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Food and the Environment

Food and the Environment

In Scotland, we have year-round access to nutritious, affordable food, produced both at home and imported from around the world. Most of us can name foods that are part of a healthy diet, but which of those foods are also good for environmental health locally and globally?

The Food and the Environment Topic has some natural overlap with Biodiversity, Health & Wellbeing and School Grounds.


The Eco-Schools objectives in this area cover physical, emotional and cognitive aspects. Motivation for sustainable living is gained through practical action, emotional engagement, and improved understanding:

Hands – reconnect children and young people with raw foods and ingredients and their processes of production.

Heart – foster an appreciation of local distinctiveness and the intimate associations between place and food.

Head – develop awareness of the impacts on the environment of different methods of food production and processing.

Head : heart : hands – develop an awareness of the links between our food choices, the environment and people and places elsewhere.


Through work on the Food and the Environment Topic, pupils should:

  • Understand the range of food choices available to us.
  • Understand the resources and skills required for food production and processing.
  • Recognise the value of healthy, stable ecosystems to food production.
  • Understand the wider environmental implications of our food choices.
  • Recognise the dimension of social responsibility in our food choices.
  • Recognise our own food culture within a diversity of food cultures.

Curricular Map: Food & the Environment

Experiences and Outcomes related to the Food & the Environment Topic

Our Resources

A Bug's Life Creative Inquiry
You can use this creative inquiry on this children's cartoon to think about how we plan and produce food.  It is packed with ideas and questions to explore and discuss.  Choose the ones that suit you best.

A planning tool to develop learning and teaching about food and sustainability.

Compost in a Bottle Experiment
What happens to food waste when it breaks down?

Creative Inquiry level 3 Scots language, history and F&E

Creative Inquiry level 2 Scots Language, History and F&E 

Dandelion Music
A collection of Gaelic and Scots songs all with themes of growing and harvest from the Dandelion project.

Dig Where You Stand
A Dandelion resource introducing some of the cultural traditions, folklore, customs and crafts associated with the growing year and harvest in Scotland.

Don't Waste Our Future
A food waste reduction charter created by young people across Europe.

Eat Locally (7+)
How far has your food travelled to get to your plate?

Eat with the Seasons (5+)
To learn about which foods are in season in which months.

Experiment - It's Just an Apple!
How long does it really take litter to degrade? Find out with this experiment.

Flapjack Flavour
A quick and easy snack to make with your class.

FOOD, inc. Creative Inquiry
This film considers how food in our modern world is produced and how it is affecting our health, workers' rights, animal welfare and the environment as a whole.  There are ideas in this creative inquiry to stimulate discussion before, or during, or after the film.

Harvest Home 
This resource focusses on harvest-time and is a guide to creating your own harvest event

Have a Grow!
A Dandelion resource offering all the guidance you’ll need to start growing.

Life of a Strawberry
Think about the food supply chain through the life of one strawberry. 

Local Wild Food First Level Creative Inquiry
A first level Creative Inquiry to begin to explore your local area mapping wild foods, discovering Scotland's natural larder and trying a taste of the wild.

Low Carbon Skills
Films and resources made by pupils about how our food choices can fight climate change.

Lunch Boxes (7+)
Calculate the carbon footprint of the food we eat and see if you can design a low carbon lunch.

Lunch Waste Audit
How to conduct an audit of waste produced in your school canteen or lunch hall.

Mash Up
A card game all about potatoes for two players or a whole class.

One Planet Picnic
A picnic that's good for you and good for the environment.

Pocket Garden
Create a pallet sized garden with plants you can eat, space for biodiversity and something reused.

Saving Seeds & Waking Seeds
An introduction to seed saving and the key principles for success.

Scotland's Local Food Stories
Did you know that Scotland grows lots of different kinds of food, all with different names and characters, tastes, and tales? A Dandelion resource.

Sow Many Seeds
An introduction to seeds and their part in history and culture

Top Plants
A card game for 2 players all about plants that can grow in your school grounds

The Lunchbox Third Level Creative Inquiry
Ideas for discussion and reflection on what this film means to you.  Watch the film and host a One Planet Picnic to bring different generations of people together.  What recipe would you pass on to someone?

The School is the Menu
A Dandelion resource created by food innovator Simon Preston that invites your school to celebrate its character by creating a signature dish inspired by the school and everyone in it.

Thinking About Food
Get pupils thinking differently about the food that they eat. 

Totally Tatties
A Dandelion resource on how to get started with spuds including harvest and storage, different tattie varieties, tips to reduce plant pests and diseases and ideas for tattie activities.

Resources From Other Organisations

Food Standards Scotland - Eatwell Guide
Use the Eatwell Guide to help you get a balance of healthier and more sustainable food. It shows how much of what you eat overall should come from each food group.

Nourish - Food Atlas
This Scottish Food Atlas draws together issues around food, using stats, graphs, and maps to communicate the evidence

RHET - Scotland's Farming Year
Scotland's Farming Year is an educational video series which gives children an insight into many aspects of Scottish agriculture and helps them to understand where their food comes from. Topics include sheep and lambing, pigs, eggs, ploughing and harvest.

RHET - Educational Posters
RHET offer a number of educational posters covering a wide range of subjects relating to food and farming. Check out the new Food & Farming Activities poster. How many activities can your class tick off?

Zero Waste Scotland - Food Waste Monitoring Toolkit
Toolkits for your catering team and for teachers and pupils. The catering team toolkit is for monitoring kitchen waste (preparation waste, spoilage and unserved meals). The teacher and pupil kit is for monitoring plate waste from the canteen.

World's Largest Lesson: Goal 1
Download lesson plans, comics and other resources on food to use in your classroom.

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