A growing number of high school instructors are being educated through Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture’s Food Ed program to teach bring a newfound food curriculum back to their students.

The Food Ed program is currently being taught to 21 teachers across the country and has accepted over 100 new teachers for their free summer program. Their aim is to inspire change in the way US consumers both farm and eat, and this educational process is a necessary component.

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Through their work at Stone Barns, a new class offered at both the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and the High School of Environmental Studies has been developed. This elective class is called Food Ed, and it is much more than just a cooking class. Instructor, Andrew Margon, says that the class incorporates agricultural knowledge and cooking skills while challenging students to analyze history, the environment, social problems, and identity. The purpose of this course is to change the way young minds look at the food they are eating.

Not only will this program teach students how to feed themselves, but it also is teaching them how to help others. Opportunities to take part in local food justice activism are always presenting themselves. For example, in Margon’s class, students cooked a vegetarian meal for patrons at Holy Apostle’s Soup Kitchen with produce donated by GrowNYC’s Greenmarket. This event truly taught the students to value the food they are given while inspiring them to continue getting involved within their communities.

Students are speaking out about the Food Ed program saying that what they are learning is incredibly valuable. They are being given information about the destructive nature of livestock production and concentrated animal feeding operations, and how dietary choices play into these systems.

Not only is Food Ed shaping the way they eat, but it is also inspiring their future decisions. One student, in particular, says that this course opened their eyes and that they now want to major in nutrition at college.

Through the Food Education program, instructors are instilling responsible dietary habits in their students.

Want to make whole food, plant-based diet stick?

If you are looking to make responsible food choices for both yourself, the well being of other living creatures, as well as the environment, adapting to a plant-based diet may be just the ticket. What is of utmost importance is to make mindful choices when it comes to nutrition. Here are some tips for a more mindful dietary lifestyle.

1. Eat Deliberately

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It is easy to sit mindlessly in front of the TV and binge on junk food like chips or cookies, but when you actually slow down and recognize the food for what it really is, savoring the flavors, textures, and aromas, it is easier to make healthy and more deliberate choices. For more information on this subject check out this article about How To Eat More Mindfully.

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2. Listen

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Your stomach is a powerful vessel, and it is important to listen to what your body needs, not wants when it comes to eating. It is vital to recognize when you are eating because you’re bored, or whether you are eating because your body requires something. When you tune in, you can really begin to make more mindful dietary choices. Learn how to listen to your gut with: Eat These Healthy Foods to Bring Balance to the Mind and Body and The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition.

3. Meal Prep

Meal prepping ahead of time can lead to more mindful choices come dinner time. When you have already made a nutritious meal beforehand, you will not feel the need to leap to unhealthy choices when you’re hungry. It also makes sticking to a plant-based diet effortlessly. For meal prepping tips, check out our Meal Prep articles! Also, check out Plant-Based Meal Prep 101: Designing a Prepping Plan for Success.

For more information on a whole food, plant-based diet, we recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

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