Growing up on a farm in rural Herefordshire I have been privileged enough to have a vague idea of where our food has come from, however I am aware that many in this country are not so lucky. With stats that nearly one in five British primary school children believe that milk comes from the fridge or the supermarket, while 1 in 10 believe that a cow is the size of a double decker bus.
I believe that this is a massive failure in our education system, as I would argue that this lack of education on food has had a huge impact on multiple aspects of society. With the clearest impact being on our health and the soaring levels of obesity. Although I appreciate that people knowing where milk comes from would most certainly not solve this complex issue, I strongly believe it is a step in the right direction, as it would allow people to engage in a more positive manner with food.
Education within food would also allow us to have a clearer idea on the impact that food can have on the environment. Whether this is the habitat loss that unfortunately is inevitable when growing food from the land, or the massive detrimental impacts that come from food waste, which is at a staggering figure of 6.7 million tonnes a year, which totals to the cost of £10.2 billion.
I fundamentally believe that a true education in food production is nothing but necessary for society to truly prosper. My dream would be that every child/young adult is offered the opportunity to spend time on a farm, as I believe that there is no greater way for educating people on food production then them getting stuck in themselves.
For those that are interested in getting to know more about farming:
- LEAF Education – Linking Education and Farming is working to engage, inspire and motivate young people through experiential learning, to equip our future generations with balanced and informed insight into food production, farming and the environment. They do this by offering a plethora of options such as Open Farm Sunday, and Teacher Time.
- NFU Education – The National Farmers Union offer similar services to LEAF linking farmers with teachers in order to convey important messages about food, farming and nutrition through a cross-curricular, project-based approach
- @FarmersOfTheUK – For those on Twitter, each week a farmer takes the opportunity to talk about their farm and what they do
- @Fieldwork_Books – A new book club that I am a part of, where each month we read a book on either food and farming, and then discuss the book over zoom. (So far, we have read English Pastoral, Sitopia, and Wilding.)
- Farmers Weekly Podcast – The 40-minute podcast would allow you to have a quick glimpse into what is in the news within the industry.