Volume 11 (2019)
Benkowitz, Schulz & Lindemann-Matthies: The Impact of Gardening Experiences on Children’s Intake of Vegetables
Authors: Dorothee Benkowitz, Stephanie Schulz, Petra Lindemann-Matthies
Abstract: Fruit and vegetable consumption plays an important role in a healthy diet to prevent nutritional diseases. Nutritionists therefore recommend the intake of five portions of mixed fruit and vegetables a day, excluding potatoes and including only one portion of fruit juice. Research suggests that children’s daily intake of vegetables is lower than recommended, and that garden-based nutrition programmes can foster children’s vegetable consumption and nutrition behaviour. In Germany, however, little is known about primary-school children’s knowledge and intake of vegetables. The current study aimed to investigate children’s knowledge of common vegetables (identification test), their preferences for vegetables, and whether knowledge and preferences were associated with gardening experiences. We presented different vegetables to children (n = 119, mean age = 8.4 years) and asked them about their knowledge, their eating habits and experiences in growing vegetables. The results showed that almost a third of the children correctly identified more than a half of the vegetables presented and also liked to eat them. About 44% of the children enjoyed eating vegetables in general, an answer given nearly twice as often by girls than boys. Experiences in growing vegetables had a positive effect on the intake of vegetables. Although further research is needed, our findings suggest that gardening experiences can foster knowledge and consumption of vegetables, and thus contribute to healthy nutrition behaviour.
Dulluri, Anvita & Raț, Daniela: The Green-Green Dilemma. Reconciling the conflict between Renewable Energy and Biodiversity
Authors: Anvita Dulluri, Daniela Raț
Abstract: With the steady aggravation of the climate crisis, the agenda of climate change has become a central preoccupation of governments across the world. The urgent need to drastically reduce dependence on fossil fuels by transitioning to renewable energy sources was globally recognized as a crucial step to control emissions. The European Union, with its robust legal framework under the Renewable Energy Directive of 2009 and its ambitious 2020 target, played an exemplary role in building consensus on the need to adopt alternate energy sources. However, as member nations of the EU seek to pursue their individual 2020 targets by harnessing greater “green” energy potential, an increasing number of such projects are being sanctioned in areas protected under the Birds and Habitats Directives, demonstrating an emerging conflict between renewable energy policies and biodiversity conservation in the EU. In this paper, the contradiction manifesting between renewable energy and biodiversity policies is examined through illustrative cases of renewable energy developments, with a particular focus on hydro and wind power projects undertaken by the member nations of the EU. It argues for a need to adopt a cohesive approach towards the twin environmental concerns of climate change and biodiversity. The paper attempts to initiate critical discussion on how the goals of green energy transition may be aligned with the targets of biodiversity conservation without one environmental issue overriding the other.
Mohneke, Benze & Schlüter: Assessing the “box for small natural scientists” regarding gain of species knowledge of pre-school children
Authors: Meike Mohneke, Anna Benze, Kirsten Schlüter
Abstract: Children’s perception of nature influences their attitudes towards conservation and the development of an environmental consciousness in general. Awareness for diversity, which implies knowledge of biodiversity, ecosystems, and species, is highly important in this sense and should be supported from early age on. The researchers’ box for small natural scientists promotes nature experiences in early childhood education. It encourages children to get to know the species in their surroundings. Herein we present the outcome of a study investigating the gain of knowledge achieved by the use of the researcher’s box. Children who have worked with the researcher’s box during one year showed better performances in identifying plant and animal species and knowing of additional native species in particular. The intensity in which the tool was used only had a minor effect on the children’s capability to identify species. We concluded that the researcher’s box is a valuable tool because it stimulates an overall exchange about and examination of native species and thus leads to better species knowledge of pre-school children.