MLC View

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Byline: Gwyn Howells

LAST week MLC Cymru staged an event for Assembly members to promote the importance of food and its position in the curriculum in Wales.

The issue of food education is essential to all Welsh children - we believe it is vital that youngsters understand food issues such as hygiene and nutrition.

Consumer lifestyles are rapidly changing. We are becoming more familiar with ready-cooked, microwave meals and our children are, in turn, losing valuable skills, such as safe food preparation, recognition of a nutritious diet and knowledge of food hygiene.

The loss of these types of skills eventually has a serious effect on all sorts of wider public policies, influencing poverty and social inequality, housing, food safety and hygiene. There are also effects on the nation's health, leading to an increase in diet-related illnesses such as heart disease - which in turn places an extra load on the National Health Service.

The MLC Cymru Assembly event, hosted by Cynog Dafis AM, chairman of the Education and Lifelong Learning Committee, gave us a great opportunity, on behalf of the food industry, to discuss issues regarding food in the curriculum openly and to seek opinion and support from AMs.

The AMs were told by Rees Roberts, chairman of our Welsh Council and Peter Barr, MLC chairman, of the importance we believe food should have in the curriculum in Wales. Many of the AMs were very supportive of our aims. MLC Cymru already supports food education in Wales through our range of teaching resources and also provides workshops, seminars, classes and conferences to back these up. …