Teaching Food with Marion Nestle

Marion Nestle, the teacher of all food teachers, was my guest on #LunchAgenda this week. I could hardly wait to ask her about how she created a food curriculum for university students, and for tips about teaching elementary students in my job as Cooking & Gardening Teacher at Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School. 📝🍎 Catch the episode when you have a moment:



I've already made updates to my curriculum plan based on her advice, and hope some of her pearls of wisdom help you in thinking about your role as a teacher--whether your "students" are your children, or your coworkers at the office.

Favorite quotes from Marion:

Marion Nestle pic.jpg

I had home economics in the eighth grade. The girls took it, and we started with cookies. Who doesn't want to know how to make cookies? It's not a bad way to begin, and it takes the fear away....just make sure they're small!

The real issue [for students learning about food] is being able to look at foods that are on the market, that are not very expensive, and think "This would be yummy"!

There's an extraordinary amount of organizing and recruiting allies [in good food advocacy campaigns]. It's not something you do on your own. Very often, food advocates don't have a clearly defined goal; they're critical about something without thinking through what needs to change, and who needs to change it.

Our students come in wanting to change the world. Our job is giving them tools to do that. We teach them how to have any group that is the target of an advocacy campaign involved from the very beginning, so that you're not going into a community and telling them what they need.

You want to have a food supply that everyone in the population has access to. The reason that foods are priced the way they are has to do with supply and demand, but it also has to do with politics. How do we get kids to understand the politics of pricing, and about why foods in low income areas are not as high quality as in high income areas?

Marion's Action Item to improve the food system:

  • Vote with your fork: Every time you make a choice of food, you're making a choice about the kind of food system you want.
  • Get into politics: The easiest way is to find an organization that's working on a food issue that you care about, and join it...I find that I can google 'food advocacy' and the name of any town in America, and find what you want.