‘Why I Care about Food Education’ by Abby Scott, TastEd Trustee
Firstly because I love food – preparing and eating good tasty food is a joy and I want our young people to experience that joy too.
My second reason for getting involved in TastEd is social equality. It makes me so sad and angry that some children have very little experience of fresh fruit and vegetables. A British Nutrition Foundation survey last year revealed how serious the problem is, with children believing ‘tomatoes grow underground and pasta comes from animals’. It’s not their fault. We have lost sight of what is important. Cooking feels like a chore, fresh food is expensive, we want to eat dishes from all over the world that we do not know how to prepare, so we turn to quick and easy ready meals. And so our kids do not experience holding, smelling, cutting, tasting raw ingredients and our food knowledge is lost. And it is this that makes me passionate about food education. I want our young people to have knowledge, to feel confident when they walk in to a supermarket and can identify all the ingredients and know what they taste like. I think having this knowledge will build their self-confidence and self-esteem.
I think we need to talk less about ‘good eating’ and get them experiencing it. There are so many different types of fruit and veg, herbs and spices, cheeses, breads, meats – there really is something for everyone, we just need to give young people access to it. Then let them make up their own minds about what they prefer.