A recent interview done by Jamie Oliver, leader of The Food Revolution, suggests that children know very little about where their food comes from. Many do not know that French fries come from potatoes, and ketchup from tomatoes.
2. School Gardens and Improved Health.
Children need to learn about nutrition and see good examples in schools. The New England Journal of Medicine says severe obesity, particularly in children, is so great that the associated diseases and complications, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, cancer, that children are likely to have shorter life expectancies than their parents.
3. School Gardens and Environmental Awareness.
There is a need to fulfill the absence of nature in children’s lives. A study published two years ago in an issue of the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences finds the use of America’s parks and forests may be down by as much as 25 percent since 1987. Richard Louv explores research linking the absence of nature in children’s lives to rising rates of obesity, attention disorders, and depression.
4. School Gardens and Awareness of Social Responsibility. The lack of social responsibility by our youth is becoming apparent, not only in performance based studies, but in student apathy, lack of self-responsibility and false self-esteem.
There is a need for children to be exposed to an integrated curriculum encouraging hands-on, inquiry-based learning in a cooperative setting. Environmental stewardship can be learned by designing, planting, and maintaining gardens; harvesting, preparing food and learning respect for the environment from which food comes. Children need to learn responsibility for their environment and community. Taking ownership of a school garden helps provide a foundation of attentiveness, awareness and corporation for children. Children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables(Canaris, 1995; Libman, 2007; McAleese & Rankin, 2007; Pothukuchi, 2004) Therefore, combating the rising rates of obesity, attention disorders, and depression and providing the foundation for higher academic achievement.