Who is Harry from One Direction currently dating?

by JP on July 16, 2012

Reports, reports, reports! Everywhere I turn, a new shocking report hits me between the eyes. Recently I, and hopefully many of you, will have been shocked to read the recent press coverage by ‘LEAF’ showing the disturbing statistics on the low level of awareness that the next generation (16-23 year olds) have when it comes to the origins of the food they are sitting down to eat on a daily basis.

For most of us it is a simple assumption that everyone knows where butter comes from, or how a steak and chip supper makes it to the plate, but unfortunately this isn’t the case.

If I was to sit down with these kids, would they be able to tell me who was currently number 1 in the charts? What is their favourite app? Which computer game is the “one to have” at the moment? Who is Harry from One Direction currently dating (probably an older lady from what I hear!)? Could they answer these questions?

These young people are our future, so I naturally feel concerned that the supply chain message isn’t reaching them, let alone their children, and their children’s children. We are trying to educate future generations on the source of their food, and the importance of buying good quality produce, but it seems that at the moment the message isn’t loud enough. Are we too reliant on this knowledge being passed down by generation to generation? So what do we do about it?

For a youth the main channel of education would be school, college or university, possibly with social media coming a close second. So why aren’t we using these tools to teach the basics? What difference could it make if we just spent 30 minutes of each school day educating our children and making them excited about food, you never know, they might even have a few things to teach us oldies!

Recent reports suggest there is a small percentage increase in buying British produce, is this our chance to embrace this and keep up the momentum? Or is the issue simply just knowing how food is produced? A few weeks ago we had Open Farm Sunday, what about something like this but on a more regular basis? Farm schools, Food evenings and Farm retreats, a chance for families to come and stay on a working farm and learn how that rib of beef gets to your plate on a Sunday, where the fresh pint of ale comes from, or the bacon that gets cooked up on a Saturday morning, maybe even get your hands dirty at the same time!

Last Friday night I took my 2 children over to the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust at Brandon Marshes in Coventry to do some highly anticipated bat watching! We had the pleasure of being given the tour by a lady that was extremely enthusiastic about these amazing creatures. You could tell she was thoroughly enjoying herself as she proudly got us drawing and colouring whilst informing us of her many gathered bat facts and figures. This truly was a woman that knew her chosen topic inside and out. Her passion and respect for the bats kept her audience enthralled from beginning to end.

So what if we followed the same very simple principle? Let’s get parents, teachers, people within the industry, who are equally as “excited” about agriculture to come and speak to future generations and pass on their passion and excitement, get their audiences engaged and captivated within the subject.

But like anything we have to take some steps and this got me thinking how do I plan to make a difference? First step would be to spend less time reading reports and more time “spreading the word”. Secondly, but equally important, my next step is to Find a Farm. I have a few ideas that I think would help to spread the word. So anyone that has a farm/land to rent in Warwickshire area please get in touch.

And I hope I never have to sit my kids down and explain “where spuds come from”, being Irish that would be embarrassing!

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