Yoghurt grows on trees?
|Flour child by Morgan Weistling|
Three-quarters of Australian children in their final year of primary school believe cotton socks came from animals and 27 per cent are convinced yoghurt grows on trees. A national survey of year 6 and 10 students by the Australian Council for Educational Research found yawning gaps in young people's knowledge of basic food origins.
Whilst this shows a major problem with our education system, I do wonder what parents are doing. Don’t parents talk with their children about these things. I know that I discussed food and where it came from with my children whilst out shopping or when we were preparing meals—I still do today even though they are grown up. In fact we talked about yoghurt not that long ago and wondered how it was discovered (along with yeast). And only yesterday we talked about cider apples (cider apples taste horrible but make great cider - who discovered this)!! And when I made the homemade vanilla extract earlier in the year, both my adult sons were at home at the time and were very interested in the process of how it was made and have been checking on the extract to see how it is changing. I have always encouraged my sons to be curious and to ask questions—aren’t modern children curious enough to ask their parents questions?
I know many parents say they are “too busy”. This is the line I keep hearing and it frustrates me a great deal. I am busy, I also work full time however I was never been that busy to not have time to have these conversations whilst preparing dinner or when visiting the farmers market. I am beginning to wonder if the modern parent is wasting their time or using it unwisely. Do they sit and watch TV or out with friends or watching sport to interact with their children. Or are they so busy taking their children to organized activities that they don’t have any time left for talking with their children. It is a big worry if this is the case.
Or, to be a little more scary - perhaps modern parents don't in fact know the answers to these questions? Or, do they only buy processed foods that are so removed from the original that no one in house as a clue what they are made of? All in all, parents need to lift their game and get more involve in their children's lives.