Last week 300 youth cruised out to the farm for our annual Strawberry Blast!
Food, What?! invited middle and high school students to our Strawberry Blast for a day of food justice and nutrition education here on our farm. Through workshops, games, and making our own food, we explored the realities of our food systems and the deliciousness of healthy eats. The day started with a stop at strawberry field, where youth handpicked their first strawberry of the day. As they picked, they learned some berry facts posted among the rows. After the colorful introduction, students were free to check out the many workshops the Strawberry Blast had to offer.
Snacks were EVERYWHERE at the Strawberry Blast. Tawn from Bike Santa Cruz County came through with his famous bike-powered blender for youth to mix up some strawberry smoothies and get some pedaling in at the same time.
The Trace Your Taco workshop was a hit. We learned how many miles it takes to get a Taco Bell taco to our plates and experienced a day in the life of a cow that becomes the beef. Thinking about these processes made making our own tacos at home seem way more appealing.
The Banana Split table taught us the cost of our cheap bananas in the lives of farm workers who grow these everyday snacks. At the table over, Watsonville Wetland’s Watch educated us about respecting our wildlife and our land.
Continuing the conversation about justice in the food system, we created a justice wall and talked about issues facing communities and the workers growing our food.
Youth loved joining in on the MAH’s (Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History) project “Subjects to Change” and creating custom hand-made pins. At the table over, we learned to grow our own food and took home lettuce plants to start our own gardens.
Over at the taco truck FoodWhat Alum Thairie taught us how to eat a rainbow for maximum nutrition. Veggie tacos topped with strawberry salsa proved how delicious eating a colorful diet can be.
The Youth Dollar Power workshop taught us how to crack the codes of misleading nutrition labels on some of the most popular drinks. Turns out, most of them have way more sugar than we think! We measured how much sugar is actually in these multi-serving drinks and learned about some equally tasty alternatives to spend a dollar on.
We played FoodWhat’s favorite game “Fast Food Jeopardy” to learn more about the nutrition, sanitation, and labor issues that the industry serves youth along with their meals every day.
For a sweet treat to top the day off and get a healthy fix of natural sugar, we chopped up fresh strawberries and served up some strawberry yogurt tarts.
We wrapped the day up as everyone continued exploring the farm, enjoying their berries, and chatting about food justice with their peers!