Through EarthFriends we educate children and families about the connections among health, personal behavior, and the environment. We offer sessions out in the field and also at the EarthFriends’ Food Education Laboratory at Teachers College. Established in the 1970s, EarthFriends’ classes engage participants in activities that explore the whole story of food.

Through EarthFriends students:

  • Discover what food systems are and how they work through exploring how food is grown, transported, processed, and packaged
  • Investigate how our food choices influence the health of our body systems and of the environment
  • Cook with local ingredients and sharing a meal
  • Learn about sustainability through composting and eating zero-waste meals

Initially funded by the Schneider Foundation, some of the groups currently participating in EarthFriends sessions are:

Harlem RBI
Since January 2006, students who participate in Harlem RBI’s REAL Kids program have EarthFriends sessions where they experience: preparing and eat vegetables and whole grains dishes; developing basic cooking skills; exploring why healthful food choices are important; and creating action plans to move their own eating habits toward health.

Harlem Ivy
Since September 2010, students from the Teachers College Office of Community and School Partnership’s Harlem Ivy Program in after-school activities at the EarthFriends Food Education Laboratory. Students grow food; cook meals with locally sourced ingredients; compost food scraps; and discover how they can navigate the food environment in their neighborhoods so they can make more healthful food choices.

New York City Public Schools
Students from pre-kindergarten through high school come to the EarthFriends Food Education Laboratory where they experience, “The Whole Story of Food.” They grow and harvest food; cook appetizers, entrees, and desserts; learn about our food system, including why and how we transport, process, and package food; and investigate the environmental consequences of this system. Students go home motivated and with the skills to make food choices that will be healthful for their own bodies and the planet.