Watt Watchers of Texas: Texas is Too Good To Waste™
At its basic level, food is a form of energy. Our bodies convert chemical energy stored in food to kinetic energy through a series of complex physical and chemical processes. In turn, this kinetic energy powers our muscles and lets us move. Beyond food, agricultural operations, processing, packaging, transporting, refrigerating, and preparing food all require energy. All of that energy goes somewhere, and only some of it is used. The rest is waste. As a result, one of the ways to save energy is to save food waste and other energy waste in the food system from the fields to your plate.
Texas's Food Deserts
Students should be able to identify that irrespective of differences in tract size, the Desert Southwest has a higher percentage of food deserts than the Northeast. Similarly, the Deep South and Southeast has a higher proportion of food deserts than the Upper Midwest.
Food Desert Maps
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food deserts as areas of the country without any fresh fruit, vegetables, or other whole foods. For the past several decades, the middle class migrated to the suburbs from city centers taking their grocery stores with them, leaving only convenience stores.
Working Through Food Deserts
Students should also create a detailed map of food resources in their area, classified by type and annotated with accessibility and time constraints. Then, they should evaluate whether their neighborhood or district is a food desert. How does the students' map compare with the Food Access Research Atlas?
Careers in Chemistry
Leveraging the Minecraft: Education Edition produced by Microsoft, Careers in Chemistry is a new game-based experience aimed at showcasing chemistry-related career opportunities to high school students. The program features chemistry professor and science entertainer Dr. Kate Biberdorf of the University of Texas at Austin.
Integrating “Energy 101”
If you're looking for a resource related to complex, multidisciplinary issues in the energy sector, look no further than Energy 101: Energy Technology & Policy.
Grocery stores don’t think the ugly produce sells, so they don’t buy it, meaning farmers have to get rid of it. Approximately 20% of all U.S. produce never enters the market but ends up left in the field or transported to landfills.
Food Container Waste
Some of the containers for pre-packaged food are made of plastic that cannot be recycled and only end up in a landfill. So what can you do to reduce your plastic waste?
What’s in My Lunch?
Students bring their lunch to school for lots of reasons, dislike of school food, special diet, to fit in with other kids, etc. Many times at home, parents have the greatest of intentions when making or purchasing the food that goes into those lunches.
How Much Food Do You Waste?
Students will track and measure their food consumption over two weeks to learn more about waste and strategies to reduce food waste.
Gardening with Students
Make planters using recycled cans and grow an herb garden.
How Much Waste Do You Make at Home?
The average American produces 4.4 pounds of waste daily, including recyclable and compostable material.
Energy Conservation vs. Energy Efficiency: What’s the Difference?
Some people think of energy conservation as having to be uncomfortable or suffer to save energy. The truth is: comfort and conservation are completely compatible!
Solar Oven S’mores Project
Make delicious s’mores while learning about solar energy!
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