We are lucky to have such an inspired group of parents at our school, most especially when they become the experts for the day and bring their passions to school. Today, Peter the chef presented yet another amazing addition to our curriculum of learning about food and food as a building block of community: butchering a pig. We’ve found important lessons in exploring food, where it comes from, what responsibility we have to food that comes from sustainable farms. This year, Peter brought a pig that was bigger than the one butchered last year. Not only that, but the kids were able to get up close and personal with the pig and explored the animal through all five senses (tasted after cooking, of course).
Peter gave a brief anatomy lesson, using the human body as a comparison and asking the kids to feel their own muscles and bones to see where there are similarities between humans and pigs.
We talked about respect for the animal that gave its life so we could eat and how important it is to know where our food comes from so that we can be sure that the animals were treated well during their lives.
And the explorations began!
We ate porchetta, polenta, and green salad for lunch – YUM – and Peter and Bryan broke the interested kids into two groups to make sausage and proscuitto.
Lots of cutting, measuring, and math!
The experience of seeing an animal become the familiar links of sausage or pork on a plate is extremely important for kids – and adults! – to witness and be a part of, and brings incredible awareness to how food is made to the forefront of their knowledge of the world. Do you like meat because you don’t know where it comes from? Can you handle seeing the whole animal before it becomes a meal? It’s also amazing to see just how much food comes from a 140-pound pig… we’ll be using that meat for weeks.