Wild Child School 2 Week 4: What do we eat that doesn’t come from a living thing?
On the bus, heading to the other school this question occurred to me. Perhaps it was planted as a seed and has been sitting dormant in my brain for years. Sitting on the overheated bus and feeling slightly nauseated the thought germinated and took root in my brain and without having time to sit down and properly think it through (or research it) I posed it as a challenge to the Wild Children at School 2.
One by one, we discussed what we eat that may not seem to have been alive and discussed where it might have come from, looking for a living link. We discussed everything from pasta, pizza, pop, energy drinks, candy, and other food items and basically anything that gives our bodies energy comes from something living. Pasta from wheat or other grains from living plants, eggs from chickens, tomato sauce from tomatoes and so on. What was even more astounding, all of the items that came from an animal (meat or animal products) could eventually be traced back to a plant (or phytoplankton) and their incredible ability to harness energy from the sun!
Our energy literally comes from the sun. We eat sunshine! SUNSHINE! Okay, maybe that point was already pretty obvious to everyone else on the planet but to us that afternoon, we discovered this together as a group for ourselves and we were all little stunned and excited by this realization.
Continuing with the interconnectedness theme this week, we dug in the dirt, played games, and read “Wolf Island” by Celia Godkin. If you are looking for a resource to share with children that discusses the importance of how populations of creatures interact, I highly recommend Godkin’s book. The story is simple, based on a real life example, and the illustrations are fantastic. In the book, a familiy of wolves are removed from the island and the populations of other creatures are negatively affected by the removal of the top predator on the island.
Following the reading we had a great discussion about the role different creatures play in our environment and the subject of coyotes came up. Like any creature in the natural environment, coyotes do play an important role in helping to establish and maintain healthy populations of other species and also cleaning up carrion (dead flesh) by scavenging. By removing large numbers of coyotes from the natural landscape of Nova Scotia, we may be creating conditions that will negatively affect other species that live here.