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Oz children think yoghurt grows on trees

| September 10, 2012 | 0 Comments

The Australian Council for Educational Research has released the results of a national survey of children in grades 6 and 10. The research was commissioned by the Primary Industries Education Foundation(PIEF) to ascertain children’s knowledge of food origins and other naturerelated issues, and the results have been met with concern.

They reveal that most Australian children in their last year of primary school think that cotton comes from animals. Twenty-seven per cent of students surveyed believe that yoghurt grows on trees. When asked to identify the origin of food – namely bread, cheese and a banana – in a hypothetical lunchbox, only 45% of Grade 6 students knew where they came from. Only 16% of children surveyed had ever visited a farm.

PIEF’s chairman, Cameron Archer, attributes the misinformation to the urbanisation of modernisation, saying the agricultural industry and schools should increase awareness of the chain of food production. The Sydney Food Fairness Alliance – a coalition of producers, food security experts, gardeners, health workers and nutritionists – said that children should know that farmers were valuable to society. The alliance also said that children should know that “there is not an endless supply of food”.

In total, 900 rural and urban students were surveyed from 61 schools across the Australian states over almost four months last year. The survey found most children believed timber was mostly harvested from native forests and about a third thought wildlife could not survive on farmed land.

Category: Spring 2012

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