TV Presenter and farmer Adam Henson launched the #FeedMeTruth on February 20th, a national campaign so children know where the food on their plate has come from. He hopes to encourage every nursery and school to commit to making their food supply chain transparent, thereby creating a generational shift in how the nation engages with and values food provenance.
Adam explains: “The appreciation and understanding of food starts with children simply knowing how and where the ingredients on their plate were produced, but they don’t. They have no idea. Every school dinner has a story to tell – a journey. It leaves a footprint. We need every child to explore it and be inspired and learn from it.”
The campaign will offer for nurseries, and free of charge for state primary and secondary schools, a way to show the journey of every plate of food and drive the change through supply chains.
Adam hopes every school and nursery in the country will commit to making their food supply chain transparent, using technology to deliver into school dining rooms this journey. The service and technology is being provided by Happerley, a not for profit organisation founded by farmers to validate the provenance of food ingredients and empower consumers to know where their food is from.
Co-operative Childcare, a national nursery group, has already signed up as the lead educational group, who have had to change their entire food supply chain to enable the transparency. Co-operative Childcare is committed to children’s health and wellbeing and part of this programme is about teaching children where their food comes from and about making healthy choices.
Happerley founder, farmer Matthew Rymer, explains: “The food industry remains one of the least transparent and we are not told the origins of most of the ingredients in our food. Children are particularly susceptible to buying into brands and clever marketing because they do not know or understand better.
“By working through the food chain to deliver the full story of the ingredients that make their school dinners, our hope is we can create a seismic change in understanding for the future that impacts positively on their health and nutrition, the environment and sustainable food production.”
While Chief Operating Officer of Co-operative Childcare, Sally Bonnar, enthused: “We are taking a lead in investing in children’s health, nutrition and wellbeing. From nourished tummies to curious minds, we are working to deliver a big difference to our little ones, parents and communities. Our belief is that making educated choices on food and nutrition starts in the nursery and we are the pioneers to do this at a national level.”
The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) Survey which was conducted with 27,500 children across the UK produced some shocking statistics. Nearly a third (29%) of five to seven-year-olds thought that; cheese came from a plant, not an animal, tomatoes grow underground, fish fingers are made of chicken, plus according to more than one in ten (13%) of eight to 11-year-olds, pasta comes from an animal.