Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Spaghetti grows on trees - most of us know that don't we?

"I didn't know that pasta grunted dad!"
Ok, I’ve only just come across this survey a week after it was released – but hey – I’ve been busy! Anyway, it doesn’t matter if it is a week, month or year late – it still makes for pretty shocking reading. The British Nutrition Foundation surveyed over 27,500 children across the UK and asked them all about the food they eat. Yep, you’ve guessed it – their knowledge on this subject is dreadful!
Almost a third (29%) of primary school children think that cheese comes from plants, and nearly one in five (18%) say that fish fingers come from chicken. I’m not quite sure how to react really – “FISH” fingers – I would have thought there was just the tiniest clue in the name!      
The good news is that the study found that almost 4 out of 5 primary school children had visited a farm, which is a good start, however it goes on – and I quote - “Through this survey one in five (21 per cent) primary school children and 18 per cent of secondary school pupils told us that they have never visited a farm. This may go part way to explaining why over a third (34 per cent) of 5-8 year olds and 17 per cent of 8-11 year olds believe that pasta comes from animals.” How very depressing. We once all roared with laughter at the BBC's April fool joke about spaghetti growing on trees, but I suspect it wouldn't even raise a smile today. 
Michael Gove, the education minister, just yesterday announced radical changes to the exam system in England, but it appeared to be all about algebra and Shakespeare – important subjects of course – but what could be more vital than the very stuff that sustains us all, food and water? We must surely give water, food, farming and the environment a much, much higher priority in the educational curriculum. If we realistically hope that the children of today, have any chance of overseeing a sustainably managed world in the future, we all need to act now, including Mr. Gove.

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