Fun with Food
Start with some of the Basics:
Corn, Beans, Squash, Sunflowers, Tomato, Potato, Yam, Strawberry, Wild Onions, Peppers
Have students see which foods they can think of that they see at the grocery, at school, home and in restaurants that have their origins in Native Culture.
Test their knowledge and have each student bring a food package from home, preferably empty. Chips, bread, ice cream, nuts, eggs, chicken, ketchup, maple sugar, cereal, snacks, popcorn, jelly, soda pop can, hot chocolate package, frozen dinner carton, etc.
*Make sure the ingredients list is still intact.
Make a list on the computer, overhead, or chalkboard using the two categories below.
Have students see how many foods from the packages brought in (first without looking at the ingredients), they will select for each category
Now have students exchange packages and look at the ingredients. Which ones contain something like high fructose corn syrup, etc. that now changes the number of items in each list?
If there is an ingredient in a sauce or packaged food that had its origins among Native Americans, if that was taken out, would the product be the same? Is it really a product of Native origin then, if there is only one ingredient in it?
Objective: To make students aware of how much impact the origin of Native foods have had on our modern diet and economy.
High School students:
Select a Native American Food from this list: Corn, Beans, Tomato, Potato
Have them research the possible origins of the food, how was it discovered, cultivated, developed, and how did it travel from its place of origin to the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes Region?
Have them see what impact that food has on our culture- such as which foods we would most likely not have or would be flavored differently, or look differently from what we know.
Example: Selection: Tomato
How many modern food products do we use tomatoes in?
Soup, BBQ, Food Coatings, Pizza, Pasta, Stews, etc.
What world impact does this product have? How many countries now grow this product? What are the exports of this product and where do they get exported to?
What would you suggest we substitute for tomatoes if we did not have them?
If corn is chosen, have students find out how many products, food and non-food items are created with by-products of corn.