‘Please don’t take food like milk, vegetables and eggs for granted’

September 10, 2017

ROLE MODEL: Thirty-year-old former JLS singer JB Gill, is a new farmer and had this message for younger adults: “It would be fantastic if younger people could take a day out to visit the countryside. By doing so, they can experience the work that goes into supplying food items such as milk, eggs and vegetables – which can easily be taken for granted. Becoming a farmer and learning more about the countryside has been a wonderful experience for me and my family.”

 

 

NOT INFORMED: “Children in European schools have all the benefits of learning in depth about food and how and where it is produced. British hildren are left in complete, so it’s little wonder that so many are susceptible to the largely discredited claims for the benefits of dairy-free and vegan diets.” – Chairman of Farmers For Action David Handley.

COWS’ THAT: The poll findings from the Prince’s Countryside Fund showed that one in seven adults between the ages of 18 and 24 had never been physically close to a cow – like these in central Somerset – and a fifth had never gone outside the city they lived in.

 

 

IGNORANCE of the countryside led through a lack of education triggers well-meaning campaigns that set out to destroy hard-working small businesses without any inside knowledge of what is going on.

Why I do say this? I was involved in an altercation with a well-meaning person at at a cafe I was at and he was pontificating about how cruel it was to separate a calf from its cow because animal rights groups persuaded the Advertising Standards Agency it was “inhumane” in August.

Suffice to say this individual was reading the script whilst drinking a mug of coffee that he has put his milk in had probably been produced on a UK farm.

I replied that no one goes into the food industry with the wilful intent of putting livestock at risk knowing that would inevitably put public health risk. The point was also made the these same groups would have likely broken into farms committing trespass, taken covert footage without the owner’s consent and put the most disturbing reels they could find and say it was “cruel”.

‘Animal rights’ as opposed to ‘animal welfare’

I then pointed out to the said person this is what “animal rights” groups were very likely to be behave like this whereas animal welfare groups like the RSPCA and Compassion in World Farming – even if livestock owners disagree with them – would be more likely to get results working with the dairy sector or any other part of the livestock sector to improve standards, rather than backstabbing it.

Added to the introductory sentence where I refer to a well-known saying that a society can be destroyed through a lack of knowledge, add to this arrogance leads to a lack of wisdom.

Which brings me to a piece from The Daily Telegraph from 31 July and this refers to a survey conducted of young people between the ages of 18 and 24. The results are pretty devastating.

Two out of those ten young people said their rural knowledge of farming and conservation was “good” but four in ten said it was “extremely poor”.

The young adults were part of a poll of 2,000 people by the Prince’s Countryside Fund to coincide with Countryside Week.

More than half of those polled in the survey (these are young adults) didn’t know strawberries were a summer fruit and nine in ten didn’t know turnips were grown in the winter.

Even more incredible was that one in seven of these adults had never been physically been near a cow and a fifth had never even left the city they lived in.

Former JLS singer, 30-year-old JB Gill, who recently entered the industry having left the bright lights of London, has this message for young people about the countryside.

‘Don’t take essential food items for granted’

He told The Telegraph: “It would be fantastic if younger people could take a day out to visit the countryside. By doing so, they can experience the work that goes into supplying essential food items such as milk, eggs and vegetables – which can easily be taken for granted.

“Becoming a farmer and learning more about the countryside has been a wonderful experience for me and my family.”

David Handley, chairman of Farmers For Action, who I had the privilege to meet at FFA meeting in Dorset 14 years ago and also at the Dairy Show at the Royal Bath and West Showground at Shepton Mallet, is a contributor to the Western Daily Press and penned these thoughts in one of his August columns.

The children that David is referring to will regularly turn into the adults that were sampled by the Prince’s Countryside Fund unless more resources are invested to reverse this trend, especially post-Brexit.

‘Kids think cheese comes from plants’

Mr Handley said: “Thousands of children believe cheese is produced from plants. And thousands refuse to believe that milk is squeezed from a cow’s udder or that an egg appears from the back end of a hen – and they are revolved that this is the case.

“This is a dreadful state of affairs when we have not merely one of the most advanced farming systems in the world but when the quality of the food produced on those farms is without parallel.

‘Countryside is a huge classroom’

“The countryside represents a huge classroom offering a grounding in any number of subjects, all of them far more exciting than the standard food technology, which, one teenager complained to me, taught him nothing inspiring more than to design a pizza.

“This lack of connection between the countryside and the classroom does not exist to the same extent in most other countries.

‘European children have good rural knowledge’

“Children in European schools have all the benefits of learning in-depth about food and how and where it is produced.

“British children are left in complete ignorance, so it’s little wonder that so many are susceptible to the largely discredited claims for the benefits of dairy-free and vegan diets.

“We used to have what was once regarded as the finest education system in the world but we are well down the league table in terms of measured achievements and outcomes, and teaching about food is one of those areas that we lag behind most.”

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca September 11, 2017 at 6:46 am

Very necessary comments, Matt. Children need to know how food is produced and how to cook it! One of the great delights of life.

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Heather Korby September 11, 2017 at 4:08 pm

An interesting article. It shows more education is needed from a younger age.

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Sharon Hawken September 11, 2017 at 4:09 pm

The government puts such stupid milestones of some subjects at school yet forgets to educate children on where food comes from and how to prepare it. It really is time this government got behind British farming we have fantastic animal welfare standards why not let the public learn about it and have a passion of where and how their food is produced

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Debbie Dawe Lane September 11, 2017 at 4:10 pm

I met this young man at Highgrove , he does amazing work along side the Prince of Wales promoting British dairy farming .. Amazing guy

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