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Science and Our Food Supply

Free Supplementary Curriculum for Middle Level and High School Classrooms

What captures the interest of students? FOOD! Yes, food can be used to engage students in inquiry-based science — really!

The Science and Our Food Supply Teacher Guides are challenging hands-on, minds-on activities that link food safety and nutrition to students' everyday lives. They are crafted in a teacher-friendly modular format that easily fit into science, health, and other classes.

Choose from these topics:

Food Safety

Science and Our Food Supply: Investigating Food Safety from Farm to Table (2014 Edition)

FDA, in collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), created Science and Our Food Supply: Investigating Food Safety from Farm to Table, an innovative, interactive supplementary curriculum for use in middle level and high school science classes. An advisory board of experienced teachers just like you developed and tested the materials.

Food safety has become an important national focus. Each year, approximately one sixth of the U. S. population has mild to severe illnesses caused by pathogens in food — and more than 3,000 people die from them. Learning food safety science will enable your students to better understand decisions and practices that may affect their personal health. It will encourage them to step up to the plate and take an active role in preventing foodborne illness.

Science and Our Food Supply Teacher GuidesThis curriculum is linked to current education standards. 

In each guide you’ll find in-depth activities and labs covering this broad range of topics:

  • Bacteria, including Foodborne Pathogens
  • Proper food storage and handling
  • Pasteurization Technology
  • The Science of Cooking a Hamburger
  • DNA Fingerprinting
  • Outbreak Analysis

Food Safety Middle Level Guide (PDF 8MB)  Food Safety High School Guide (PDF 8MB)


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Additional Program Components

Dr. X and the Quest for Food Safety Interactive Video

  • Features a savvy food scientist (Dr. X) and student (Tracy) who introduce and reinforce the science concepts in the activities and experiments
  • Students will get the inside scoop on emerging microbes: how they live, grow, and s-p-r-e-a-d!
  • Explores behind-the-scenes research in laboratories and the latest food safety technologies that affect the foods we eat
  • Meet real-life scientists working in a variety of food science careers 

Food Safety A to Z Reference Guide   

  • The most current, comprehensive food science information in an easy-to-use alphabetical format
  • Need-to-know practices for handling, preparing, cooking, and serving food
  • Insider interviews with real-life scientists
  • Tips, fun facts, and answers to your most frequently asked food safety questions

Careers in Food Science

So you want to be a scientist? Learn all about what it takes to make it happen by checking out these exciting interviews! Professionals working in a variety of food safety careers tell all about their jobs and scientific discoveries, and reveal their secrets for success.

Lose a Million (Bacteria) Game

"Lose a Million (Bacteria)" is a fun game based on the popular TV game show, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." The game begins with a million bacteria. The object of the game is to lose bacteria.  


Science and Our Food Supply: Using the Nutrition Facts Label to Make Healthy Food Choices (2017 Edition)

Nutrition High School GuideWhen it comes to making science, consumer sciences, and health relevant for your students, what better way than to apply it to something that’s part of their everyday lives? Food gives you an ideal springboard for introducing the science that is at the heart of nutrition and exploring the impact that daily food and beverage choices can have on overall health.

This nutrition-based curriculum introduces students to the fundamentals of healthy food choices, using the Nutrition Facts label as the starting point, and may be used separately or in conjunction with the food safety curriculum. With engaging hands-on activities, students will become aware of calories, serving size, and the nutrients to get “more of” and “less of.” Designed for use by middle level and high school teachers, the emphasis is on an inquiry approach that is customizable to science, health, and/or family and consumer science classes, aligning with current education standards in these curriculum areas.

Your students will learn about:

  • Using the Nutrition Facts Label
  • Serving Size and Calories
  • Sugar in Beverages
  • Sodium in Snack Foods
  • Meal Planning
  • Healthy Eating Away from Home

Nutrition Middle Level Guide (PDF 5MB) Nutrition High School Guide (PDF 5MB)