In contrast to the more than $15 billion in direct marketing spent in the U.S. to exhort children to buy food and non-food products, children often don’t get very far with the companies when they start asking questions. Olympia, Washington teacher Michi Thacker assigned her elementary students to write food manufacturers to raise questions, such as where the macaroni comes from. Most larger companies like Kraft suddenly had little to say. Kraft told one student via email that “the information you are seeking is considered confidential.” Gatorade, Frito Lay, Campbell’s and Post had similar nonanswers. Nancy from Nancy’s Yogurt of Eugene, Oregon, on the other hand, responded personally to students with the names of the producing farms and the origins of ingredients. Rethinking Schools contains 13 articles about how children learn about food, including the costs of local and imported food, corporate food distribution networks, connecting food and heritage, and what an earthworm (in contrast to a PR firm) can teach you about eating right.
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