On 3rd July Tuxford Academy Food Forum took the mature decision to visit an abattoir to see first-hand where the food on their school menu comes from.
Donna Baines, Nottinghamshire County Council Food Development Manager, who accompanied the group, said ‘the field to fork visit was a unique opportunity for the students to see the excellent quality of meat used and where the meat in our school originates from.’
Student Kathryn Daly, age 13 said, ‘I’m happy that the animals had a good life before coming to the abattoir.’ Fellow student Jamie Martin said: ‘It was a really interesting visit and it showed me the excellent quality of meat used in our school diners. After today I will continue to eat meat as it is an excellent source of protein.’
The students also visited Spittlemoor Farm at Bothamsall, where John Walker, Farm Manager, explained how the pigs were reared. As well as holding new born piglets the students took a trailer ride around the farm and were shown how the animals’ welfare on the farm is the utmost importance.
Mrs Dodd, Tuxford Academy, said of the visit: ‘The students saw the whole process from where they are reared to the animals’ arrival at the abattoir to the slaughtering process. It was both enlightening and educational. The students showed a very mature attitude and had the option to leave at any point. I am proud that we have addressed, experienced and learnt from this important trip which has been valuable to the Food Forum’s discussions.
The group represent students’ views on school lunches.
The aims and objectives of the group are to:
- Give students a voice so they can make healthy choices, understand the importance of eating and stay healthy into adult life.
- Encourage students to experiment with different foods.
- Build relationships with the catering team.
- Give students a chance to be creative and use critical thinking:
- trial and prototype input for new menus and recipes
- evaluate existing products.
- Teach sustainability and environment, using produce from the school garden.
- Partake in community participation, understand consumer needs and be an informed consumer.
- Understand enterprise:
- learn about marketable products
- understand why food development officers choose certain produce
- opportunity to choose the new menu for the autumn term.
- Promote healthy lifestyles; students have the opportunity to request healthy options.
- Gain knowledge about the Academy using local suppliers.
- Learn about animal welfare; trips organised to the farm, abattoir and supplier.
- Sample new foods
- Students learn about quality, price, likes and dislikes.
- Opportunity to taste food that they may never experience; eg truffles, frogs legs, snails.
- Carry out surveys to gain student opinion on service, price, quality of food.