Root-to-stem youth cooking classes

This solution was shared by PRE-LAUNCH RESEARCH TEAM , 14 May 2021

Print date: 12 April 2024 22:43

Description of the innovative solution

Community building Education - adult Education - youth Information/communication Waste Consumer choice Local garden Diet diversity Food literacy Fats - sugars - salts Behavior change Perishable food Capacity building Tuft's Innovation Lab

Youth in developing contexts are at risk of further food insecurity if they do not possess cooking skills, especially those tailored to utilize local food sources safely and efficiently. This innovation proposes training youth on how to use and maximize ingredients they have at their disposal for more nutrient-rich, flavorful dishes, also focusing on minimizing food waste. Partnerships with culinary organizations could further enhance this innovation, and focusing on root-to-stem––a cooking practice that uses all edible parts of produce––and nose-to-tail––using the whole animal–– can positively impact food waste. Cooking and nutrition education for children and adults around the world may improve the nutrition and health outcomes of communities of all incomes. Root-to-stem youth cooking classes has been shown to help kids learn to love cooking and consuming fresh, nutrient-dense food into adulthood and reduce their chances of diet-related diseases.

Supply chain segment

Educational, outreach and empowerment aspects

Maturity level



Food safety Food desirability Climate adaptation Water use

SDG target

SDG 2: Zero Hunger SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being SDG 4: Quality Education


Urban Peri-urban Rural Marine/Coastal

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Additional resources

Learn more about this solution through studies, articles, business cases, and other information

Can teaching kids to cook make them healthier later in life?
News article, popular press or blog post
New research suggests that learning how to cook as a young person leads to better eating practices—and better health—later in life
Article on how home economics classes can teach kids to reduce food waste.
News article, popular press or blog post
Article with quotes from people who work in food waste-related industries on consumer food waste and the benefits of youth nutrition education in reducing it.


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