Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Global Food Challenge?
The Global Food Challenge is a competition designed to encourage curiosity and problem-solving in high school students. Students will perform research and create a finished writing product based on materials they learn from the Global Food curriculum series.
What is the Global Food curriculum series?
The Global Food curriculum series is a set of 4 different curriculum units that focus on different issues in the global food system and is designed to be used alongside the competition program.
The four different curriculum units are:
The Economics of Food Markets
Learn basic concepts of supply, demand, and price determination through market simulations.
The Economics of World Food Trade
Explore comparative advantage, specialization, currency exchange, and trade benefits/barriers through hands-on lessons.
The Economics of Food Security
Examine how public policies impact critical issues of hunger, famine, and nutrition through activities designed to engage multiple learning styles and backgrounds.
The Economics of Food Safety
Dive deep into cost/benefit analysis, risk management, and regulations as you see how economics impacts the safety of food on your plate.
You can request the FREE curriculum by clicking here.
If I want to use the curriculum, do I need to also do the competition?
No, you do not need to participate in the Global Food Challenge in order to receive the curriculum. The student competition is designed to engage students in the topics discussed in the curriculum, and so we hope that the program could help foster student interest in global food issues, but it's not required.
Who is eligible to compete? How many teams can I register?
All Minnesota teachers qualify for their students to enter the competition.
Teachers may submit no more than 2 student or team entries in each unit.
How does the Global Food Challenge work?
If you're interested in participating in the Global Food Challenge, you can request the free curriculum by clicking here.
Using the curriculum in the classroom, have students identify topics they would be interested in learning more about through research. Students will select a topic, complete a paper, and then submit their entry before the deadline using our online form.
The curriculum includes references to submitting worksheets and other materials; these are not necessary. Use the project rubric & the prompts listed in the FAQ to determine what needs to be submitted.
Prompts for Research Paper - New 2023!
Economics of Food Markets
Select a food item or agricultural product and describe how its price has changed over the past 12 months in the global marketplace. Explain the source(s) of those changes and describe the impact of price changes on producers and consumers of that good.
Discuss how policies to ration or limit water use impact food production and prices. Would these have the same, less, or greater impact than if water use was limited by the market?
Economics of World Food Trade
Potatoes are grown in many countries around the world, but originated in the Andes Mountains where they are now protected by Peruvian law. If the potatoes grown in Peru are unique varietals, does their cultivation qualify as economic specialization or are these potatoes a different good which would not be traded in the same market as a potato grown in Idaho? Defend your position with economic evidence.
Is a country ever justified in altering the value of its currency relative to another state in order to facilitate the importation of food? Defend your position with economic and/or historical evidence.
Some in the United States have called for greater trade barriers, including on agricultural and food products, which frequently lead to reciprocal trade penalties on US exports of similar products. Using a single food item or agricultural product as an example, how do these trade barriers benefit or harm producers and consumers and are those impacts justified? Defend your position with economic and/or historical evidence.
How does the rise in products with PDO status (protected designation of origin) affect global markets and food trade?
Economics of Food Security
As the global climate changes, impacting the location and quality of arable land in many countries, should nations prioritize altering the nutritional and dietary preferences of their citizens or should nations prioritize altering their agricultural practices? Defend your position with economic evidence.
With the recent military conflict in Ukraine disrupting global supplies of cereals and grains, and leaving millions without a reliable source of staple foodstuffs, discuss how nations might better prevent such supply shocks through public policies. Analyze the impact of your proposed policy and defend it with economic examples and research.
Do genetically modified crops, such as those engineered to be pest-resistant or chemically-resistant, have a role to play in preventing future food crises or will these modifications make the food supply less stable in the future as threats adapt more quickly to target engineered crops? Defend your position with economic evidence.
Many communities throughout the United States lack access to fresh produce or groceries, a phenomenon known as ‘food deserts’. Analyze how programs such as SNAP can function in environments such as these and discuss alternative policies that could achieve more effective or sustainable impacts given any challenges you identify.
Economics of Food Safety
Select a food safety standard applied by the USDA and discuss why that standard is necessary and would not be achieved by the market independent of government action. Defend your position with economic and/or historical evidence.
Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel The Jungle is credited by many with helping to bring about a revolution in America’s food safety standards. How will new technology and new media shape the landscape of risk management practices in food production for both consumers and producers? Are all these changes beneficial? Defend your position with economic and/or historical evidence.
Would food products be safer if there were a greater number of producing firms in the marketplace? Defend your position with economic and/or historical evidence.
What are the rules of the Global Food Challenge?
Students must complete projects individually or in a team of no more than 3 individuals.
All papers must be submitted by the deadline to be considered for prizes. The deadline for each year's competition is in the spring and can be found on the calendar.
All papers will be scored using the submission rubric, with some points reserved to judges for style and other qualitative measures. The curriculum includes references to submitting worksheets and other materials; these are not necessary. Use the project rubric & the prompts listed in the FAQ to determine what needs to be submitted.
No more than two students or teams per teacher may be entered into the competition for a given unit.
How much does it cost to participate?
All materials for, and submissions to, the Global Food Challenge are free to both students and teachers.
When is the competition?
Submission Accepted: January 1 - April 30, 2023.
How do I submit entries into the competition?
Entries should be submitted using the online form. Note: Teachers will need to know student address for mailing the prize money if the student's paper wins in their category. All submitted materials should meet the standards laid out in the submission rubric and rules.
The below forms are due after submission:
Teacher & Student Evaluation: shorturl.at/inryz
Student Participant Form: shorturl.at/ruCM0
What happens if my student's project is selected?
For each unit, the top two students/teams and their teachers will receive cash prizes for their submissions.
Fist Place Student/Team: $200
Second Place Student/Team: $100
Winning Teacher: $100 (maximum of one cash prize per teacher)
Outstanding projects may be displayed on our website. See previous projects here.