SIATech San Diego Food Processing Project

Students having fun with the Food Processing Project at SIATech San Diego.
SIATech San Diego Students getting excited about the Food Processing Project.

SIATech San Diego Charter School conducted another interesting project that focused on the evolution of food processing. The project touched up on subjects like:

  • GMOs
  • Evolution/vestigial traits
  • Fermentation
  • The green revolution
  • The ice trade
  • Refrigerators/CFCs/acid rain
  • Food invention order
  • And more
SIATech San Diego Food Processing Project. Students Kimchi


All of these topics were expanded into content for specific core subjects. The most obvious tie ins are with history and science.

The Evolution of Food Processing

Students were asked to discuss and brainstorm the progression food processing, which is the transformation of raw ingredients, by physical or chemical means, into food or into other forms of food. Students found that the first form of food processing was fire and occurred over 1.8 Million years ago. The cooking of food acted as a form of "pre-digestion", allowing less energy to be used digesting food. On the other hand, raw food requires substantially more energy to get the necessary calories humans need. These changes in humans diets are what caused the evolution of the human skull.

Genetically Modified Food (GMOs)

Genetically Modified Food (GMOs) has been a hot topic and sparked conversation during this lesson. Students were shocked that most of the food they consume has been modified using this method. The fisrt GMO product was introduced in 1994, the "FlavR Savr" delayed-ripening tomato, from Calgene. GMOs are now used in all sorts of crops to mazimize qualities (size, color, seedless, ect), resistence to pesticides, ect. Students and staff had a debate over whether or not GMO food should be labeled.

After the lesson, students were given the chance to experiment food processing first hand. They were able to reflect on their findings with Q & A session. As a demonstration of lactic acid fermentation, students made kimchi from scratch and will opened at the end of the year celebration. The kids (and adults) all had a great time with this project.

Students learning about Food Processing. SIATech San Diego
SIATech San Diego student making Kimchi for food processing project.
Students making Kimchi for their last day celebration
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