I am saddened but not particularly surprised to see that growing up in the Nanny state, where parents abrogate their responsibility for bringing up their children to the state, has produced a generation of children who have no idea where food comes from.
A survey conducted by the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) of 27,500 five to sixteen year olds highlighted that approximately 33% of UK primary pupils think cheese is made from plants, and 25% think fish fingers come from chicken or pigs (given the ongoing scandal over processed foods, that may in fact be nearer to the mark!).
A further 10% think that spuds grow on bushes or trees.
Roy Ballam, education programme manager at BNF, is quoted by the BBC talking about BNF's Healthy Eating Week which aims "to start the process of re-engaging children with the origins of food, nutrition and cooking, so that they grow up with a fuller understanding of how food reaches them and what a healthy diet and lifestyle consists of."
A spokesman for England's Department for Education said:
"We want to encourage children to develop a love of food, cooking and healthy eating that will stay with them as they grow up."That's all very nice and dandy, but I learned about food and cooking from my parents and grandfather; not the state. Indeed on a Saturday morning my dad used to regularly take me to the local butcher's shop to see the carcasses hanging in the cold room and to watch the sausage machine at work.
These findings show that parents are failing in their primary responsibility in bringing up their children to have a basic understanding of how the world functions and how to feed themselves. It is not the role of the state to teach children how to feed themselves, just as it isn't the role of the state to teach children how to tie their own shoe laces or wipe their butts.
Cooking classes etc are fine and useful for developing an understanding of food groups, nutrition and hygiene etc. However, the basic understanding of where food comes from should start in the home; otherwise parents will have no role whatsoever in the upbringing of their own children!
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