Genie took us on a tour of the New Pioneer Co-op in Coralville. She told us how the store started as just a few individuals who wanted the freshest food grown without any added chemicals. We tasted some local vegetables (seen in the picture below) and we learned about a farm in Grinnell that had the BEST carrots! Genie also told us about Fair Trade: what it means for us and how to identify other items in the store. In asking the kids what was something they took away from the discussion, BJ says, "I learned what was in food coloring (tar) and now I don't eat anything with it in it! Also, our banana pickers get paid more than other banana pickers." Lucy says "I learned that the Co-op is the only store (in Iowa) that composts." Jack says, "I learned that tuna is threatened but that the customers want it so the Co-op still sells it. I also found out that recyclable spoons are much more expensive than plastic spoons. The Co-op is now using them!"
The class has been learning about nutrition. The students (and Paula) have been documenting the fruits and vegetables they bring for snack and lunch. To encourage a wide range, the kids fill in a rainbow of the colors of their fruits and vegetables they ate. Everyone needed a little help with the variety of vegetables so Paula thought the best way to introduce some of these would be inside something they already like...lasagna! We found a recipe on Cooks Illustrated for Vegetable Lasagna which had a white sauce, red sauce, YELLOW squash, GREEN zucchini and ePURPLE ggplant. On Wednesday, we all cooked together and made our dish! Check out our recipe for Vegetable Lasagna