School children are interested in food and farming, survey reveals

More than four in five primary age school children have said they would like to visit a farm to find out more about where their food comes from, a new survey from the British Nutrition Foundation has revealed.

The NFU says that these statistics, released for Healthy Eating Week, show that food and farming is a subject that people of all ages can engage with and can help them to make more informed choices about the food they eat.

The survey results also include:

·27% of primary school children said they had never helped to cook a meal at home;

·39% of secondary school children said they would be more likely to buy or eat food if it was produced in the UK;

·63% of secondary school children use the internet to find out more about how food is produced;

·8% of secondary school children have never cooked a meal from scratch; (27% haven’t grown food before)

·70% of teachers are more likely to buy or eat food produced in the UK.

NFU Deputy President Minette Batters said: “These results show that people of all ages involved in education have an interest in food and farming but there is still so much more to be done.

“That’s why we’re delighted to get behind British Nutrition Foundation’s Healthy Eating Week. I passionately believe that every child in the country has a right to know how their food is produced. We know from our own research that understanding where food comes from and how it is produced is increasingly important to parents, and this initiative helps children to understand that.

“Food and farming are included in the curriculum now, which is crucial and the information provided on the Healthy Eating Week provides excellent resources that teachers can use. This should be part of a whole school approach to food and we would urge school caterers to make parents aware of where they buy their food from, and to source local in season British food, easily recognised by the Red Tractor logo.

“Many of the NFU’s members host school visits on their farms and I’d encourage any teachers interested in giving their pupils this experience to make contact with Farming and Countryside Education (FACE). “

NFU horticulture board member Anthony Snell will be sharing his knowledge about his farm and the advantages of eating seasonally, as part of a live webinar on Thursday June 4. Schools involved will be able to access the NFU’s seasonal calendar so they can learn more about what tasty British produce is available and when.