ABOUT 8,000 school children aged between 5 and 11 have taken part in a Grow Your Own Potatoes competition organised by the British Potato Council.
The council says the competition helped it to get promotional radio interviews, which would have cost £175,000 if it had been asked to pay for the airtime.
The competition was designed to inspire and motivate children to discover more about the food they eat by growing a potato plant and hundreds of schools took part to find Britain’s Best School Potato Harvest.
Schools were judged on the weight of the harvested crop. They were also able to compare their plant with one being grown by the BPC via a web cam.
The BPC’s Caroline Evans said the council had received a lot of positive feedback.
“Head teachers explained how the pupils had enjoyed taking part and learning about how potatoes grow.
“They cleaned and cooked their crop. Some claimed that many children had never tried a potato before.”
Miss Evans said it was this type of feedback that further justified the BPC’s work with school children.
“The potato industry is committed to helping children understand more about healthy eating and the role that highly nutritious potatoes play in supplying vitamin C and essential minerals,” she said.
The winning school, Bell Wood Community Primary School at Parkwood in Maidstone was rewarded with a new laptop computer.
Four other winning schools received a visit from a leading home economist who showed them how to make a potato dish.