If chewing gum doesn't disappear when we eat it, is it really a food?
Jimmy Doherty has a go at making his own chewing gum in his food factory. However, alongside sugar and mint flavouring are a few lesser known ingredients that make up the gum base (polyisobutylene, polyvinyl acetate, wax and talcum powder) - components you’d normally find in inedible products like basketballs, candles and glue. Jimmy melts and mixes all these ingredients together before getting stuck into his homemade chewing gum.
Before playing the clip, students could be posed with the question 'Is chewing gum a food?' The clip could then be used to develop learners' awareness of labelling, and how the ingredients on packaging can be technical and complex. Learners could be prompted to work in groups to reflect on the function of the main ingredients, the change of physical properties and why chewing gum does not break down or get digested when the flavour runs out.