Edible Education

Whenever anyone asks why I became a vegetarian, I simply tell them that, “I read a book in 5th grade that I shouldn’t have.” In 5th grade we were told to pick an independent reading book. I always jumped to the non-fiction bookshelf and it was there that I found not only a children’s biography of Rachel Carson, but also a book that persuaded me (and my best friend at the time) to become a vegetarian. I do not remember the title of the book, but I do remember creating images in my mind of pent up chickens unable to open their wings.

A recent article by Alice Waters in the Huffington Post made me question if the book I read really was a book I should have read, rather than one that I shouldn’t have. The article is part of a series of articles on food politics. In the article, Ms. Waters argues that school lunch reforms are missing an important component: “the opportunity to use food to teach values that are central to democracy,” referred to as “edible education.” She argues that edible education-which includes teaching children about where food comes from and how it is produced, giving children responsibilities in the school garden and kitchen, and preparing school lunches-into the school curriculum. The ultimate goal of this edible education is to teach values are that are “central to democracy.” Read More >