Are Food Preservations Bad for You?

ESL news-based lesson plan

Lesson Overview

This ESL lesson plan on food preservatives has been designed for adults and young adults at an advanced (C1/C2) level and should last around 90 minutes for each student. This video lesson aims to improve ESL students able to speak about different type of food preservative techniques.

The lesson resource includes a pdf student’s worksheet, a pdf teacher’s lesson plan and Interactive lesson slides in a PowerPoint format. Each PPT contains everything in the pdf worksheet and the teacher’s lesson plan.

The worksheets and the PowerPoint can be used for in-person classes or if you are teaching online. Interactive lesson slides are compatible with Zoom, Big Blue Button, Teams or similar platforms.


Our ESL topic bundle includes lessons that can offer continuity on a particular theme. The following ESL Lessons will provide material for a one-semester course; the stress is placed on helping students master key vocabulary and terminology on the subject matter, which is introduced via authentic texts or short videos, depending on the focus of each lesson. 


This food preservation lesson is designed for upper intermediate and advanced-level students, particularly those studying food science, health science, nutrition, or ESL learners working in such an industry. The students will learn basic food science concepts, such as enzymes and free radicals, and general nutrition and food safety knowledge.


This video explains that food can go bad because of microbes (like bacteria and fungi) and oxidation (when molecules change chemically). Through this video lesson, students will learn about various preservatives. Preservatives help prevent these things from happening, making food last longer. Some preservatives, like acids, sugar, and salt, make it harder for microbes to grow. Other preservatives, like antioxidants, stop food from changing colour or flavour. While some preservatives may cause health problems for some people, most are safe and used in small amounts. ESL students will also learn the packaging trick to prevent food from spoiling. Few foods can stay fresh without preservatives, but some packaging tricks can also help that ESL students will learn through this video lesson.

The students will learn new ways to preserve the food, like some consumers and companies are trying to find alternatives, through packaging, like reducing the oxygen around the food, which can help. Still, without some chemical assistance, very few foods can stay shelf stable for a long.


Learning Objectives for ESL learners:

  • Understand the concept of food preservation and the different types of preservatives that can be used to prevent food from going bad.
  • Learn new vocabulary and keywords through matching and language focus exercises.
  • Students will learn about the major factors that cause food to spoil, including microbes and oxidation.


Through this video lesson, students will learn their English language skills, including listening comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, and critical thinking. They may also practice presentation skills through assignments that require them to summarize and analyze the information presented in the lesson.

Furthermore, the ESL students will learn the concept of antimicrobial nitrates, antioxidants and botulism, and many more.


Lesson Includes

Quick Info

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