Friday, 4 January 2013

Mission:Explore Food

I was recently sent a copy of Mission:Explore Food to review and it could not have come at a more apt time because Cameron was just entering his first term of food technology lessons at school.

The term of lessons were rather disappointing - Cameron made focaccia, risotto, amaretti, thumbprint cookies, fruit buns (where the fruit was optional) and a chocolate log.  I say "made" in the loosest term because the focaccia dough was pre-made, meaning that he only shaped and baked it, the chocolate log was a ready made swiss roll that he iced, there was someone putting things in the oven... etc.  

Cameron's food tech focaccia


Cameron did extremely well with what he was given but there was no real discussion about the science behind the processes - why dough rises, or how rice swells and absorbs or really anything I would deem valuable for a 12/13 year old learning about food and cooking independently.  
The entire thinking behind (and funding for) food education in schools is about reducing obesity but I really do think they're barking up the wrong tree.  Don't even get me started on the Ed Balls recipe book!

Cameron was surprised to learn that many of his peers didn't know how to rub butter into flour or even how to crack an egg which led me to want to sing from the rooftops that it's so important that we don't leave food education entirely to the food tech teacher if we want our children to eat well and make good choices.  This is something that needs to be modelled and practised in the kitchen at home.



In my opinion, Mission:Explore Food is the answer to just about everything that is wrong with state school food education and I recommend it wholeheartedly.  For starters, it begins where all food education should - the first two chapters are Grow and Harvest followed by Cook, Eat, Waste, Soil and Everything else.

The book challenges you to go on a series of missions learning about where your food comes from, growing your own food, meeting your meat and what I really love about the book is that it doesn't say "this is the right choice" or "this is what you should eat" it simply encourages you to think, ask questions and come to your own conclusions but all in a very fun and silly way (our favourite from the Waste section: Make a chocolate poo, eat it in public).

There are enough activities in the book to keep you going for years, it would be a wonderful addition to your home education resources and it would also make a great gift.

Mission:Explore Food is currently FREE to download until January 21st!
All 6 chapters and 159 illustrated mission activities are included for free and help children to learn about and rethink their relationships with food.

ibook: http://bit.ly/12BNoiX
Kindle: http://amzn.to/VRHK6n 
Or if you'd prefer, a paper copy (not the cheapest book but I believe it's worth the cash). 

More information about The Geography Collective and some sneak peek pages here.

17 comments:

  1. This book looks fantastic, I have downloaded the free kindle version and can't wait to get stuck in! Thanks Hannah
    Claire

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  2. :-( it's not working for me, I can't find it on my kindle and when I click to buy on Amazon it says I don't have the app for kindle. I just have the basic kindle so maybe that's why?

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    1. I'm sorry you're having trouble, Becky. I just had a look and I found it in the Kindle store (I didn't use the colon) and it downloaded for free.
      I don't see why it wouldn't work on a basic kindle - how do you search on the basic one? Do you have the kindle store etc on the device?

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    2. Yes, I can access the amazon store through it, but searching doesn't bring it up. Ahh never mind, looks good though :-)

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  3. Would love to download the book, however, Amazon UK is only for UK residents and I live in Canada, so no download for me. Boo hoo. Myra

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    1. Oh, I'm sorry Myra. I am always frustrated when there's an international book I can't get access to - it seems silly to me that digital downloads need to be restricted.

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  4. Thanks for the recommendation, I have downloaded the book. We read it another day :-)

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    1. You're welcome, Sarah - I hope you enjoy it!

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  5. I'm having the same download problems as Becky :(
    I was also very disappointed with food tech lessons in school when mine were there some 15+ years ago, such a shame it hasn't improved. So important that we did so much in the kitchen at home.

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    1. I queried the issues about downloading the book and unfortunately it's only available on the newer Kindles/tablets because it's a picture book and they wanted to get the best out of the illustrations.
      Sorry about that.

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    2. Shame not to have the book but good to have a reason, thought I was doing something wrong. Thanks for checking.

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  6. Thank you this look great, I have downloaded a copy.

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  7. I agree completely. I mean I studied food tech past what was obligitory but most of my friends grew up only being able to make toast. But even my further studies were based around the theme 'make a low fat convenience meal' - no joke either.

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  8. Thanks so much for sharing the free book, looks amazing! In other news...I am knitting cable bed socks! Eek!

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