Objectives

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Introduction

Background:

The food industry, including agriculture and farming, has changed dramatically over the past century. Although we have shifted from a society that depends on agriculture to a society that often depends largely on processed foods (fast food, frozen foods, etc), agriculture is still the largest industry in the state of Ohio. According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, food and agriculture is a 73-billion dollar industry, 44% of land in Ohio is classified as prime farm land and 1 in 7 people is employed in some aspect of agriculture. Therefore, it is important for children to understand just exactly where does the food we put into our bodies come from? How have the changes in the industry impacted our lives and our health? Access to food is better, but what has happened to the quality of the food we eat? Through research, students will talk about how the food industry has changed, where agriculture is prominent in Ohio, and the importance of agriculture for our health.

Discussion:

What is food and why do we need it?

Food = a substance that is put into our bodies to sustain life, provide energy and promote growth.

Without food, people would not survive. Food contains calories, and our bodies turn calories into energy. Energy gives us the ability to do work. If our bodies do not get enough calories, our organs will begin to shut down and we will not be able to function. As we go through the day, our bodies use up energy gained from the last meal that we ate. So, we become hungry and we need to eat again. That is why it is important to eat three meals a day and eat a snack if necessary. The more energy we use up, the more we need to eat. So, if we do a lot of physical activity, we will need to eat more. If we are not very active, then we will eat less.

All living things need food to survive. All living things belong to a process called a food chain. The food chain works like this:

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