Monday, 1 February 2016

Down on the farm.

The Farmers' Guardian is one of the farmer's favourite papers and he reads it avidly each Friday.   I read some of the articles and find them fascinating.  His other vital reading matter is the Yorkshire Post, which he reads every evening from cover to cover.   On Saturdays there is a Country Week supplement and this week it has in it a surprising article, which I thought I would share with you.

I am often quite suspicious of 'National Surveys'.  I don't know who did this one and I don't know where it was done - I would presume it was probably done with city children (although I wouldn't bank on it).   But the results are shocking.

One in three children had never heard a cow 'moo' or a sheep 'baa'.
One in five didn't know which animal bacon came from; one in twenty thought cheese  was sourced from pigs; over a quarter didn't know that carrots grew underground - in fact nine percent thought they probably grew 'under bushes'.

In once read of someone standing in a check-out queue at the Supermarket behind a mother and child.   The mother told the child she had forgotten the potatoes and sent him to get some - he came back with a large frozen chips, which she accepted and carried on going through the check-out.

 I suppose that in this modern technological age this shouldn't be all that surprising, when children are so much more interested in their various 'gadgets' and many have no longer any contact with the countryside at all.   But it does seem a shame - does it matter?

 

19 comments:

Derek Faulkner said...

I doubt many children actually see raw vegetables in the house either because as the one child in the supermarket proved, things like potatoes come frozen, either as chips, roast potatoes, or mother buys ready meals. The thing that amazed me was that you can actually buy frozen bubble and squeak, that was often a Monday meal to use up the Sunday roast left overs.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

That is sad. I don't know what the results might be like here with city children. Because I am in a very rural area, I imagine most of the children around here would fare better on that survey. When I was young, there would always be someone joking around that chocolate milk came from brown cows, but everyone knew it was a joke. -Jenn

Jenny said...

Probably the saddest thing is that neither the children nor the parents care where their food comes from or how much it has been processed. No excuse whatsoever with modern communications. As a child my aunt a headmistress in Hull used to bring kids out at the weekend to see our farm (probably wouldn't be allowed nowadays). They had no idea at all about animals or land but at least they got to see first hand. That was over 50 years ago, I'm sure things are a lot worse now.

Wilma said...

Well - don't blame the children! They can only learn what they are exposed to. It is sad, mostly because it means that they won't have enough knowledge to understand what constitutes a healthy diet. No wonder obesity is a problem worldwide.

Linda Metcalf said...

Our schools used to have Home Ec. classes that taught cooking and sewing but no longer offered in the school system....and it's a shame. If children were exposed to these classes along with parents teaching in the home they would come to know good nutrition.

Sol said...

This is about right. a boyfriend of one of my family didnt know that the white chunky stuff in coleslaw was cabbage. I asked him what he thought it was and he said oniony stuff. I then asked did he ever read the ingredients when he bought it and his reply was "I dont read the pot, my kentucky fried chicken would be getting cold". This came about as he claimed he didnt like cabbage. lol

Rachel said...

I think it was always a bit like this. City children never knew where anything came from, even babies, when I was at school.

jinxxxygirl said...

As long as things continue status quo i don't think it will matter... but if there were to be some kind of catastrophic life changing event..... it might... otherwise they should be able to continue on in their ignorance...

Heather said...

That is appalling and I think it matters very much. If so many children think like this then in years to come more and more adults will also. The government already seems to be disinterested in rural matters and in the future there will be fewer who really care about it.

Joanne Noragon said...

It is a shame, and some day it will matter. Future generations will have to deconstruct their food to see how to grow it so it doesn't kill them.

angryparsnip said...

This goes with your post a few years ago when you were shopping and you talked about the Mother and child going up and down the with no talking. No where is the red box or see the green leaf. Pick out the oatmeal. No reading at all.
Shopping with the little ones was always a fun learning part of the day. Where are the apples, see the lemons, look potatoes can be brown red and white.

cheers, parsnip

John Gray said...

You see school kids alot in tesco
Being shown the veg

Pondside said...

It's sad. I think we just have to hang onto the fact that there are lots of good young parents out there, too.

Librarian said...

My Mum does voluntary work: Every Wednesday morning, she reads to a group of children aged 3 - 5 at a local kindergarden. She often entertains us with stories about comments from "her" kids. Some are very knowledgeable and have a wide vocabulary, while others don't even know words that we consider basic. Of course, having many children from immigrant families who do not speak German at home makes it more difficult, but they all love the books my Mum reads and shows them.
And they always learn something from it, too.
What I actually mean to say is that there has always been and will always be a wide variety of how families live, how parents teach (or don't teach) their children. It is sad but we can't order them what to teach at home; we can only influence what they learn at school. And it should be there, at the latest, that a child learns about food.

Gwil W said...

No good asking me. I've only recently found out that fish have fingers.

Frances said...

I often see groups of young school children, some very young, visiting the farmers market with their teachers, and some parents chaperoning them. There will be lots of excited chattering going on and some very amusing discoveries being made by the children. Good to know that these city children are getting some appreciation of what carrots look like, with dirt still on them, and so forth.

Best wishes.

Terry and Linda said...

I think if things go on like they are, you will see less and less children ever being able to understand or even experience farm life. I find that terribly sad.

Linda

Cro Magnon said...

The simple answer is, yes, it does matter. Just as it matters that children learn to write legibly, add up, and hopefully speak a foreign language.

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