Nature and Body harvests its first crop

Food grown by the IP Institute project will benefit centers supporting vulnerable populations (Centros POP) Três Lagoas (MS)


With the work of students and teachers, the Joaquim Marques de Souza and Parque São Carlos schools, participants in the Nature and Body Project, harvested their first crop on October 6. Donations were delivered to the Municipal Social Assistance Secretariat of Três Lagoas, which will send the produce to Centros Pop, serving people living on the street.

In total, around seven kilos of produced was harvested, including: lettuce, arugula, chicory and spring onions, which will feed people served by programs through the city’s Social Assistance Secretariat.

The food was received by Vera Helena, the Social Assistance Secretary, at a special event at the Joaquim Marques de Souza school, which was attended by the students responsible for the harvest.

Nature and Body is one of the projects coordinated by International Paper Institute, aimed at preserving Brazilian food traditions.  The project uses vegetable gardens to encourage the adoption of healthier eating habits, with varied consumption of vegetables and leafy greens.

Nature and Body began in 2013 and started with gardens of herbs that were popularly known for their therapeutic properties. In 2016, the project evolved to implementation of gardens within the school environment. From the start, IIP has provided total support to set up the gardens.


UN program helps countries to meet nutrition goals

criança_alimentaçao saudavel

On April 1, 2016, in New York, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly established 2016 to 2025 as the Decade of Action on Nutrition. This measure recognizes the need to end hunger and prevent malnutrition in the world.

Early in the second half of 2017, the UN launched a work program with recommendations on global goals for fighting hunger and malnutrition. Created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the publication is aimed at facilitating concrete initiatives and the resulting implementation of commitments undertaken by countries.

To do this, there are six priority areas of action:

  • Resilient and sustainable systems for healthy diets;
  • Health systems with universal coverage of essential actions on nutrition;
  • Social protection and nutrition education;
  • Trade and investments to improve nutrition;
  • Healthy and supportive environments for nutrition at every age;
  • Stronger governance and accountability for nutrition.

The publication also recommends that countries adopt SMART goals, an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound,

Nutrition at IP Institute – In the city of Três Lagoas (MS), the Nature and Body project, coordinated by International Paper Institute, instills environmental awareness, within the concept of food sustainability and healthy eating.

When it began in 2013, the project brought back habits from past generations, such as the use of teas and infusions from plants with “therapeutic” properties. In 2015, the Joaquim Marques de Souza and Parque São Carlos schools began working to grow vegetables in collective gardens set up on the grounds of the schools.

Now, in 2017, the idea is to continue growing food, expanding the possibilities within the gardens at each school. The experience has been a success, so much so that students already reaped their first harvest in August.



Nature and Body enters a new phase and boosts production

Project began by planting vegetables at schools in Três Lagoas in 2016 and intends to expand production this year.

Alunos da Escola Municipal Joaquim Marques de Souza

Instilling environmental awareness, within the concept of food sustainability and healthy eating are some of the goals of the Nature and Body project, coordinated by International Paper Institute in the city of Três Lagoas (MS).

Since last year, the Joaquim Marques de Souza and Parque São Carlos schools have worked to grow vegetables in collective gardens set up on the grounds of the schools. In 2017, the project is taking another step to improve the production of the gardens. In the future, the aim is to think about distributing the food grown to the local community or even to other schools.

For the project to take on this dimension, greater involvement is needed from students and teachers to manage and maintain the gardens, which are also used in transdisciplinary content within classes on the regular curriculum.  This means that the gardens go beyond biology classes and enter into math problems with calculations of area, weights and measures, for instance.

From popular culture to collective gardening – Body and Nature was started in 2013 with the aim of spreading the customs of the Mato Grosso do Sul region. By building gardens of aromatic herbs, the Project was tapping into the habits of past generations, with the use of teas and infusions from plants with “therapeutic” properties.

In 2016, the project moved forward and began to grow vegetables. To learn about the production process, students visited a small farm. There they learned about how basic subsistence family farming works in practice.

This year, the idea is to continue to grow food, expanding the possibilities within the gardens at each school, in addition to using the harvest, which should bear excellent fruit.

Nature and Body end the year with healthy eating at school

Alunos da Escola Municipal Joaquim Marques de Souza (3)

Educating for a healthier lifestyle. This is the proposal that International Paper Institute uses to promote “Nature and Body” each year, a project aimed at providing schools in the municipality of Três Lagoas (MS) with a reflection on quality of life by implementing community gardens. This year’s edition, which started in the first semester, ended on November 21, at the Joaquim Marques de Souza School, and on November 22, at Escola Parque São Carlos over 1,600 students benefitted.

Teachers developed activities by relating them to contact with seedlings. That way students learned not only techniques for growing plants, but also applied classroom theory to day-to-day activities in the garden, through interdisciplinary practice.

An event was held at the end of the project, where stock was taken of the concepts taught to the young people along with the main lessons and exchanges. Students were also able to take part in a workshop, where they watched a play that covered two topics developed in the project: healthy eating and the history of coffee. In addition to interpretive activities, students were encouraged to propose improvements to the garden for the next year. After a vote, the best proposals will be put in practice in 2017.

From 2013 to 2015, the focus of “Nature and Body” was to reestablish popular customs in the Mato Grosso do Sul region, by growing aromatic herbs and showing how health, nature and traditions are interconnected and part of the culture of a people. However, this year the project took another step forward and brought planting of vegetables to the school, in an effort to encourage a more varied and nutritious diet, by bringing children and teens closer to contact with the earth.

The theme was chosen at a time when international organizations are discussing strategies for an environmentally sustainable and economically viable diet. So much so that 2016 was named by the United Nations (UN) as the International Year of Pulses. This is a way to call the world’s attention to creating public policies that encourage consumption of these foods.

Aware of the importance of discussing this theme within the academic environment, International Paper Institute has developed the issue of healthy eating along various lines in its projects, such as in the SEE (Social and Environmental Education Project) Literary and Essay Contest, leading students and educators to think about their own eating habits.




Nature and Body brings students to farming settlement

IIP project embraces production of vegetables and brings the garden to school

DCIM100GOPROGOPR1240. Students at “20 de março” farming settlement in Três Lagoas – Mato Grosso do Sul

Students at the Joaquim Marques and Parque São Carlos public schools in Três Lagoas (MS) visited the “20 de março” farming settlement on August 8 and 9, where they took an up-close look at produce farming for the 2016 edition of “Nature and Body.”

Since 2013, the project has promoted work to raise awareness of sustainability, with a focus on environmental preservation and on promoting a healthier life among public primary school students, by growing medicinal herbs at school. Yet this year, the project is taking another step by including produce farming, bringing the garden and soil care to the academic environment.

“The idea is to place all of these transversal themes of sustainability, health and preservation within the educational proposal at schools, developing continual work that gives students information beyond the basic school curriculum,” explains Gabriel Lima, a Social Responsibility Analyst at International Paper, which promotes the “Nature and Body” actions through International Paper Institute (IIP).

The project dives into the world of family farming and produce production with the aim of bringing discussions from the school to everyday practice. To do this, it was fundamental that the students be closer to the farmers in order to reproduce farming techniques at their schools. “The visit to the settlement was fantastic and not only taught them about the importance of caring for the soil, but also about issues such as perseverance and persistence, because the farmers told them about the challenges in achieving the area and getting the farm to where it is today,” says Lívia Ferreira, a math teacher at the Parque São Carlos School.

Medicinal herbs will continue to be a part of “Nature and Body,” but with other foods also being used, there are more possibilities for topics of discussion in the classroom. “By implementing the gardens and taking responsibility for irrigation and planting, the students not only harvest the vegetables, but also gain knowledge through contact with the earth,” says Gabriel.

Math in the garden – The math teacher, Lívia, who went with the students to the 20 de Março settlement, brought math to the gardens, with a practical demonstration of concepts developed in class. The students measured the size of the garden, calculated the area, the perimeter and how many seedlings the gardens would hold, in addition to the measuring system, working with meters and centimeters,” says Lívia, who has been involved with the Project at the school since last year and sees the progress being made by the students’ participation. “Soon they will start to reap the results.”

In addition to gardening activities, which have already directly benefitted around 400 students and have even impacted 1,000 students in Três Lagoas, the 2016 edition of “Nature and Body” is geared towards involving students in harvesting and making salads collectively, serving to spread the concept of healthy eating to the entire academic community.

In a country where 51% of the population is currently obese, according to the Ministry of Health, developing healthy eating in practice, at schools, is more than a matter of education; it means caring for the health of the generation of tomorrow and transforming people’s lives – the role of IIP.