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Before We Eat - 2017 ALW Book

Written by Pat Brisson, Illustrated by Mary Azarian

The 2017 Ag Literacy book, "Before We Eat: From Farm to Table", illustrates that our food doesn’t just appear in our refrigerator or on our table.  Before we eat, many people must work very hard-planting grains, tending animals, and filling crates.  Through a simple poem thanking the people who grow, transport, sell and prepare our food, readers find out what must happen before food can get to our table to nourish our bodies.

"With beguiling illustrations and a lovely spare text, this book will inspire  conversations with young children about the origins of their food and start them on the path to being caring stewards of the environment."

- Anne K. Fishel, Ph.D., Co-founder, The Family Dinner Project,
Associate Clinical Professor, Harvard Medical School


The theme of farm to table is an exciting and appropriate theme for our inaugural PA Ag Literacy Week, as it in inclusive of all aspects of food production.  Incorporating seven different agricultural commodities from Pennsylvania, it allowed Volunteer Readers the opportunity to connect the book to their farms and agricultural experiences.  Showing workers both on and off the farm, illustrated to students the number of people and hard work it takes to provide the food on their plate.

Volunteer Lesson Plan
Instructions for hands-on activity connected to Before We Eat:  From Farm to Table.

Vocabulary Quizlet
Use this online resource to teach or review vocabulary found in the book.

Extension Lessons 
Use these lessons to expand your student knowledge on each of these agricultural commodities highlighted in Before We Eat:  From Farm to Table: