HIGH SCHOOL & MIDDLE SCHOOL

PROGRAM

The Educated Choices Program seeks to empower high school and middle school students to make thoughtful and responsible food choices.

Read what teachers and students are saying about our program:

ECP offers five engaging, interactive presentations that encourage participation and critical thinking. Using age-appropriate videos, activities and open-ended questions we challenge students to identify widespread assumptions about human health, the environment and the use of animals. By providing only current, mainstream research and  information about these issues, we give students legitimate facts that inform their food choices in a non-judgmental, honest and respectful way. Our goal is for students to learn about and consider food choices that improve their health, benefit the environment and consider animals with compassion.

 

Presentations are either 45 or 90 minutes long, but can often be adapted and formatted to a teacher’s specific needs. There are also more advanced offerings for AP, college-prep and college-level classrooms. Additionally, we provide free resources to help teachers expand on the program’s themes: 

Healthful Eating

45 or 90 minutes

Obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and other diseases are lifestyle-related. Students learn about the connections between diet and health and discuss ways that informed dietary choices can help prevent or relieve diseases. The latest meat and plant-based food science technologies are also discussed.

The Environment and Modern Agriculture

45 or 90 minutes

Students explore how raising farmed animals and related crops affect ecosystems and our health through global warming, the depletion of natural resources, the pollution of soil, water and air, the use of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics, soil erosion, deforestation and world hunger. Participants discuss alternative choices that can help protect our environment. The latest meat and plant-based food science technologies are also discussed.

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Modern Animal Agriculture

45 or 90 minutes (for High Schools only)

More than 95% of animals raised for food in the U.S. are raised in intensive confinement facilities, often called "factory farms or CAFOs" Students learn about the realities for animals, the impact on the environment and the health implications of modern agriculture practices. Students also explore the alternatives for a more compassionate and just society. The latest meat and plant-based food science technologies are also discussed.

The Ethics of Eating

90 minutes

A combination of all three presentations. (A 90 minute block is needed for this presentation.)


The 90 minute presentations can be divided into two days to accommodate the shorter class periods. In addition, we offer free resources to help expand on the program themes. Our presentations also support many of the state academic content standards.

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Cell-based/Plant-based Technologies - The Future of Meat and Dairy

45 minutes

Cell-based meat may be the future of meat production. Using cultured animal cells to grow REAL meat, many scientist-led companies plan to provide cell-based meat products like steak, hamburgers, chicken breast, duck, etc., to grocery stores and restaurants by late 2019/20. But what is it, exactly? How is it grown and processed? Is it safe? What does this really mean for the future of our planet, human health and animal farming? Will this new food science be the answer to many of our world’s problems or not? How will the market change and who is investing? This presentation addresses these questions while illustrating the technology and processes that go into producing “cell-based meat.”

We also take a look at a new source of dairy -  made without using a cow, or even cells from a cow! Scientists have developed a fermentation process to produce casein and whey, allowing for the production of REAL dairy products - the same ones we've enjoyed all along, from cheese to ice-cream. How does it all work?  What kind of options will this new technology create for consumers, chefs and those with dairy-related health concerns? What about lactose? We explore this brand new technology and its potential.

Lastly, we take a look at the enormous improvements made in plant-based food technologies. Advancements in food science have led to the creation of new plant-based products that give meat-eaters the same experience they enjoy with traditional meat. Some companies are close to replicating the exact cellular structure of meat, to attain an even more improved texture, taste and experience. How is this accomplished? What are the ingredients? Why are meat producers investing in plant-based foods? We look closely at this growing industry.

We also address the impact of these industries on human health, the environment and the ethical issues regarding farmed animals. Will these products help us address some of the most critical issues facing the planet and its inhabitants? To what degree? How does it all weigh out in the end? 

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Educated Choices Program

info@ecprogram.org

(404) 806-2294

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