Food for thought . . . literally

If you have just 5 minutes this summer, watching this video by TED-ucator Mia Nacamulli s time well spent. “How the Food You Eat Affects Your Brain” is brilliantly animated and incisive in its information about that old adage, “you are what you eat.” The short video illustrates the direct and long-lasting effect of food on the most powerful organ in your body: your brain. Mia Nacamulli takes you into the brain to find out which foods cause us to feel so tired after lunch and so restless at night. You can also measure your knowledge with a post-viewing quiz and and a means of customizing the lesson to your own educational needs [log-in required].

Like this video? Check out one of Mia’s many other health-related animated flicks: “What Would Happen if You Didn’t Drink Water?” You can also connect with her on Linked In.

The Cookbook Project Teaches Food Literacy

NOLA_cookbook_projectAdam Aronovitz and his wife, Alissa Bilfield, are co-founders of The Cookbook Project, a New Orleans-based non-profit with a mission to “empower youth to be catalysts for healthier communities through food literacy and cooking education.” They focus on health, sustainability, and community.

During the 2013-14 school year The Cookbook Project partnered with City Year and The Barbara Lynch Foundation to pilot a food literacy education program in the Boston Public Schools. One cohort of City Year staff were trained to implement a semester-long program with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students from the Blackstone Elementary School, located in Boston’s historic South End neighborhood. Based on the success of the pilot program, the Boston Food Literacy Initiative was launched during the 2014-15 school year. 55 City Year staff members were trained to run programs for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students in four Boston Public Schools. Through an innovative collaboration with The Barbara Lynch Foundation, the program is teaching youth about the connection between their food choices, the community, and the environment. Continue reading “The Cookbook Project Teaches Food Literacy”

Go ahead and bug me with The Good Stuff

Thank you, PBS Digital Studios, for reviving the 2013 (originally Google-funded) Internet program, The Good Stuff,” which launched new episodes as of May 2015. The YouTube video playlist ranges from the history (and health effects) of sleep, the future of food, history of robots, and the limits of our perception. My current favorite, however, is the episode titled, “Why You Should Eat Bugs.”  Not only is the video visually-stimulating (or for some, gross), but it is also filled with thoughtful and culturally-responsive information that get us thinking about the quality and quality of the world’s food supply—and why developed countries should consider this efficient form of protein. I especially appreciate the cooking demonstrations. Care for a grasshopper taco? You can find the complete 13-minute episode below. Bon appetite.

You can subscribe to PBS Digital Studios YouTube channel [here]. Or just the “The Good Stuff” playlist  [here]. A new episode and/or playlist from “The Good Stuff” is available on the second Monday of every month.

Update (10/29/2015): Here’s an interesting article (“Do Not Feed Bugs to Students”) from Ted Fujimoto about the ways in which schools feed students “bugs” in the form of disengaging curriculum under the illusion of choice [read it here]