LFS researcher Alejandro Rojas is launching The Think&EatGreen@School Project which aims to connect Vancouver K–12 students to food and sustainability issues while helping schools lighten their ecological footprint and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Think&EatGreen@School Project is a five-year interdisciplinary study that explores innovative ways to teach students about the impact of individual food choices on the planet’s limited land and water resources.
LFS professors Art Bomke, Gwen Chapman, Andrew Riseman and Brent Skura, and UBC Farm Project Manager Mark Bomford are co-investigators on the study, along with Assoc. Prof. Jolie Mayer-Smith, Dept. of Curriculum and Pedagogy in the Faculty of Education and Wendy Mendes from the School for Community and Regional Planning.
As principal investigator, Rojas recently received a $1 million grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
The study will investigate: the nutritional, ecological, social and economic practices of school food programs; the impact of on-site food production; the influence of curriculum and school physical design on student learning about the relationships between food security, sustainability and climate change; and the impact of creating a sustainable school food system on the ecological and carbon footprint of a school.
“One of our exciting ideas is to expose students to meal planning and preparations with local, seasonal ingredients that have a low-carbon footprint,” says Rojas. “We’re also looking at planting school food gardens and orchards so students can get some hands-on learning about the growing and harvesting of food.”