Friday, March 13, 2015

Sustainable Gardening in Brazilian Schools

Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Pierre

In August 2014, I had the opportunity to travel to Brazil for fourteen days. My friend who is Brazilian invited me to his hometown, Piracanjuba, which is located in Goias (just north of San Paulo). I had the chance to visit a few schools and speak to students who were learning English. One particular school, Leo Lynce, is where I spent a lot of time interacting with the students. One aspect of the school that stood out to me was the food. The students ate local food, similar to what they would eat at home. The school provided free of charge, breakfast and lunch. I had an opportunity to have both and it was delicious! Breakfast was simple, oatmeal, bread, and hot chocolate. Lunch was rice, peas, squash, and vegetables. Students all had an option of what they wanted to eat and could have seconds as long as everyone had at least one serving. 

Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Pierre

All the vegetables, herbs, and fruits used in the student's meals were from the school garden. The school's goal was to use their garden as a primary source and anything they could not grow, they received from local markets. The student's complained about the food, not because of the taste, but they were more interested in french fries and sweets. Here in the United States there has been growing interest in having farm to school/garden programs, which would encourage healthy eating in students. It was interesting to see that these students in Brazil have the farm to school/garden option available, but they wanted processed food. I hope the administration at Leo Lynce does not succumb to student demands, but I do not foresee that happening. 

Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Pierre

Overall, I had a wonderful time in Brazil. Based on my experiences in two different states and four different cities, I will share my thoughts on recycling in Brazil and other sustainability related adventures. 

Until next time,

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