Agri Aware the Irish agri-food educational body have this week launched their healthy eating programme Incredible Edibles with the help of the Minister of State for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne T.D. The project now in its 11th year will see over 1,500 primary schools across Ireland learn to grow, sow and cook a whole host of seasonal Irish fruit, vegetables and herbs.
The project aims to educate and empower children with knowledge of the full farm to fork journey with schools receiving a free kit containing all the must have tools to start their very own school garden from compost to seed potatoes as well as a host of accompanying curriculum linked educational resources. The importance of empowering students through food education has never been of more paramount with recent figures from Safe Food indicating that 1 in 4 children are obese or overweight.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Byrne said;
“The ‘Incredible Edibles’ programme brings the important subject of healthy eating into the classroom in a practical and enjoyable way; teaching children about food and nutrition, and showing them how to grow and enjoy their own fruit and vegetables. Under ‘Healthy Ireland’, Government is working on ways to help people and communities to improve their health; giving them the knowledge and skills to make healthier choices. The 'Incredible Edibles' programme builds on this objective and is a great way of nurturing a child's interest in what they eat and what it means to have a healthy, balanced diet. This will help to lay the foundations for them to adopt healthy behaviours and habits which will last a lifetime”.
Chairman of Agri Aware, Alan Jagoe echoed Minister Byrne’s sentiments: “We are coming into the time of the year when increasing volumes of locally grown new season produce is becoming available. As a farmer myself, I see first-hand the importance of learning about the farm to fork journey particularly in bridging the gap between consumer and producer. Giving children the tools to sow, grow and cook their own Irish produce will give them an appreciation for Irish fruit, vegetables and herbs.”
The initiative is supported by the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Health and Children, through the Healthy Ireland framework, the Department of Agriculture, Bord Bia and the horticulture industry.
Registration is now open for the 2019 Incredible Edibles’ project visitwww.incredibleedibles.ie to register today!