New report reveals millions of kids don’t know how or where their food is grown and believe farmers grow “mud”
More than 1.8 million British children have never visited a working farm, according to new research out today.
A poll of 2,000 parents and primary school children in the UK found that hundreds of thousands of children have lost touch with the fields where much of their food comes from. One in six (16 per cent) don’t know that vegetables are grown on farms and despite 3.2 million children enjoying a bowl of cereal at least five times a week, one in 10 (11 per cent) do not know that Corn Flakes are made from corn. While a mere one per cent want to grow up to be a farmer, perhaps because four per cent believe they are responsible for growing mud, which could have implications for the future of the UK farming industry.
The findings form part of a new Origins programme by Kellogg’s fronted by JLS singer turned farmer JB Gill to get children closer to where their food comes from. The company will fund new, unbranded teaching aids, developed by the National Schools Partnership to educate children on the origins of foods. The resources will include lesson plans and a short film to help teachers engage children around the subject.
Kellogg’s Origins ambassador JB said: “I’m working with Kellogg’s to capture the imagination of kids and tell them the story behind every box of cereal. I feel it is crucial young people have a better understanding of the origins of their food”.
Encouragingly, the research reveals British children have a huge appetite to learn more about food. Over three quarters (79 per cent) want to know where their food comes from and over two thirds (70 per cent) want to see where ingredients are grown. Even more positively, 42 per cent of kids have grown their own food (52 per cent of children in rural areas compared to 39 per cent of those in urban/sub-urban areas).
Lynne Wood, Strategy & Planning Director at 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.”
Richard Burkinshaw from Kellogg’s said: “It’s really important our children learn about the origins of their food from an early age so they grow up knowing how food is made and understanding what a balanced diet consists of.
“All Kellogg’s, cereals start with the goodness of grains like wheat, rice, oats and barley and a handful of other ingredients, plus vitamins and minerals to help get us off to the best start of the day. A bowl of cereal with milk is packed with calcium, B vitamins, vitamin D and iron, all of which are essential for health and wellbeing.”
The Kellogg’s Origins programme also aims to enhance the working lives of the farmers who supply to Kellogg’s and increase their yields while preserving the natural habitat around them.