Where does our food come from?

Sarah Doherty teamed with artist Jean Duncan to create a Beans on Toast Roadshow. The idea was to use this well known dish to get primary age children to understand and think more of where their food comes from (other than a tin, tub and a packet).

Sarah and Jean tried it out through two visits to Wormit Primary School in Fife. The roadshow was based on, first, a good story that most people can relate to; second, hands-on art and craft; and third, a reward in the form of a meal – yes, B on T.

Here are some examples of their visit to Wormit Primary. If you click on an image, a larger one will open in a new tab.

The show began with a presentation on the range of crops that make up the meal and then the water and energy used in growing the crops and washing and processing the materials.

The children were then encouraged to make life-history diagrams showing how the crops were produced and then how the ingredients were processed to get the meal on the table. Four of the charts they made are on this page.

Most of the children (though not all) depicted the beans as individuals. Even within a tin, the beans were still visible in some drawings.


Jean also worked with the childred to produce paintings and drawings of things that interested them in the story. Here are some examples.


Jean Duncan is artist in Residence at CECHR The Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience based at the University of Dundee

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