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Supported by WWF

Tomato journey

Embark on the journey of the humble tomato and learn more about how far our food travels to get to our stomachs.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • Chalk
  • Bucket(s)
  • Scissors
  • Printout of the tomato journey food facts sheet
  • A sheet or blanket
  • Hula hoop
  • Netting
  • A plank
  • Soft floor mat
  • Spray bottle filled with water
Tomato journey food facts
PDF – 139.0KB

Before you begin

  1. The person leading the activity should use scissors to cut out the food facts from the ‘tomato journey food facts’ sheet.
  2. The person leading the activity should set up an obstacle course for the group. The course should have ten separate obstacles, like the journey of a tomato, for the group to try and get past. Place a food fact cut-out next to each obstacle. The person leading the activity should keep the ‘Bin’ card.
  3. Here is an example of a course you could lay out with the equipment:
    • First, lay down the sheet or blanket
    • Second, lay down the hula-hoop
    • Third, lay down the soft floor mat
    • Fourth, lay down the bucket and spray bottle
    • Fifth, make a tunnel from a row of tables or chairs
    • Sixth, mark out a road with chalk
    • Seventh, lay down the plank
    • Eighth, lay out the net
    • Ninth, mark the end of the course with chalk.

Run the activity

  1. The person leading the activity should ask the group what they know about the food industry. Find out what the members of the group know about where food comes from, how far it travels and how it gets from producers to us.
  2. The person leading the activity should invite members of the group to begin the obstacle course set out for them. Each person should take on the course one at a time. The person leading the activity should explain that each person who attempts the course will be following the path taken by a tomato from a grower to a shop. Everyone should watch the first person, who will need to be told what to do at each obstacle.
  3. Here are the obstacle instructions for our example course:

    • The seed is planted - crawl under the sheet or blanket.
    • The plant grows - stand in the hula-hoop and lift it over your head.
    • The tomato is picked before being ripe - roll on the soft floor mat.
    • The tomato is sprayed with chemicals - spray into the bucket three times.
    • The tomato is stored - crawl under the row of chairs or tables.
    • The tomato is moved by road - run up the chalk road.
    • The tomato is moved by sea - walk along the plank.
    • The tomato is packaged and stored again - crawl under the net.
    • The tomato arrives at the supermarket - jump on the final fact card.
  4. As the group take turns to try the course, the person leading the activity should stop a person every few turns and hold up the ‘Bin’ card. Read out the fact on the ‘Bin’ card and explain that they have been thrown away. That person must return to the start again.
  5. Keep playing until all of the group have completed the course.

 

Reflection

The group has just completed an obstacle course that represents the journey of a tomato. Did they find it challenging to complete the course? How much energy do they think it might take to move a tomato to the shop in this way?

The course has shown the group just how many miles food has to travel, as well as the processes it has to go through. Given what they now know, how will they think about food in the future? Will they try to buy less and waste less, and will they look at other sources of food?

Safety

Scissors

Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people

Poles and long objects

Be careful when moving poles or long items. Take care if the ends are sharp. Have appropriate supervision for this activity.

Heavy and awkward objects

Don’t lift or move heavy or awkward items without help. Break them down into smaller parts if possible.

Sharp objects

Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

Active games

The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed.

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.