- Describe the effect of ripping salad versus cutting
- Describe the health benefits of antioxidants
One of the greatest books available for the budding Modern Steader is Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson. She presents a ton of useful tips for those looking to create optimal health from their efforts in the kitchen. Many of her tips are dead simple. For example, ripping salad greens the day before eating them quadruples the antioxidant content. Who knew!
The way we prepare our food has more to do with nutritional value than we know. And what is becoming clear is that the way we’ve been doing things – harvesting, spraying, and shipping across the country – is anything but optimal.
Basic care and consideration during the preparation of a meal can make a world of difference in its overall quality, both nutritionally and in terms of flavor.
Tools & Materials
- Garden shears
- Cold water
- Resealable plastic bags
- Paper towels
- Cellular level
- Ethylene gas
Introduction (10 minutes)
Begin the lesson with the question “Can vegetables increase their nutritional content AFTER harvest?” Then provide the class with an overview of the process that takes place when salad is ripped. Discuss what happens in vegetables when they are cut.
Have the Students harvest salad greens from the Lab, prep them by washing and soaking in cold water, drying completely with a salad spinner or towel, and then ripping the greens into bite-size pieces. Place the dry greens in a large resealable plastic bag along with a dry paper towel and squeeze out as much air as possible without damaging the greens. Using a needle, poke 10-20 holes in the bag and place in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
Discussion (10 minutes)
Is there a similarity between how salad and the human body reacts to injury? How is it the same? Why does the plant create new antioxidants? Why do we poke holes in the plastic bag to store the greens? What does ethylene gas do to vegetables?
Assessment (5 minutes)
Use the following questions to assess the Students before and after the lesson. Tally the responses of the group in the Assessment Tracking Log for comparison:
- Do you think vegetables can increase their nutritional content AFTER harvest?
- Now that you know that some vegetables can increase their nutritional content after harvest, how many of you think you could explain the process to someone else?
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