Inglorious fruits and vegetables

Humanities and Social Sciences Year 5

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Students will watch a video on imperfect fruits and vegetables and create their own ‘inglorious’ fruit or vegetable and a plan for selling it. Consider factors such as age, gender, and advertising that influence purchasing decisions.

Learning objective

Students learn that supermarkets throw away edible fruit and vegetables based on appearance, and how consumers could be convinced to buy them to avoid the food going to landfill.

Curriculum links

Knowledge and understanding

Economics and business

Questioning and researching
Communicating and reflecting

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Food waste, packaging, shopping

This lesson explores ways to reduce edible food waste going to landfill by creating a marketing plan for imperfect fruits and vegetables.

Globally, one third of food produced for human consumption is wasted. This includes millions of tonnes of perfectly edible fruits and vegetables. These fruits and vegetables never make it to our plates because of imperfections. They might be too big or too small, have small blemishes, or be a wonky shape.

Throwing out imperfect fruit and vegetables has a significant impact on our resources. When we waste food, we waste the resources used to grow it, such as water, soil, and energy. All the energy used to process, package and transport food to our homes is also wasted.

Access to video, KWL    (what I know, what I want to know and what I learned) graphic organiser

Watch Inglorious fruits and vegetables (2:30 minutes)

  1. Discussion questions:
    • What types of food were thrown away?
    • Why was the food thrown away?
    • Where does it go? (landfill)
  2. After watching the video highlight how purchasing decisions affect the use of resources.
  3. What strategies were used to convince people to buy the strange looking food? (A special aisle, marketing, cheaper costs). Make a list to display in class.
    Research and discuss any local initiatives that provide ‘inglorious’ food in your area (such as Woolworths’ Odd Bunch or Coles’ I’m Perfect initiatives). For what reasons do shoppers buy these items?
  4. Discuss the catchy names that are given to different fruits and vegetables, such as ‘Zany Zucchinis’, ‘Misshaped Mandarins’, ‘Playful Pears’ and so on.
  5. Students create a KWL graphic organiser on why food is thrown out based on appearance.
  6. Students create their own ‘inglorious’ fruit or vegetable and a plan for selling it. Students can consider factors such as age, gender and advertising that influence purchasing decisions.
  7. Students create a poster to market their ‘inglorious’ fruit or vegetable.

Ideas to consider:

  • What is your ‘inglorious’ fruit or vegetable?
  • What catchy name will you give your ‘inglorious’ fruit or vegetable?
  • Who will be buying your product?
  • What strategies will you use to make people buy your product?

  1. Students compare the prices of ‘inglorious’ foods to regular priced food. They create a weekly shopping budget and calculate how much money they will save buying these foods.
  2. Students interview their family about their food purchasing habits.