Young people play a critical role in shaping our future, and it is essential that they are equipped with the knowledge, tools, and skills necessary to promote sustainable food systems.
Food Educators (formerly “Youth Mission”) is an EIT Food programme that aims to promote healthy and sustainable food choices among young people and encourage them to be the agents of change that our food system needs.
We provide teachers with fun, creative and interesting activities to disseminate to young people, mainly schoolchildren. Our easily accessible, science-based food education materials enhance students’ learning so they can become better informed, conscious consumers of the future.
We harvest new insights into how to deepen learning experiences around food, promote health and sustainability, and motivate future generations to pursue careers in the agrifood sector. Our programme focuses on inspiring leadership, conscious consumerism, food science literacy, entrepreneurial mindsets, and vocational possibilities among young people aged 9 to 18 years old.
- Our vision: A world where young people have access to education about healthy and sustainable food and are encouraged to work in our exciting and innovative agrifood industry.
- Our mission: To support food educators across Europe and beyond to teach, engage and inspire young people to make healthier and more sustainable food choices and consider a career in agrifood.
Providing food education learning materials to teachers across Europe
Our Food Educators has achieved positive results so far. In 2022 we created and launched two teacher handbooks full of ready-to-use resources to be used in the classroom. The handbooks focus on schoolchildren aged 9-14 years old and students aged 14-18 years old, respectively. The materials include topics such as healthy eating, food science and science communication, sustainability, agrifood careers, and regenerative agriculture. The handbooks were piloted in five countries in 2022 including Cyprus, Czech Republic, Israel, Hungary, and Spain, reaching 382 teachers; and 39,354 students!
The most selected lesson plans by teachers were revolving around food and foodscape maps, food waste and food loss, understanding food labels, and agrifood careers. The lesson plans incorporate diverse learning experiences. Teachers commented that they appreciated this variety of methods and pedagogies. 93% of teachers thought their students enjoyed the classes and 80% reported that most of their class actively participated.
Building partnerships to extend food education to more schoolchildren and students
In 2023, EIT Food launched phase two of the Food Educators programme. The lesson plans will be piloted in three more countries: Poland, Turkey, and the UK. The project will include the development of more educational materials, such as a resource pack for event organizers and facilitators. Our programme will also focus on researching, synthesizing, and building on already existing projects and materials and with a robust communication strategy make Food Educators known as the go-to place when it comes to food education thus guaranteeing longevity to even already closed projects.