Aquaculture America 2021

August 11 - 14, 2021

San Antonio, Texas


Lance E. Beecher* and Kimberly A. Baker
Clemson Extension Service
Clemson University
Clemson, SC 29634

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2013 to 2014, over 20% of adolescents aged 12 to 19 years old were obese and also reported in their 2018 State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables that only 2% of American adolescents meet the current vegetable r ecommendation.  Information on food consumption patterns reveals that children and adolescents will consume more than  the  average of particular foods when they have participated in growing and/or preparing the food. School gardening is not a new concept for teaching children about food production and encouraging consumption of more fresh fruits and vegetables. However, teaching concepts of sus tainable agriculture is an emerging concept and is embraced because it promotes conservation of natural resources. An example of sustainable agriculture is aquaponics which is a system that produces both fish and plants. Aquaponics and nutrition education in the classroom may be an effective intervention strategy to use with adolescents, which provides the opportunity for hands-on learning about nutrition, food safety, food production and sustainable agricultural practices and may in turn increase consumption of vegetables, particularly those grown in an aquaponics system. The goals of this project were to: 1) increase nutritional knowledge and consumption of leafy green vegetables; 2) enhance good handling practices and food safety during production and preparation; and 3) promote South Carolina agriculture and sustainable production practices.