Posts Tagged ‘school food’

BigBarn’s view on Free school meals

Government news that kids are going to get free school meals is great for some kids and parents, but please do a proper job, rather than try and score political points!

Mum passing fast food to child from the cemetery next to Rawmarsh school.

Mum passing fast food to child from the cemetery next to Rawmarsh school.

The trouble is that some school meals are terrible, and far too many kids have become too fussy. We need all school meals to be good, and made by enthusiastic, caring, cooks, and need kids to appreciate and enjoy what they are given.

Jamie Oliver has done some brilliant work on this and progress has been made despite the occasional, horrific, and ironic, pictures of parents passing fast food through the school railings from the cemetery.

We need to get kids interested in real food and why we are still shouting about our Crop for the Shop in schools project were attitudes to real food were transformed by the growing, harvesting and cooking fruit and veg. ‘I hate carrots.’ turned in to ‘cor, they’re lovely, can I have another one’?

To see more click on the video link:

So please bring food in to the curriculum with a small allotment in every school, fruit and nut trees surrounding playground and even chickens.

For more on Crop for the Shop in schools click here


BBC; Cheese is from plants, chips grow on trees!

A survey reported by the BBC shows an alarming lack of food knowledge. But hardly surprising when the modern food industry and retailers have separated consumer from producer. Why should a child know whether potatoes are grown underground or up a tree when they rarely see food production or are not taught about food at school?

Most of the fields around me at the moment are either yellow with oil seed rape or green with wheat, and look nothing like the food on my plate. I expect most goes to feeding animals in intensive ‘factory’ farms, also hidden from the consumer.

It seems unlikely that we will return to the days when small mixed farms surrounded housing, so bringing food growing and cooking in to the curriculum, like the school in the report, is a fantastic idea.

School Crop for the Shop on BBC

School Crop for the Shop on BBC

The school project we ran showed how enthused children are when given the opportunity to learn and interact with growing and cooking food. After all, we eat 3 times a day and have the primal urge of hunger.

So Victorian food for History, designing food labels for Art, seed rates for Maths, growing plants for Biology, must make each subject more relevant and easier to learn. Add to this the incentive of making some money by selling any excess food through BigBarn’s Crop for the Shop scheme, and we may see the next generation enjoying healthier food and saving the NHS a fortune. Perhaps even see a new generation of farmers?

Will the cloud of the coming Food Price Crisis have a silver lining?

The threat of the coming Food Price Crisis increased as further bad news broke concerning the drought in America.

As covered in our previous article Food Prices rises may help to change consumer habits and raise awareness to the failings of the modern, big is best, food industry. In some cases expensive food, or empty shelves may change a whole culture with dramatic positive outcomes.

When the USSR stopped supplying Cuba with fertilizer, fuel and chemicals, the whole population started growing food organically with incredible results. Here is a very good video with the whole story:

This ‘forced’ change, to farmers and consumers, has been a huge inspiration for organic farming and proved to many that the world could feed itself without oil, chemicals and fertilizer, from small farms, and improve diet and a sense of community.

Food growing is becoming a very popular way of building communities and food security. A recent initiative in New York has a ‘tripple bottom line’, increasing availability of fresh food, giving problem kids a purpose and away from crime, and improving diet.

Again a great, and shorter, video, to watch here. You will love the fast talking teacher!


At BigBarn we have been working with a school in Leicester building mini allotments outside 2 primary school classrooms. Funded by the Lottery our team has taught the kids all about growing, cooking and eating the produce. And any left over produce will be sold through local shops opting in to our Crop for the Shop initiative.

The project has been a huge success with incredible enthusiasm from all the children. Case studies are being written up for other schools to follow, and we hope to see all those involved leave school with the knowledge of, how to grow food, make healthy meals at very low cost and make money from selling the ‘crop’ as well as perhaps the foods they have cooked! Another tripple bottom line?

So if the Food Price Crisis gets people to read about, value and implement, these projects and ideas, and government to change there food policy from, ‘big is best’ to ‘small is beautiful’, there will be a big silver lining.