Global Food Challenge

Global Food Challenge curriculum covers

The Global Food Challenge is an opportunity for your students to demonstrate their research, writing, economic knowledge, creativity, and problem-solving skills as either a classroom activity or independent research project. The Global Food Challenge is tied to MCEE's free Global Food curricula, exploring basic economics in the context of world food issues, including food markets, trade, security, and safety. Each unit includes active student activities, research, analysis, and a written project, and is aligned with Minnesota Academic Standards. The final project in each unit can be entered into a state competition for cash awards. In the Challenge, students explore issues such as: Who decides what food costs? Who benefits from sugar quotas? Is irradiated food safe to eat? Why do some countries experience famine while others don't?  

The Challenge's four units are: 

Basic Economics of Food Markets

Learn the basics of supply, demand, and price determination through market simulations and other fun activities.

Economics of World Food Trade

Explore comparative advantage, specialization, currency exchange, and benefits and barriers to trade through engaging, hands-on activities

Economics of Food Security

How do public policies impact critical issues of hunger, famine, and nutrition? Activities are designed for students with different learning styles and backgrounds, including new Americans. 

Economics of Food Safety

How does economics around the globe impact the safety of the food on our table? The impact of cost/benefit analysis, risk management, and government regulations are explored. 

How to participate

Request Materials

If you are new to the Global Food Challenge, request the free teacher and student guides. Once your request is processed, you will receive a PDF copy of the curriculum.

Submit Your Entries

Minnesota teachers are invited to submit up to two student entries in each Cargill Global Food Challenge unit to achieve recognition and earn financial awards. For each unit, the first place student will receive $200 and the second place student will receive $100. Teachers of award-winning students will receive $100. Winning entries are displayed on MCEE's website.

Please submit here (submission January 1 - May 15, 2020).  *Due to Covid-19 we are not requiring a paper copy. 

After submitting, please take a moment to fill out this brief and anonymous teacher & student survey about your experience with the GFC program along with the Teacher Participation Form & Student Participation Form.

Submission Rubric

Questions? Contact Angela Zappa at

Submissions for the 2020 Challenge: January 1 - May 15, 2020.

** MCEE is currently evaluating the impact of COVID-19 on the GFC program. If there are insufficient entries to the program to allow for competition, MCEE will contact teachers to communicate alternative methods for celebrating students' learning and hard work. **

Curriculum development for this program was funded by Cargill, the CHS Foundation, theCenter for International Food and Agricultural Policy - University of Minnesota, Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council, and Minnesota Ag in the Classroom.

Thank you to our 2019-20 Global Food Challenge sponsor AgriBank!