Kids in the kitchen: Part one

Where does food come from?

Food is something we all need in life. It is important to learn various things about food - where does it come from, how do we prepare and cook it, what is safe and how do we keep it for later use. These are all topics that can be taught throughout life, from generation to generation.

Food doesn’t come from the store alone. So where do we get our food? Agriculture is a very big topic but it encompasses our food in a variety of ways. Some crops are grown to feed animals that are then processed for our use. There are vegetable farms, fruit farms, potato farms, dairy farms, crops of grains that are grown to process into breads, pasta, etc. There are many types of agriculture that add food to the market for humans to prepare and consume. After the food is grown or raised on a farm it is then harvested and processed in a designated facility and then packaged for the market. Markets are where we go to purchase the items we choose to cook and eat.

What does agriculture have to do with kids in the kitchen? Everything! To truly understand where our food comes, we need to appreciate how it arrives in our kitchen. Learning and knowing where your food comes from helps each of us become aware of the quality and nutritional value that food provides for us.

Many cooks provide their own fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs through gardening. Gardening can be done on a plot of land or in a container. If you chose to have a garden then you chose how much and what you are going to grow. Another way to have fresh produce is through a farm or producer. Farmers markets and super markets are the retailers for many produce items.

When creating or working in a garden, be sure to keep food safety in mind. Michigan State University Extension recommends keeping food safety in mind when working in a garden. Wash vegetables before eating, wash hands, before and after working in a garden and the containers that vegetables are stored in. Youth can be an active participant in garden. Adults can provide a safe example by following some simple recommendations for youth in a garden.

This is the quick and short version of where our food comes from. There is much more work and information that goes into where our food comes from. The answers are endless. Since we have the produce how do we apply food safety to kids in the kitchen; how do we prepare and cook it? Stay tuned to more articles on this subject!

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