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If this picture puts your toddler off his lunch, he should consider vegetarianism

28 February 2014

How can we encourage children to be closer to nature, when 80% of Britons live in urban areas? This is the question that Michael Gove attempts to answer in his contribution to a recent pamphlet entitled ‘What the Environment means to Conservatives’. He writes, ‘One way we all interact with the natural world is through the food we eat.’

As a result, he wants to apply this thinking to education. He has already made cooking compulsory in schools for all children up to the age of 14 from next September. And his ‘School Food Plan’ aims both to improve the standard of school food, and to teach pupils about where ingredients come from, and how seasons affect food supplies.

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But just how realistic is it to expect schools to ‘reconnect’ pupils with nature and their food? It’s no wonder that children are disconnected from food – and particularly animal products – when it is presented in nice plastic packaging or hidden away in ready meals.

Just this week, JBS Family Butchers in Sudbury were in the papers when they were forced to take down their window display. Locals in the Suffolk town complained that the display, which regularly featured creatures such as hares, ducks and rabbits, still with their features and fur, was ‘disgusting’. One said: ‘Everyone knows animals are killed to get meat but you don’t need it shoved in your face like this.’

If Gove can succeed in connecting children to their food, that would be a fantastic achievement; both for their health, and for the health of our agricultural industry. But perhaps if people did have to see meat in its original form – be that in butchers’ shop windows, in school, or in the supermarket – they might think more about the provenance of the meat that they eat on a regular basis. If seeing a rabbit puts you off your lunch, maybe you’re better suited to vegetarianism.

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Show comments
  • Two Bob

    I want the spleen!

  • CharlietheChump

    It would be more disturbing if he is turned on by it. No career in farming fo him.

    • Two Bob

      zoophiliacs have rights too!

  • Magnolia

    My children lived in a big city when they were very small and we took them on regular day trips to a countryside open farm which they adored.
    It was not expensive.
    Their primary school also ran a trip there.
    They fed chickens, ran away from cockerels, saw rare breeds, cuddled rabbits and guinea pigs, watched lambs being bottle fed and took sheepdogs for ‘walkies’.
    A cow slurped off our baby’s woollen mitten and swallowed it during one memorable visit.
    The farming community is open, ready and willing to explain how it feeds us but the mass will to learn just isn’t there because of ingrained ignorance and poverty of thought..
    No vegetarians here because otherwise we would not be able to see and enjoy the farm animals.
    I don’t eat spring lamb because I think 12 weeks is too short a life but at least they get some fresh air unlike the battery chickens which are also only a few weeks old.
    Knowledge about the animals improves welfare and is also indirectly related to cooking skills and it must be no coincidence that rose veal, free range chicken and mutton are all readily available now.
    Schools should take kids on plenty of farm visits.

  • Radford_NG

    Sudbury:as far as I could see (from the D Mail) the delightful window display doesn’t seem to be on the street;it seems to separate the outer shop from the inner shop.Can anybody explain?

    • Kitty MLB

      I did not see the Mail so don’t quite understand.
      Inside the front shop window ( its quite delightful with sawdust on the floor)
      high above the usual packets of sausages etc,
      there are a few pigs heads hanging on hooks with some rabbits.
      ( mind you have not been there for years )
      We are losing our grip on reality if we cannot abide being reminded of where
      food comes from.

      • Makroon

        I understand that the regular customers have now asked the butcher to restore his display, and told the interfering ‘townies’ to bugger off.

  • Kitty MLB

    I know that shop in Sudbury ( as its not too far from Norfolk)
    Read about this in a newspaper, probably hypocritical lefties
    who have issues with reality, best not to tell them that
    when they enjoy their roast beef this coming Sunday that they
    will be eating the friendly highland cow who also inhabits Sudbury.
    ‘If this picture puts your toddler off his lunch, he should consider Vegetarianism’:
    If your toddler makes some connection to a picture of Bluebell the cow
    and the mashed up meat he gets for dinner, then your child is a genius,
    and should consider Mensa.
    If children are disconnected with food, in particular animal products ( funny
    that,Children usually take issues with vegetables) its because of the
    way the food items are cooked.
    We do not want a world full of vegetarians, they smell of cabbage,
    are so pompous and if God wanted us all to be Carrot nibblers he would
    not have created molars, now give your kiddies a nice piece of chicken,
    no need to tell them where it comes from at this stage, they are allowed their innocence .

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