- Author: Susana C. Bruzzone-Miller
Participants from near and far gathered at HAREC on November 1 for training on the 4-H Sustainable You! Summer Camp curriculum (grades 4-6) developed by Dr. Rosalyn Brain and colleagues from Utah State University. Educators from Kearney and Desert RECs, 4-H leaders from Riverside and Ventura Counties as well as local teachers, parents, and garden educators from various Ventura County school districts enjoyed a day of learning and hands-on activities.
Dr. Hayden-Smith, Sustainable Food Systems Strategic Initiative Leader and 4-H Youth, Family and Community Development Advisor, introduced the workshop and relayed staggering statistics on food waste. Recent research indicates that as a nation, we waste 40% of the food we produce. Americans throw out approximately $180 billion worth of food-an 8% increase since 2008-the last time the USDA calculated the total value of food loss from households, markets, and other food providers. She stressed the importance of starting the dialogue with youth and utilizing the activities from the Sustainable You! curriculum that center around food waste. She also reported that preliminary research conducted among youth participants at an HAREC program, the most significant behavior change as a result of education and intervention was seen in this area.
Chris Massa, 2014 REC summer intern, currently a Food Corps member based in Ventura helped lead the activities. The workshop, structured to simulate a camp setting, covered the five major areas of sustainability: land, air, food, energy, and water.