THE importance of food in education has been celebrated ahead of the Scottish Government’s consultation on the Good Food Nation Bill.
The event, which formed part of the Food for Thought Programme, was hosted by Richard Lochhead MSP and speakers included Scotland’s First National Chef and winner of MasterChef The Professionals, Gary Maclean.
Maclean told guests at the parliamentary reception: “I once said that food education is just as important as maths… sorry I was wrong.
“Food education is more important than Maths – you won’t die from a heart attack at 55 from being bad at maths.”
The Holyrood event, held by Business in the Community (BITC) Scotland, included demonstrations of the food activities that the programme has undertaken in schools and canapés designed especially by Edinburgh College students using local and seasonal produce.
Mr Maclean added: “As an advocate for good food I can’t stress enough the importance of instilling a healthy interest in what we eat and where it comes from among young people.
“Scotland’s food and drinks industry is huge yet as a nation our eating and drinking habits are far from exemplary.
“Food for Thought programme is a fantastic initiative celebrating Scotland’s wonderful produce and I’m proud to be part of this and its role in driving forward positive change.”
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said: “There is some great work happening within our communities, with a growing network of producers, farm shops and farmers’ markets creating successful outcomes.
“The Food for Thought programme is a natural extension of this and an important factor in
supporting our drive to become a Good Food Nation.”
The programme was established in 2013 and supports schools with their food education plans which has significant wider impacts on their learning outcomes.
Since being created, almost a thousand schools have benefited from the partnership.
Scotland’s young people were given the opportunity to have their voices heard at the
event which aimed to highlight the contribution food and drink makes to the economy.
It also showcased how businesses have been supporting schools and demonstrating
support towards a healthier nation.
Business in the Community Scotland’s Director Alan Thornburrow said: “I’m delighted Business in the Community Scotland is playing such a key role in delivering the Food for Thought programme which recognises the continuing vital contribution of the food and drink industry to Scotland’s economy and the impact that working together to a common purpose can have.
“Helping deliver the aspiration of becoming a good food nation is something we are very proud of.”
The Scottish Government is expected to launch a consultation on a Good Food Nation Bill later this year as part of its Good Food Nation policy of 2014, which outlines the aim of moving towards a healthier and more sustainable food system.
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