Teach children how to grow food, urges chef Raymond Blanc

The chef Raymond Blanc has called for gardening lessons to be made compulsory in schools to help children learn the importance of fresh ingredients and healthy eating. This is from the Independent

The restaurateur and BBC presenter called on Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, to extend his plans to make cooking classes compulsory for children aged 7-14 from next September, to include outdoor lessons in which children learn to cultivate foods for the dining table.

“At last Mr Gove has made food part of the curriculum. I hope gardening will soon be part of the study programme,” Blanc told The Independent.

Learning how to plant a vegetable garden, along with knowledge of the wildlife and bugs which share any garden space, will help combat the obesity crisis, the French chef believes.

“We have a wonderful opportunity to truly reconnect with food. We need to engage with the outside world, with our gardens and the life within them,” Blanc said. “Children need to learn the simple magic of taking food from the seed, from the earth or from the rivers and then to transform it into something simple and delicious.”

“We have a multi-billion dollar problem with heart disease, diabetes and obesity because of intensive farming and heavily processed food. We could learn to eat carrot soup produced from our gardens.”

…Under Mr Gove’s plan, cooking lessons at school will become compulsory for children next year as the Government aims to ensure they can make up to 20 dishes before taking their GCSE exams.

Schools which offer gardening classes have reported widespread benefits. Howarth Primary School in West Yorkshire placed food, gardening and nutrition at the centre of school life, encouraging children to cook vegetable kebabs in class. A gardening club offered evening food-planting sessions. Three years after the programme started school meal take-up had risen by 50 per cent and the school’s Sat results had soared.

More at:  Teach children how to grow food, urges chef Raymond Blanc

Would you support this idea from Raymond Blanc? What would be the benefits? Is it practical? Please share your thoughts in the comments or on twitter… 

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  1. choc4kids

    SchoolsImprove Yes teach children where real food comes and what it looks like, food does not just show up in the packets, cans, containers

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Great idea but with all the stuff various people want schools to cover now, neither staff nor students would ever go home

  3. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Perhaps that’s the idea, once a child reaches the age of 4/5 they are handed to the local school until they are 18

  4. thedippyhippy

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Apparently lots of parents only had kids because it’s ‘what you do’. Bringing them up is grossly inconvenient.

  5. Tocs1n

    SchoolsImprove welcome it, although is there an issue with ‘harvest’ coinciding with hols/new academic year? #plannningneeded

  6. pipkinzoo

    SchoolsImprove this is my dept, hard to get to all kids, x-curricular lessons but patchy coverage. Ok if they come to club or do my GCSE


    SchoolsImprove practical proposition, engages pupils; any school can start with veg boxes, lots of science learning, #PSHE benefits also

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