The Disconnect between Children and their Source of Food.

There is an issue bubbling up concerning young children’s believes of what is the source of the food they eat. So, where do children beliefs their food comes from?

I started asking the same question of others after a recent conversation with a friend of mine who happens to be a Horticulturist. He told me about an experiment conducted by an elementary school teacher.

She placed one bag of potatoes next to another bag of potato chips on top of her desk. Then the teacher proceeded to ask her students this very simple question, “Where do potatoes come from?”

When the teacher pointer to the bag of potato chips, the whole classroom of young students raised their hands. On the surface that reaction might be considered quite endearing.

But is it? Is it really?

If you happen to be a Food Production Advocate this story would be alarming. Why? Think about this, how can our Future Pioneers be expected to grow fruits or vegetables when there is such a disconnect between the reality of what is the actual source of food and the child’s knowledge of where does the food come from?

If children have no concept of how fruits or vegetables come from the ground here on Mother Earth, will they be able to respect, connect or even bond with the land? Can they respect something that seems to appear to be without value?

Consider the breakdown in our food production supply channels. If future generations of children see no value in working on the land, who will take on duties of sowing and harvesting food? Who will take on the baton to become ethical stewards of Mother Earth and all her resources?

The possibility that children might never learn the reason to protect something as vital as heirloom seeds could very wełl become a reality. Why would a child protect something that seems to not be of immediate value? If a child’s only experience is to see that all foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, come prepackaged in a bag, box or can, straight out of a supermarket store – what correlation can they make between the actual food source – the land on Mother Earth?

There are so many problematic ramifications that can occur because of this disconnect. So, can you foresee a food security problem developing for our Future Pioneers in the non to distanct future?

I do and would like to know what comes to mind when you think about it?

Norma Burnson

Photograph: wiseGEEK

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