Monday, June 3, 2013

Spaghetti trees and plant cheese

A study about children and food out of Britain is making the rounds.

They asked kids what they knew about the provenance of food and other questions around nutrition.

Given that about a quarter of elementary school children said cheese is made from plants, you can easily understand why journalists could not resist making a headline out of plant based cheese.

The K-landnews team does not want to call "cheese is from plants" or "fish fingers are made with chicken" a grave mistake.

We think, the children are simply ahead of all adults who are not working in the big food industry. And while the kids may not have read about my little pony in beef lasagne, their fish and chicken statement is proof that they understand the concept.

Some kids also believe that pasta is an animal product.

Of course, even the K-landnews editor knows this is wrong.

We saw that report on BBC TV from the 1950s (or was it the 60s) that clearly showed spaghetti grow on trees. It was broadcast around 1 April.

The researchers left room for simple answers only. Which is fine for the purpose of the study. Decomposing salmon feeding trees, manure used on the fields where noodles grow, they only confuse us.

Reception of the study in those German media that are not on total flood coverage, was in fact quite nice.

They resisted the "dumb kids" trap and instead talked about encouraging aspects in the study.

So, we end this post on an optimistic note, with a nod to our American carnivores who point to the steak and say "see, I am eating my veggies".

And we would like to give a bit of credit to the French inner city school teacher who did her own food study some 20 years ago and found out that fish naturally has a rectangular shape, the exact same shape as fishfingers.

And some 30 years ago, we know this for a fact, an American elementary school student was admonished by the principal because she casually mentioned that hamburgers consisted of ground up cows.

The adult felt this knowledge could traumatize the other kids.

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