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Letter: Better food education needed in schools

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SIR – On Thursday 19th May I went along to a meeting where guest speaker Sir Desmond Swayne MP provided a very interesting interpretation of life in parliament.

Various questions were forthcoming afterwards, and I suggested to Sir Desmond that in the light of recent debates about the government deferring sugar restrictions on food manufacturers and fast food outlets, the government should provide more financial resources to resurrect domestic science classes in schools.

Do school children receive enough education about food?
Do school children receive enough education about food?

These would actually teach basic cooking, and nutrition skills within an educational environment. Interestingly, this proposal received some very positive reactions.

As an aside, I'm a great believer in apprenticeship schemes for young people, rather than the government continuously pushing the mantra of university education, resulting in huge levels of debt, and possibly little or no cooking or nutrition skills along the way.

There are many issues within this debate which need to be tackled. We are constantly being duped by the food industry, persuading us that a product is nutritional, when in fact it's full of fats and sugars, resulting in expensive food bills, and increasing poor health.

Dr Jen Unwin, chartered clinical and health psycologist wrote a fascinating report about this, where she says: "We are assaulted by 'Frankenfoods' at petrol stations, checkouts and cinemas. We are a nation of hopeless food-aholics..."

However, as I pointed out in my question, if people could acquire the basic knowledge of cooking a nutritious meal with the basics, wouldn't that save on their budget, and aid their health and wellbeing?

No one's saying that we can't enjoy a takeaway now and again, but when money's tight, and young tummies are empty, basic ingredients can be cobbled into a nutritional dish for half the price.

And, in my opinion, probably enjoy it more.

Fran Cossey,

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