Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Are we becoming increasingly ignorant of and divorced from what we eat?

A poll for ‘British Food Fortnight’ (whatever) billed as; ‘An annual mass movement to excite and educate young people about British food.’ apparently demonstrates a woeful lack of knowledge about regional foods amongst the said ‘young people’.

It seems many were under the impression cheddar cheese comes from the midlands for instance.

This is hardly surprising when a recent survey by the 'Linking Environment And Farming' (LEAF) indicated 22% of adults didn’t know that bacon and the meat in sausages originated on farms. Also 23% didn’t know the main ingredient of bread (wheat) was grown on farms. A staggering 47% hadn’t a clue the main ingredient of porridge (oats) came from farms.

Whether this is down to surveying particularly thick people, or the effects of long term urbanisation on the population, only ever seeing pre packaged and processed supermarket food, or just a narrow and poor education, is difficult to say. Certainly a lack of the most basic knowledge about the geography of the UK.

This is the basic stuff of living, we are not talking logarithms here.

Things like that used to be covered in primary school, mine was not unusual and we visited farms, but that was a while back now. Probably banned on the grounds of health and safety now.

What is really worrying, when you think about it, is that these people are armed (and dangerous) with the vote.

How can they vote sensibly on policies such as farming and the environment, when they have no idea what the actual likely impact and ramifications of those policies may be and lack the basic knowledge to work it out.

We could all end up with no bread, or milk - and more ‘turkey twizzlers’ than you could shake a stick at.