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.
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…