Cabinet Secretary joins HCC to help spread knowledge of food origins

Following new research which revealed that many children believe that fish fingers are made of chicken, Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has been doing its bit to promote knowledge of food origins in Welsh schools.

At Rhosnesni High School in Wrexham, at its latest workshop designed to help secondary schools deliver the Food and Nutrition curriculum, HCC enlisted the help of the Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM, in a hands-on demonstration on how to prepare food for the classroom.

The event was part of a programme of work which the red meat levy board is undertaking this year, in partnership with the Welsh Joint Education Committee and regional education consortia, to develop classroom resources and provide training for teachers. HCC’s work, which is particularly aimed at supporting the new GCSE in Food and Nutrition, will help pupils to gain the latest insights into the science of food preparation, as well as food origins and traceability.

The issue of children’s understanding of food origins was highlighted last week by the British Nutrition Foundation, which published research to mark its Healthy Eating Week. According to the BNF survey, almost one fifth (18 percent) of 5-7 year olds said that fish fingers are made of chicken and one in ten 11-14 year olds do not know that carrots and potatoes grow underground.

“We were thrilled to have the support of Lesley Griffiths AM in Rhosnesni,” said HCC’s Consumer Executive Elwen Roberts, who has delivered sessions in all corners of Wales since the start of 2017. “Together with teachers from across north Wales, we were able to have a hands-on session on how to prepare, cook and present dishes using a range of different cuts of red meat, and share ideas on how to teach children about applying science principles in food preparation and where food comes from.”

“It’s an important part of HCC’s work to help schools to deliver the latest information to children on balanced diets, and help them to make informed choices by teaching them about food traceability,” added Elwen.

Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths said: “I was pleased to help out in the teachers’ workshop in Rhosnesni, organised by Hybu Cig Cymru and the GwE consortium. HCC and other food industry organisations all have a role in helping to develop resources for schools in this area.

“It’s vital that children know where their food comes from and how it’s produced. These sessions are about sharing ideas for making lessons in food science fun and engaging, as well as deepening children’s understanding of the journey from farm to fork.

“Wales has many positive stories to share in the area of food traceability. Schemes such as Red Tractor and the Protected Food Names which products as diverse as Welsh Lamb, Welsh Beef, Anglesey Sea Salt and Pembrokeshire Early Potatoes enjoy are all part of reassuring consumers about the origin and quality of produce. Helping children to understand this can only be a positive development.”