and eating locally grown foods.
In June 2009, Spoons Across America launched Spoons Food Miles Relay Program to over 350 4th graders in seven New York City Schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. In 2012 we grew this program to over 2,000 students in all five boroughs! In this program, a relay race is used to demonstrate the amount of energy and time that is required to transport food from far away, versus what is required to transport food from more local sources. The concept and effect of distance is demonstrated by the total time and (running) energy it takes to put the products into the correct Origin Bags. This exciting, fun, hands-on, physically active program gives students the opportunity to learn:
- What “Food Miles” are and how far food items travel from their origin
- That it often takes more energy for food to travel from far away than it does to travel from more local sources
- To pay more attention to where their food comes from
- That locally grown foods are freshest
- How the quality and taste of food can be affected by the distance it traveled
Ideally, this lesson is taught in the school gymnasium or playground area.
A second session can be added in which a Spoons Market Basket Guide will lead children through a local farmers market using hands-on education techniques. During the one-hour tour, children and teachers will have the opportunity to see, touch, and smell, and taste some of the produce/products, talk with the farmers and learn about transport, and shop at the market.