The Friday Five: Food Safety

This Friday Five is dedicated to an important cause, food safety. (I was reminded of its importance late last week, I wish the restaurant that made the Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich I ordered investigated some of these resources. Perhaps I would have been able to blog sooner this week! :P) But I digress. Every FACS/food class and many health classes focus on food safety and food preparation safety. These free resources could easily come in handy either as individual assignments to explore, or in some cases, as resources to share and explore collectively.

Number 1: From Canada, this CBC Marketplace place resource has an interactive investigation of a coffee shop and key points to food prep safety consumers can watch for in any fast food place. This interactive also has links to  additional resources about food poisoning, news reports, and eighteen more pieces on food safety, some with videos.

Number 2:  Food Safety Mobile Game from the USDA. The USDA’s flash game has safety tips and questions on how to handle food safely with a focus on fighting “BAC” (bacteria).  The Food Safety Mobile Game would be great for elementary and younger middle school-aged students, though a high school student might enjoy it too (if no-one is looking).

Number 3 (probably my favorite): Food Safety Music from the University of California. 27 “downloadable” songs parody mainstream songs and all focus on food safety. The songs also have PowerPoint slide presentations with accompanying lyrics and clip-art, lyric files, Flash animations and in some cases concert footage. Pretty fun, really, check it out!

Number 4:  Food Hygiene Mission Control, an interactive series of quizzes, games and information aimed at young people ages 7-14 and their teachers/parents. The teacher resources includes two printable activities, a glossary, and links to more resources.

Number 5: From the American Museum of Natural History, the interactive “magazine” Infection Protection Detection. With articles, a game on cafeteria bacteria, an introduction to scientists in this field, links to related content on the web and more, the American Museum of Natural History created a user-friendly resource for students through at least grade 8.

And just for good measure, number 6: Curriculum on food safety for all grade levels. For K-3, a script for a skit on food safety, ideas for storytelling and other lessons focusing on food safety. For grades 4-8, experiments, games and activities focusing on fighting bacteria and food illnesses. And for grades 9-12, a link to the USDA’s food safety program for high school students including a free curriculum kit with video, teachers guide and lessons for the classroom.

Happy Friday and here’s to healthy, enjoyable dining! 🙂

Free iPad apps: Food & FACS

Whether cooking with young children or structuring a high school FACS cooking unit, the apps store has free apps which will be useful. For cooking with young people, Big Fork, Little Fork from Kraft Foods offers recipes, nutrition information, tips for healthy eating, and conversation starters to inspire family dinners.

My friends and I often say either the basic Betty Crocker or Better Homes and Garden Cookbook is the staple on the cookbook shelf so I was happy to see the free Betty Crocker Cookbook app and downloaded it immediately. If connected to the Internet, view photos of the recipes; if not connected, view the text of the recipes and keep cooking. This cookbook app would be helpful for menu planning or cooking in a Foods class or, really, any kitchen. The growing interest in growing and cooking local foods makes the Recipes from Harvest to Heat app provides recipes for every course in a formal meal and a focus on the farmer. A great component for an “eat local” unit.

Our school’s Foods class has an international unit. The 365 World Recipes, Thai Cooking for iPad, Best of French Cuisine and Italian Cookbook HD Lite would all be helpful sources for recipe ideas.  If working on unique courses, the Tapas! Cookbook Lite (5 recipes),  the vegetarian Wraps & Rolls (39 recipes), and the Sweet Cookbook Lite (5 recipes) would be great for some unique tapas, wrap sandwiches and dessert ideas. If looking for some recipes that fit well with spring, the Outdoor! Cookbook Lite offers five recipes and video demos on how to make them.

Looking for kitchen fun? The Nibbly-Bits app offers artistic renditions of recipes for any course with a new artistic rendition and recipe each week (Guacamole is especially fun to look at and tasty too).  On food games, the Tiny Chef puts the user in the role of restaurateur and Stand-O-Food has a free version which is fun (though I became addicted and had to purchase the full version which looks like it’s price is reduced until March 21, just in case you get addicted too ;)).

Happy cooking, be it real or virtual!

Hats Off to the Cook

I admit, as I spend more and more time with my computer, the more I find I enjoy cooking. With that evolution, I was happy to see the new Google Recipe search. Using the Google search box, type in chicken tacos and after the results are in, the left sidebar will show “Recipes.” If “Recipes” is clicked, the user will be able to identify (or eliminate) ingredients, search by cook time (15, 30 and 60 minutes), and/or by calorie totals.

Foods and FACS teachers will find Google recipe search useful if looking for new recipes to add to the curriculum. It also provides students a great tool if they are asked to compare and contrast calorie counts and/or ingredients in similar recipes or if they are researching recipe options on their own. It is also helpful for anyone who is thinking, “I wonder what I could make for dinner tonight.”

Oh, and the easy chicken tacos I searched for, found and then made the other night were quite tasty if you’re looking for something new. 🙂

Learning about Chocolate

Maybe it is because it is dinner time, but this entry is a fun tribute to chocolate. Whether it is for an interdisciplinary middle school unit or a foods class, economics, ecology, there are some really fun resources about chocolate out there.  The Field Museum has a great Chocolate Exhibition: Field Museumchocolate exhibition which explores the history of chocolate, the chocolate production process, and a just for kids section which includes trivia, crossword puzzles, recipes and more. There is also a great educator resource kit which includes 12 lesson plans for environment and culture which address economics, ecology, botany and culture and includes lists of resources, facts, recipes, and more.

To support its chocolate exhibition, The Field Museum also has three “interactives” focusing on chocolate: Step 3 of the Chocolate Production Process

1. Manufacturing Chocolate From Seed to Sweet. Explore a virtual cacao harvest and processing of the cacao, fun and informative. A learning log might be useful for students to journal about what they learn.

2. The Chocolate Challenge.  A trivia game of sorts that travels the history and international reach of chocolate.

3. The Cacao Farm. Explores the relationships between plants and animals in the rain forest and the growth of the cacao plant.

And who doesn’t think of Hershey’s when talking about chocolate? The Hershey’s website has a virtual factory tour, a large number of recipes, and the Hershey Communiy Archives guides the visitor through the chocolate creating endeavors of Milton and Catherine Hershey. From photos to patents to online exhibits about candy wrappers, this site holds a wealth of primary source resources relating to an historic “American” endeavor.