Where does our food come from?

9 Jun

Sitting watching Jamie’s Food Revolution last week I was truly shocked at how little some children knew about the source of their food.  I know from my past life as a PE Teacher that getting their ‘5-a day’ for fruit as veg is not always as high priority as getting their  5 hours a day on the Xbox each day, but on the whole the children I taught could tell you that cheese is a product from cows! As much as I would like Mini-Chef to enjoy healthy food and be able to choose a meal from a menu, not just ask for nuggets everywhere we go, my main goal now is to teach her where her food comes from so she can make informed decisions about what she eats.

We are very fortunate within our family to have an allotment, and I count myself even more fortunate that its my mother who get the dirty fingernails and sore back from tending it and I get the pleasure (and accolade) of being the family member who cooks the food she produces, so this will be a great chance for mini-chef to see what vegetables should really look like – dirty, misshaped and so much more tasty than any mass produced for supermarkets.

A few weeks back I mentioned to Mini-Chef at a BBQ we were hosting for my birthday that the burger she was eating was made from Cows – since this moment she has renamed them ‘Cow Burgers’ and tends to ‘mooo’ each time she eats them – with this fresh in her mind we headed of to Marsh Farm in Essex to continue this theme of ‘where meat comes from’.

Mini-Chef sizing up the cows for our next BBQ

The farm itself is a friendly little place with a range of farm animals on show and plenty of activities for children of all ages to take part in.  Mini-Chef was very interested in all the animals and could identify more animals by name than I thought she would be able to so that was a proud mummy moment for me.  As we saw the cows I asked what food we make from them and she immediately said ‘cow burgers mummy’ so as we proceeded to the pigs I thought I ask the same question, she didn’t know the answer but was very interested to hear that sausages and ham were both from pigs (firm favourites of the little lady) and turned to her friend who had accompanied us to the farm to share her new found knowledge.  This is where it all got a little strange – a mum near by who over heard this exchange take place turned to her friend and said it a rather loud stage whisper ‘who on earth would want to tell their toddler that food comes from animals…..talk about giving them nightmares’ – I am not one to pass judgement on other peoples parenting so was hurt by this comment being directed towards me, however I would not change how I educate my child one bit, knowledge is power after all!!

I would highly recommend a visit to a farm to help open your children’s eyes to what they eat – Marsh Farm was good for this, however it is very much more a petting farm than a working one. Next stop for us is Jimmy’s Farm, Suffolk which I hear is a real working farm where you can buy what they produce, just what we are looking for…..we’ll let you know hoe we get on.

Thanks for stopping by Mummy Alice and Mini-Chef

Marsh Farm – http://www.marshfarmcountrypark.co.uk/

Jimmy’s Farm – www.jimmysfarm.com/


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