Firstly, apologies for being so quiet on the blogging front. We have been moving house so I’m without the internet and my usual workspace. I’m ridiculously pleased we’re getting our WiFi on Monday.
After dinner this evening we all started talking about our food and where it comes from. I thought it would be interesting to play a little game with the kids and see if they could name the different ingredients in their favourite food and where they come from.
My son said that pizza was his favourite food (typical four year old) so we chatted about what the ingredients were in pizza and their provenance. I was impressed that my daughter knew that wheat, from fields, was ground to make flour for the pizza base. Then we said we’d need tomatoes and basil for the sauce (which I was pleased they said grew in the garden! Hooray!), then we said we’d need cheese, which is made with milk, which comes from cows.
Now you’re probably wondering why this makes me so happy? Why am I harping on about what makes pizza?! Common sense right? Nope.
When I worked in sustainability at a city council we used to run activities with the local schools. As part of a field to fork initiative we once held a seminar for local kids discussing food and farming. Their knowledge was worryingly limited; with many thinking that milk came from the supermarket.
In fact, a poll of 2,000 people conducted by the charity Leaf (Linking Environment and Farming) showed that more than a third of 16 to 23-year-olds (36%) do not know bacon comes from pigs and four in 10 (40%) failed to link milk with an image of a dairy cow, with 7% linking it to wheat (Source: The Telegraph).
I believe that it is important that our children know about the origins of what they are eating. We are losing our food knowledge because so much of what we eat comes pre-prepared and over-packaged from the supermarket. Teaching our children more about the food they eat means that they can make more informed choices about the food consume when they become adults.