Culinary FEVER (Food Emissions Visualization Education Resource)

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  • Title: Culinary FEVER (Food Emissions Visualization Education Resource): A Unique Educational Tool to Empower the Public to Reimagine Food Choices for Environmental Sustainability
  • Author(s): Carla Ramsdell, Lila Barrera
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Common Ground Open
  • Journal Title: Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal
  • Keywords: Sustainable Food, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, STEM Education, STEM Outreach, Climate Change, Restaurants, Visualization Tool
  • Volume: 14
  • Issue: 1
  • Date: December 13, 2023
  • ISSN: 2160-1933 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2160-1941 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2160-1933/CGP/v14i01/1-21
  • Citation: Ramsdell, Carla, and Lila Barrera. 2023. "Culinary FEVER (Food Emissions Visualization Education Resource): A Unique Educational Tool to Empower the Public to Reimagine Food Choices for Environmental Sustainability." Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 14 (1): 1-21. doi:10.18848/2160-1933/CGP/v14i01/1-21.
  • Extent: 21 pages

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Abstract

This paper provides an educational tool to help the public better understand the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the food they choose to eat on a daily basis. Using balloons filled with the representative volume of GHGs emitted through the growth, harvest, production, and transportation of various food choices, participants are able to visualize the impact of their food choices without the burden of analyzing a graph or table. Additionally, displaying the typical GHG metric of equivalent kilograms of carbon dioxide (kg CO2e) in the volume this gas would occupy at standard pressure and temperature allows for greater clarity in these results. Distribution methods for this visualization tool described herein range from science classrooms to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) outreach events and to restaurants and grocery stores. Several tools are provided as part of this research, including a spreadsheet that incorporates these calculations, presentation slides, a worksheet for the in-class method, and poster images for eateries. For each method, participants are asked to select a protein, vegetable, and starch option to fill their plate and the resulting GHG volume is then calculated based on their selections. This provides context and allows for discussion and reshaping of our contributions to climate change.