12 November 2009

Where Do Chips Come From?

1 in 10 children aged 7 - 11 think chickens lay potatoes! *
1 in 5 have no idea that potatoes are grown in the ground *
1 in 5 didn't realise that chips are made from the humble spud *

Wow. I suppose I'm lucky. When I was growing up we ate fresh food and my Grandad had an enormous vegetable patch. I remember driving home most Sundays holding a massive cabbage or cauliflower.

I've continued to cook from scratch all my life and luckily Andy is the same. Of course we occasionally eat processed food and have the odd takeaway, but for us there's nothing like a plate that has fresh vegetables on it.

I want my children to understand food provenance. I always show them what I'm cooking and name every piece of food on their plates, especially the vegetables. The meat side of food production may be tricky, after all who wants to eat Buttercup Cow or Lavender Lamb?!

Presley and Cash have been in our greenhouse and they know we had tomatoes, peppers and chillies there in the Summer. Andy's father also grows fruit and vegetables. As a treat Presley is allowed to eat tomatoes straight from the plant. I can always tell he has been in Grandad's greenhouse as he has a trail of pink juice down his chin and on his T-shirt. He also likes to bring his Grandma potatoes from the sack in the garage.

The lovely Kim Hong from Fleishman Hillard sent the boys some little gardening sets and a packet of potato seeds. Thank you Kim, we'll plant them next year - when it's a bit warmer! She also sent some information on "The Potato Story" that I would like to share with you.

This is the final week that the McCain educational bus is touring schools. This unbranded, purpose-built double-decker bus has to date reached 17,400 primary school children in a national roadshow. The aim is to educate children about where their food comes from and how to make healthy food choices. On the bus the children learn how potatoes are grown and harvested as well as the different methods to prepare them to eat. The journey from field to fork is demonstrated as an interactive learning experience.

If your child missed the bus, you can check out the fantastic accompanying website here.

You can see some photos on their flickr stream here.

So, what are my boys having for tea? Fish fingers, peas, sweetcorn and oven chips. Ahem. The oven chips are home made using real potatoes, thank you very much!

* McCain "Food for Thought" surveyed 1500 children aged between 7 and 11 in February 2009.



  1. It always stuns me how much is not taught to children. My 4 year old demands to be involved with cooking our (from fresh) dinner every night. Loves peeling spuds and carrots, and can name most of the fresh herbs, most of the time. Well played you.

  2. Well - best of luck with that!

  3. Jamie, I was really shocked when I saw the survey results. Well done you for involving your little one. Mine are still a bit young to 'help' with the cooking so I have to life them up alternately and show them what I'm doing!

    Gaelikaa, thanks :-)

  4. This really took me back a good few years to a Bonfire Night event when my baby boy was around 6 years old ... he wolfed his way through about two-thirds of a bag of chips from the chip-shop (a lovely treat to warm up chilly little mitts) and then handed them solemnly back to me, saying "I don't like these chips Mummy". When I asked him why he didn't like them, he said "I don't like these chips, I like proper chips" ... I was horrified! He meant frozen chips, never seen in our home.

    Shocking survey results, thank heavens for parents such as yourself, Sandy, and GoonerJamie!

  5. How can kids not know where a spud comes from?

    Well done on the cooking from scratch. I do that too, but it is hard sometimes. Usually feed them crap on a saturday. My day off!

    Love RMxx

  6. Moonpoppy, thanks. That's so funny about the proper chips!

    RM, I know, amazing lack of knowledge. You do see these families on Wife Swap that live on takeaways. I don't know how they can afford it. We push the boat out and have a curry once a fortnight! x


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