21 September 2016
21 September 2016,

A new, free science resource for young learners is now available online.

Soil, Food and Society explores where our food comes from. It offers both students and teachers activities and lessons that are integrated with the NZ Curriculum and tailored to suit eight to twelve year olds.

Here is what the project’s science expert, Dr Tessa Mills, has to say.

“The story of where food comes from is a timeless tale that, once upon a time, was learned by children as they watched their community grow and tend the plants and animals that nourished them.  

Young people’s understanding of the linkages between soils, food production and the wellbeing of society has been lost in our 21st century urban society.  Many kids don’t know or appreciate how food is produced, or perhaps more importantly, how society can future-proof the productive capacity of our soils to ensure sustainable food production. Soil Food and Society provides students with this understanding.

As a horticultural scientist I commend the aim of the resource: everybody should appreciate where our food comes from and how challenging producing high quality food sustainably really is.

As a mum I think it’s critical that all kids understand and respect the value of food, and as a long-time advocate for farmers and growers in New Zealand I like how the resource presents a positive and informed view of the farmers and growers who strive to maintain the productivity and integrity of the soil and the surrounding environments whilst producing high quality food.

Finally, the resource clarifies that the nutrients in the food that nourishes us are the same nutrients in the soil and the atmosphere. It is plants that capture the sun’s energy and turn those nutrients into food that animals, including humans, need to survive. This is such a foundation for understanding. Such an important story to tell.”

You can access Soil, Food and Society online now. Soil, Food and Society has been developed by ReGear Learning in partnership with New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries and primary sector industry partners.