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Fruits From Afar Relay

It takes a lot of energy to transport fruit from far away to our grocery stores. The fruits that are grown close to home don’t need as much energy to get into our shopping bags. To conserve energy (oil, gas, electricity, etc.) and reduce our carbon dioxide output, it’s more sustainable to buy produce from local farmers and markets.

For example, a kiwi from New Zealand takes a truck to get to the coast. It then goes by boat or plane from New Zealand to Canada, takes a train to the grocery store distributor and takes another truck to your grocery store.

How far away are the fruits we eat?

  • Close: apples, pears, cranberries, cherries and blueberries (from B.C.)
  • Medium: oranges, lemons and grapefruit (from Brazil or California), bananas (from Central America)
  • Far: pineapples (from Southeast Asia), mangos (from India and China), kiwis (from New Zealand.)

Objectives

  • Identify several major fruit-producing countries.

  • Describe some advantages of buying local fruit.

Materials

  • Per Class:
    3 bins labelled ‘close, medium and far’
    paper, cut into small squares
    felts or pencil crayons
    2 shopping bags
    open area (gym or field)

Key Questions

  • Why do some fruit only grow in some locations?
  • How can we eat locally grown fruit even in the winter?

What To Do

Preparation

  1. Create an assortment of fruit cards (small paper squares with images of various fruits), with a total of at least 10 close, 10 medium, and 10 far fruits.
  2. Place the three bins so that they are spread apart, one being close to the starting line, one being a short distance away, and the third being farther away from the starting line.

Relay Game

  1. Divide the class into two teams and have them line up behind the starting line.
  2. Place a shopping bag filled with the fruit cards in front of each team.
  3. At the start signal, each team can send one student at a time (relay style) to pick out a fruit card and put it in the bin they think the fruit comes from (close, medium or far).
  4. Go over each team’s selection as a group and discuss common misconceptions about where fruits are grown and how far they have been transported.

Extensions

  • Correlate this activity with the resource Map Your Fruit. Discuss how many fruits are available locally at different times of the year.