Their flavor-filled testing occurred as they traveled from room-to-room in the third-grade wing at Lee. In each room, teachers presented a brief history of a different food item from the state. Many students agreed their favorite was the Little Caesar’s pizza and the Hudsonville ice cream.
Many were surprised by the flavor of the Gerber baby food tests and agreed “it’s not bad” as they licked the baby food samples out of mini paper cups.
Mrs. Gavette, a third-grade teacher, related her experience driving a pea combine as one of her summer jobs. The peas, she said, were harvested throughout the state and shipped directly to Gerber.
Students not only learned about how some of these products came to be, but also a little about Michigan’s agricultural diversity. Michigan ranks sixth in the nation in spearmint production. The spearmint is used as many added flavors including gum.
Many students already knew that Michigan is a leading producer of apples, blueberries and cherries and enjoyed some sweet fruit treats as part of the lesson. Honey and maple syrup are also large industries for the state.
Other products students learned about that are made in Michigan included El Matador chips, Garden Fresh salsa, Kellogg and Post cereals and breakfast bars, and O-Ke-Doke popcorn.
The lesson was paired with the state’s 183rd birthday celebration. Michigan became the 26th state on Jan. 26, 1837.