Author: IOL FE
Just 9% of youngsters have visited a countryside location in the past year
Nearly half of primary school children have never visited a working farm and one in 25 believes that farmers ‘grow mud’.
A new poll has revealed widespread ignorance of the countryside and origins of food.
One in six children is unaware that vegetables are grown on farms and a similar proportion is unsure where breakfast cereal comes from, even though most eat it every day.
The poll also shows that just 9 per cent of youngsters have visited a countryside location in the past 12 months.
Forty-three per cent – some 1.8million children – have never set foot on a working farm.
The survey suggested that children’s lack of knowledge of food production is affecting their eating habits.
Eight per cent of children told researchers that if they found a little bit of mud on an apple, they would simply throw it in the bin rather than wash it.
Few have ambitions to become farmers when they are older, with 1 per cent citing farming as a potential career, against 11 per cent saying teaching.
The findings are in line with previous surveys which have suggested an alarming belief in food myths among many children.
Research by the British Nutrition Foundation last year found that one in three primary pupils thinks cheese comes from plants and one in 10 says tomatoes grow underground.
An awareness of the origins of food is thought likely to help combat obesity and encourage healthy eating.
Figures from the national programme which involves weighing and measuring primary pupils show that 18.9 per cent of ten and 11-year-olsd are abuse and a further 14.4 per cent are overweight.
Among those aged four and five, 9.3 per cent are classed as obese and another 13 per as overweight.
The latest survey on food awareness was commissioned by cereals giant Kellogg’ s, which is to fund unbranded teaching aids to teach children about the origins of food.
It is being fronted by JB Gill, who was formerly in the band JLS but is now a farmer.
The teaching packs, developed by the National Schools Partnership, which produces educational resources, will include a short film about the ‘seed to spoon’ story of cereal.
Richard Burkinshaw, of Kellogg's, said: ‘It's really important children learn about the origins of their food from an early age.
‘That way they grow up knowing how food is made and understanding what a balanced diet consists of.’
Lynne Wood, of the National Schools Partnership, said: ‘We want to turn food education on its head by using children who are passionate about food to educate and inspire others.
‘They will become the stars of a short film shot on a farm, sharing the “seed to spoon” story of cereal with over 300 primary schools and thousands of children across the UK.’
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