With food crises frequently in the media and supermarkets under increasing scrutiny, it’s easy to wonder how to teach food and farming in a positive light. But look beyond the headlines and it’s not all doom and gloom. You’ll discover stories of local food producers and retailers who are doing things their way. You’ll see charities and groups working to distribute supermarket surpluses and you’ll find a general public increasingly interested in what they are eating and where it has come from.
British food has come of age in the last ten years - it is cause for celebration not commiseration, and what better time to do so than during British Food Fortnight? Food topics can be used throughout the curriculum and for all ages and here are six ways to discover local food with the children in your family, class or youth group.
1. Explore food from different regions of Britain as a fun way of experiencing our geography, culture and heritage. Research one food product typical of each region, locate it on the map and try to make or taste it!
2. Ask the school caterers if they will consider serving distinctly British or local produce for the Fortnight. This could take the form of a special seasonal section on the menu and is an opportunity to open conversations with the children about different types of produce.
3. Cook a British meal for friends and family. Nothing beats the old favourites like Cottage Pie or Apple Crumble, and sharing them with your loved ones. Consider inviting friends round for a British Food Fortnight feast or make a special effort to get the family sitting around the table.
4. Invite a local producer to talk to your class. Someone working in the industry can give a real and passionate insight into food production. Sausage making demonstrations are hugely popular or something as simple as blending smoothies with local fruit always prove to go down a treat!
5. Pick your own. What is better or healthier than being able to enjoy fresh fruit selected and picked by yourself? Rummage in the hedgerows for blackberries or visit a fruit and vegetable farm and then get pickling, jamming and freezing. If you have room, you can grow your own too – all that is needed is a hanging basket or a windowsill.
6. Attend your local Harvest Festival. British Food Fortnight takes place at the time of Harvest Festival and you do not need to be a regular church-goer, or have a particular faith, to take part in the celebration. They are great for getting communities together in a celebratory atmosphere.
British Food Fortnight takes place 19th September – 4th October 2015, what will you do?
Visit www.lovebritishfood.co.uk for further tips, resources and a “What’s Happening” listing of all of the food events happening during British Food Fortnight.