Talking Point: Christopher Trotter: January 2021

Each month we invite a Guild member to start of a discussion about a subject they care about. Topics can be any subject relating to food, from regenerative agriculture to the right to food, Big Macs to bouillabaisse. Email with a quick note about your idea, submissions are 200 words. To start the ball rolling, Christopher Trotter vents his feelings about teaching cookery to children...

We hear a lot about mental health, obesity, food banks and poor diets. The Prime Minister’s recent advice from his ‘nutritional experts’, ‘is worse than useless. It got us into this mess’ wrote Guild member Joanna Blythman. Nutrition as it is promoted today is all about promoting big food businesses. This needs to change.

Good diet is very simple, it’s about cooking fresh seasonal food, avoiding processed foods and being aware of what comes from your area. To give people a good start in life they need to learn to cook and learn to understand seasonality and locality. Teaching children how to cook at school would help them to develop social skills and learn to sit around a table to enjoy the fruits of their joint labours, thus at a stroke helping to support mental health and prevent obesity. Learning to cook is a fundamental human right, we as a guild should do all we can to promote it. Cooking can cover a whole range of curricular requirements from geography, through science and history. It needs to be taught as part of the whole learning process and not as an extra option. Guild members, to your pens and stoves!