Does drinking calcium-fortified orange juice help counteract exposure to lead? Which provides more protection from chemicals in food, whole foods or supplements? How might we find out? The Fighting With Food: Battling Chemical Toxicity with Good Nutrition project offers a wealth of inquiry-based curricula that allows middle and high school students and their teachers to explore these questions and much more. Four large topic areas contain interrelated classroom lessons combining student background readings, graphic inquiry stories, hands-on investigations and food-tasting experiences. These are as follow.
1. Chemicals, Poisons, and Toxicants, Oh My! — An introduction to environmental toxicants and their effects, including endocrine disruption and epigenetic effects.
2. Get the Lead Out — How calcium in the diet can minimize the impact of lead exposure.
3. Power Pills? — Deciding whether whole foods or supplements provide better protection from environmental toxicants.
4. Super Colors — How anthocyanin-rich foods protect us from the effects of PCB exposure.
The beauty of the resulting products is that students and teachers acquire knowledge about unhealthy chemicals that can be found in foods, and which foods might be used to mitigate harmful effects. Further, students have real science, chemistry, and health sciences experiences which include understanding laboratory procedures.