Thursday, 4 June 2009

Doin' it for the kids

Ok Beddard, it's a while since you've had a rant, so here we go. Deep breath, I'm getting a good run up...

As a young child I was pretty interested in cooking. However. And it's a big however. My experience of cooking was this: making bread with a friend's mum (she volunteered) = awesome; designing a hot drink for 16 OAPs at 20p a head = big time suck; costing up my prize-winning brownies for a production line = bigger suck.

Why is it, that despite the whole 'obesity epidemic' the government just don't seem to get the fact that we're not educating kids to love and care about the food they eat. Somewhere along the line simple cooking turned into home economics, which then became 'food technology' in the 1990's.

If you supply kids with the following brief (as I was today in a teacher training session led by an LEA expert) all you will do is turn them off food for quite some time: Design a mid-day meal for 54 OAPs on a coach day-trip to Margate during a cold winter. It should be nutritious, and cost no more than 75p per head. There are no special dietary requirements.

Yipee. As an adult on the receiving end of this I could hardly even be bothered to work out the total budget, let alone argue the nutritional value of mash vs pasta. Is it just me, or is this exactly the kind of thing that puts you off cooking? I certainly received briefs like this during secondary school - and remember it shaping my attitude towards cooking and the food I ate. Until I was 18 and moved out of home, my entire cooking repertoire consisted of chocolate brownies and tuna pasta salad. Only, there isn't even any salad in TPS!

What's wrong with teaching kids how to cook? Things they like - for themselves! Surely you have to foster a love of cooking for themselves before you start worrying them with what a fucking coach-load of OAPs might want to eat for lunch, no?

Ok, big breath, rant over.

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