National Wildlife Federation: Sea-going Supermarket Hike

Even if you live miles from the sea, its products are as close as your nearest store.

A class visit to the market is a good way to learn about the oceans’ resources and how important the oceans
are in our everyday lives.

1. Inform the grocery store you will be bringing your group for a visit.
2. Brainstorm with class members the kinds of ocean products they can
expect to find. List these products and classify them into groups such as
food items, non-food items, animal classes (fishes, mollusks) Some examples are: fish (tuna, salmon, halibut, flounder); mollusks (clam, oyster, squid,
scallop); crustaceans (lobster, crab, shrimp); mammals; seaweed (kelp –
derivatives used in salad dressing and ice cream). Students could also
look at non-food items such as kelp (fertilizer, paint, medicine); Irish moss
(cosmetics) ; abalone (buttons, jewelry); sea shells (jewelry and building
Discussion Questions
1. What position in the marine food web do most of the seafood creatures occupy? Could we make better use of the sea’s resources by eating animals and plants that occupy lower positions on the food web?
2. How many of these sea products do you use regularly? Sometimes? Never?
3. What other ocean products do people worldwide eat and use?
4. What countries other than the U.S. produce many seafood products? check frozen seafood and specialty labels.)
5. Algin, which is extracted from kelp, is used in many foods as an emulsifier. Look closely at food labels to find out what products contain algin.
There are many other commercial uses for seaweeds. How many can you find?
6. Check current periodicals and newspapers to learn about issues relating to some products you might find in stores. For example, what is the relationship between tuna fishing and porpoises; between pollution from
toxic chemicals and seafood like clams?

Grade Level:

Science Topics
Conservation & Sustainability, Food Science, Oceanography
K-6, Middle School, Educator
5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade
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