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Children have 'huge lack' of food and farming knowledge, NFU says

Author: FarmingUK Published: 13th February 2018 17:03

 Farmland rainbow

Children have 'huge lack' of food and farming knowledge, NFU says

Children have a "huge lack of knowledge" when its comes to knowing how and where their food is produced, the NFU has said.

National Farmers' Union Deputy President Minette Batters said the industry "believes passionately" about educating young people, and food production should be part of the national curriculum.

The comment follows research which shows children across the UK exhibiting serious flaws in their knowledge of food and farming.

A survey of more than 27,500 children conducted by the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) found that nearly a third of children believe cheese comes from plants, tomatoes grow underground and fish fingers are made of chicken.

However, children do have an appetite to learn more about food and farming. In 2015, a survey showed that more than four in five primary age school children said they would visit a farm to find out more about where their food comes from.

To get children learning more, the NFU has this week created a new education initiative which links agriculture with the national science curriculum in England.

Teachers will be able to show their children science and farming under a new 'Science Farm' series to support classroom lessons. They will explain how carrots are produced, the food chain of a school dinner and a sensory trail - exploring the farm with five senses.

'Huge lack of knowledge'

NFU Deputy President Minette Batters said there appeared to be a "huge lack of knowledge" among children of all ages about how and where their food is produced.

"We believe passionately about educating young people and we feel strongly that food production should be a core part of the national school curriculum," Ms Batters explained.

"We're really excited with these new educational digital tools that will allow teachers to provide truly memorable lessons where children will get the opportunity to explore where their food comes from and how it's grown."

The job of a farmer is not just to grow food, but to engage and reconnect with the public, including children, Ms Batters said.

"Learning about British food and farming from a young age will ultimately help our future generations make informed choices," she added.

"As Defra Secretary of State Michael Gove said at the Oxford Farming Conference, we need to educate children about where food comes from and how to make healthy choices about buying, preparing and enjoying food."
The education initiative follows news of a North Yorkshire MP receiving widespread media attention after calling for a GCSE in agriculture to encourage the "serious need" of fresh talent.

Television personality and farmer Adam Henson has also called for its introduction.









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