23 May 1997

Kids food nous patchy

ALMOST 90% of children, aged between eight and 11, know ham comes from pigs, but one in five is unaware cheese comes from cows milk, a new survey has found.

The MORI survey, commissioned by the NFU, assessed childrens awareness of key farming and food facts. NFU deputy president, Tony Pexton, said the results showed that although most children were aware of general farming facts, the depth of knowledge was patchy.

Nearly half (48%) incorrectly believed margarine came from cows milk, while 57% were unaware that spinach was grown in Britain and 45% did not know cherries were grown in this country.

But 90% of the children knew tomatoes were grown in Britain, and 76% knew wheat was the main ingredient in bread.

To give as many children as possible the chance to visit a farm the NFU launched its Friendly Farm Fundays initiative yesterday (Thur). More than 120 farms across England and Wales will be open to the public.

"We need to sustain our efforts to teach children about farming and we hope the farm visits will give families a real understanding of how their food is produced, as well as providing an enjoyable day out in the country," Mr Pexton said.