2015-12-16  

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Where do Potatoes Come From?

With reports again highlighting a concerning lack of knowledge amongst young adults and the origin of the food they eat, educating the next generation remains an important focus.

As popular primary school project ‘Grow Your Own Potatoes’ enters its twelfth year, AHDB Potatoes is calling for greater industry engagement to maximise its impact.

Grow Potatoes

Sue Lawton, education co-ordinator for AHDB Potatoes, said:
“It is alarming to hear that almost one in five (18 per cent) of young adults say they simply don’t need to know where food comes from. This naivety and misunderstanding is a challenge for the industry and one we must tackle if we are to encourage young people to make more informed food choices. The more we can do to ensure that potato knowledge and good eating habits endure for life, is crucial.

“Grow Your Own Potatoes has made a positive impact since its inception, reaching well over 2 million children. The project targets children at an influential age, combining classroom theory with fun, hands-on practical activities, which industry can get involved with. Last year 14,600 unique schools took part (over 65% of UK primaries) but help is needed to engage with and support those schools, from driving recruitment to participating in classroom talks, planting and harvesting events and assemblies.

“In 2016 we are increasing the number of kits available, with up to four classes per school eligible to take part. Not only will this widen the project’s reach, but it will encourage more ‘whole school’ participation, with opportunities for competitions, special assemblies and other potato-related activities.”

KEY DATES:

  • Encourage schools to register at gyop.potato.org.uk by: 29 Jan 2016

  • Send a chitting reminder and advice: 23 Feb 2016

  • Pop in for a planting prep talk: 8 March 2016

  • Help with harvesting and weighing: 14 June 2016

Sue continued:
“Of course, what this latest survey confirms is that we must explore every opportunity to expand potato knowledge across all age groups. ‘Cook Your Own Potatoes’ for secondary schools, which continues to do well, is being refreshed for 2016, and there are plans for a further education module targeting college and catering students to be launched in the spring. In addition, we are working with Red Tractor to target school canteens to encourage them to make use of the harvested crop and fully demonstrate the farm to fork process to pupils.”

AHDB Potatoes

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