On Monday, July 7, 2019, four Meiji Gakuin students participated in the “Food Loss and Agriculture Experience”, a program planned by the Minato Eco-Conscious Consortium (mecc) executive office with Meiji Gakuin University as coordinator.
The program was held on a farm in Sanmu, Chiba Prefecture, that grows organically cultivated corn and other products. In addition to the Meiji Gakuin students, people from companies associated with mecc participated together with their children.
The program seems to have been a valuable experience for students, an opportunity to come into direct contact with food loss management methods now in practice. As an example, a farm manager explained how food waste from a large izakaya chain is turned into compost to enrich soil, and vegetables are then cultivated from that soil to be served at the izakaya.
Ms. Miho Koga, participant (Senior year, Department of Law)
“Last month I did teacher training at my old school and gave a lesson about food loss. Participating in this program made me think I could have given a more vivid lesson if I’d learned about farmers’ perspective and thinking beforehand. I’d like to make use of this experience in the future. On the farm I had a chance to pick corn, carrots, and water spinach. The just-picked corn tasted like sweet milk. At lunchtime we ate organic vegetables served on top of curry. All the vegetables were the best I’ve ever tasted. In the afternoon, they showed us the soil. It was very warm and I could feel the life in it. The farm manager even ate some of that soil, I was really surprised.”
The university will continue to develop activities in which students can directly experience environment-related programs.