Food. It’s a major part of our lives. We create routines and rituals around it. There are cable channels dedicated to it. But once you swallow a bite, what happens? Is food really more than the presentation, socializing, or satisfying an urge? Well, just ask a seventh-grader.
In their recent Burrito Project, students chose a burrito component (e.g., the tortilla, rice, etc.) and a single nutrient found in that component (e.g., a carbohydrate, fat, protein). They then created a presentation that traced the nutrient’s pathway from the burrito to a cell in the body and explained the nutrient’s role in cellular health. “Burrito to burial” in class lingo. And since food delivers multiple nutrients, students also reported on a second benefit of their chosen component, such as vitamins, minerals, or fiber.
Students’ projects detail how our bodies break food down into component nutrients, transport them to the body’s cells, and use the nutrients to build and run our bodies. Understanding what’s going on right under our noses is eye-poppingly mindboggling. Yet, the miracle of transforming one substance into another all happens quietly and effortlessly.