The educational concept is being implemented in Sweden and Austria. In the case of Sweden in the municipality of Uppsala 5 primary schools participated during the spring term of 2022. In Austria (Vienna, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Tyrol, Styria) so far 5 secondary schools in the following municipalities have participated: Graz, Vöcklabruck, Vienna (2) and Bad Ischl.
In Sweden, this innovation was embedded into the curricula. In addition, school mealtimes were also included in the curricula, where teachers and pupils shared school meals together.
The implementation of the innovation involved teaching pupils about e.g. food waste during regular lessons and during school meals by applying different materials and methods for workshop formats. The general approach for the teachers was to give lessons teaching about food, food waste, health, and the environment prior to mealtimes, and then link the learnings to the school meals by talking about these topics during and in class after meals.
Before the meals, the teachers could for instance present the menu of the day and talk about the cultural origin of the specific meal or explain how the school meal, in general, relates to the sustainable development goals (SDGs). This could then during the meals be followed up by the teachers speaking about the benefits of the school meal and encouraging the pupils to take responsibility for their own health and the environment through their choice of food. After the meals when the pupils were back in the classroom, the teachers could ask the pupils what they thought about the meal or if any questions came up during the meal that they would like to discuss.
In Austria, a 2-stage workshop format was created, where together with teachers, pupils and Michelin-star chefs the reasons, impacts and solutions for food waste were presented and discussed.
In the first step, input was given by researchers from the Austrian Institute of Ecology about the amounts of food waste created by our food value chains from farmers to consumers. The presentation also gave information on the shares of the different value-chain actors, the anchoring of food waste in the United Nations SDGs, and possible solutions for food waste.
In the second step the teachers, pupils, and researchers, led by a professional chef, tried to cook as much food as possible out of a set grocery basket while wasting as little as possible. The activity spurred discussion on reasons for and everyday solutions to food waste. The workshop ends with a shared lunch where the activities and inputs can be recapitulated and general questions can be asked.