Global education: Building an interest in youth through new foods

Build global education and awareness through engaging youth in a hands-on activity introducing new foods.

Michigan State University Extension says that youth can build global education and awareness through engaging in a hands-on activity by introducing new foods. Breads are a perfect resource to use in this activity as a new food with the varieties offered.

Bread is considered a staple food item around the world. It consists of the basic ingredients flour and water, provides a source of energy and is important in impoverished areas of the world. West Virginia University Extension has a Bread Taste Test global education activity that provides a hands-on awareness opportunity. By engaging youth in this simple taste testing activity youth are introduced to new foods and the country of origin.

The person teaching the youth will purchase or locate photos of a variety of breads from around the globe. Research will have to be conducted prior of what breads may be available in the local area and to become educated on the collected samples which may include: Bagels (Poland), chapati (India), pita (Middle East), and scone (Ireland). If breads cannot be purchased for the activity; photos still are very beneficial in the global education process.

You can make the activity even more interesting by researching some cultural bread recipes and try making them with the youth. Science education can even be included in this activity by discussing yeast, baking powder and other chemicals used in baking. Have the youth reflect on why some cultures or areas of the globe make the bread the way that they do, for example: Grains, ovens and spices used. Blind-folding the youth as they taste test the breads adds great reflection to this activity. They have to use the sense of smell, taste, texture and imagination. Discussions can include how other cultures are similar or different in bread making, and the reasons why. Youth can reflect on the actual bread making process comparing the recipes that used a leavening agent and those that did not.

Once a youth has acquired some global education and awareness from this activity; they will have an awareness of other cultures around the globe. Furthermore; they may have a better understanding and knowledge of the statement, “bringing home the daily bread.”

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