Our Industrialized Food Systems week culminated with a viewing of the film Food, Inc. while we ate the TV dinners we made earlier in the week. This was the first time all of the students had watched the film. Andrew, a BHS freshman, said: “I speak for all of us when I say that I was surprised at how many of our lawmakers have connections with these large food corporations” after he learned from the movie that many of our current politicians once worked for the “Big Ag” food companies that dominate our food system. Shocking, indeed.
The film sparked an interesting discussion between the students. Molly commented that she doesn’t understand “how food service is making more of an effort to make the foods healthier, and yet the vending machines are right there in the cafeteria selling junk food, like Pop-Tarts,” to which Ena replied, “Oh, I used to eat those Pop-Tarts! Never again!” Powerful food for thought!
To commence our week-long study on industrial food, we prepared TV dinners to freeze for our meal on Thursday. We also watched a few YouTube clips and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of industrialized food.
We learned about the different jobs the industry created, the mass migration of people to cities, and how women started working more, which all led to the rise of easily accessible convenience foods. Kevin, BHS freshman and documentarian of the day, commented that fast-food chains, like McDonald’s, as well as “TV dinners started to come into the picture to make things easier, which is why we made our own TV dinners using meatloaf, frozen veggies, instant potatoes, and butterscotch pudding.” Each student prepared their own tray and then we carried them down to the school kitchen to be sealed and frozen.
Preparing the instant mashed potatoes. Photo by Kevin.
Completed TV dinners. Photo by Kevin.
Sealing the trays. Photo by Kevin.