Grade 11 students from Peru studying in an English program were paired up with a mixed grade high school class studying Environmental Science from North Dakota, USA. The main goal of the exchange was to discuss the food aspect of their cultures. They used Edmodo as their platform for discussions and posting photos.
The first discussion topic was to focus on “hidden food agenda”. They talked about what is considered organic food in their countries, and what they think is healthy food. They also discussed GMO foods and how much it affects their culture. Both classes deepened the experience by doing field research on food labels they have in their grocery stores, for example: ‘sugar free’, ‘0 calories’, ‘natural’, ‘organic’, ‘low fat’, etc. They also looked at the food that is served in the cafeterias of their schools, and how healthy or unhealthy they are.
They posted photos and compared with each other the similarities and differences of each culture’s influence on food consumption, choice, and labeling. They saw that in the USA the regulations of the food labels are more strict than in Peru, yet saw that in Peru, there are more whole foods like fruits. Lastly they talked about what they can do as young citizens to create change and make healthier choices. They began with a plan to identify food that is good for their health.
Originally, a live Skype call between the two classes was planned for closure, but the schedules could not coincide. Working with the Know My World facilitator, Elira, they decided to make a goodbye video instead to compensate for not meeting in a live call. The exchange ultimately lasted 6 weeks and 43 students were able to participate in total, giving these students a wider and more global perspective of consumption, regional influence and healthy eating.