Minneapolis school teaches kids about the origins of their food

A Minneapolis school is bringing the farm to the city in an effort to help families get a better idea of where their food comes from.

The kids had the chance to taste the fruits of their labor all while learning something new Wednesday at a barbecue. 

The kids got to meet the farmers who raised their hot dog meat and grew the apples in their apple sauce.

The district is celebrating its commitment to serving kids real food that also happens to be grown in their backyard.

Sometimes playing with food is the best way to get the wheels turning.

“Do you understand where food comes from?” Nicole Pearlstein, a parent, asked a student at the barbecue. 

These parents joined their kids in a hands-on farm-to-table lesson.

“I think she understands that food grows in the ground or on trees or comes from animals but I don’t think she…because we don’t grow food, we’re not farmers,” Pearlstein said.

That’s why the Minneapolis School District brings in the farmers themselves to do all the explaining.

“The kids really get to see the full circle,” said Rae Rusnack, of L&R Poultry and Produce. “They get to see where the food comes from, who is growing it. They get to see some of the economy and business of it.”

For the past seven years, Minneapolis Public Schools have been incorporating as much local food into their lunch program as possible.

“I’m delivering this food and these kids have it on their lunch trays three or four days later,” Rusnack said.

Tonight, the group highlighted that commitment to small and mid-size Minnesota farms with a community barbecue.

“Sometimes we focus too much on ‘is this healthy for me’ just like a chocolate chip cookie was never meant to be a health food but what’s wrong with a cookie if it’s made with real wholesome ingredients,” said Bertrand Weber.

That's a lesson all kids can get behind.

Currently, one third of Minneapolis schools have student-run gardens. The produce from those gardens is served in the cafeteria. The district said it would love to expand and put gardens at every school.