Get Food Growing, Cooking & Nutrition at the core of the School Curriculum
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HUGE PROBLEM: 20%, (and rising), of NHS budget is now spent on food related illness such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer
WHY? Because people lack knowledge about healthy food, cooking and nutrition. And are consuming the wrong food & drink.
1. People have become disconnected from where their food comes from; 'milk comes from supermarkets not cows’
2. EU 'Cheap Food' policy has subsidised intensive farming & distorted the Real price of food; 'flavour or shelf life?'
3. Small mixed farms and dairies have been replaced by intensive farms; 'what is growing in that field?'
4. Schools stopped teaching cooking; 'we need computer rooms not kitchens'
5. A high percentage of both parents work; 'we need to pay the mortgage'
6. Cheap fast food & ready meals help busy parents feed their family; 'Burger for Jonny, Pizza for Mary'
7. Marketeers continually tell us to buy bad products
8. Schools that have veg patches have to rely on volunteers; 'if it's not on the curriculum, I am not doing it!'
9. UK government departments are not joined up so even if a need is recognised change is very difficult; 'Brexit'
SOLUTION: Add food growing, cooking and nutrition to every academic subject in the National Curriculum
1. Every school should have a veg patch and fruit trees (thousands of schools already have these)
2. Use Sugar Tax to pay for construction and maintenance of veg patches
3. Every school to link with a local shop or farmer to sell their excess produce: eg, BigBarn's Crop for the Shop
4. Add content to each academic subject relating to growing, cooking and selling food & drink*
5. Kids encouraged to grow food at home, plus teach their mums and family how to buy good food, and cook
DIRECT COST? Very low
1. Sugar tax can pay for veg patches and maintenance
2. Farmers are already being paid to look after the environment, subsidies can be updated to include working with schools
3. A number of organisation, like BigBarn, have teaching notes that can be refined for the curriculum
4. A volunteer focus group can be assembled to implement the change
LONG TERM BENEFITS? £BILLIONS
1. Huge reductions in NHS spend on food related illness as children eat healthier food & influence parents
2. Jobs created as students gain an interest in the local food industry
3. Communities built around the school veg patch, local farm/shop and produce
NOTES for Curriculum
1. seeds per square metre, price per kilo; Maths.
2. soil type, gravel; Geography
3. plant growing & pests; Biology
4. fertiliser; Chemistry
5. product labelling; Art & English
6. selling & marketing; Business Studies/Economics
With the cost so low and the reward so high it is amazing that the government have not changed the curriculum years ago. To help make this happen soon please sign this petition and send the link to as many friends and colleagues as you can.
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