An overwhelming 93% of Northern Ireland school children aged between 11 and 18 consider cooking to be an essential life skill with 77% of them believing that it is important to source products locally.
According to a survey which was carried out on behalf of the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) amongst post primary schools across Northern Ireland to discover pupils’ attitudes to cooking and food sourcing, there was an increase in the number of pupils who recognised the Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured Scheme (NIFQAS) logo compared to a similar survey carried out in 2013.
Commenting on the high number of pupils who have heard of the scheme Cherrie Kenny, LMC Education Services Manager said: “The LMC education programme aims to promote the quality and safety of Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured beef and lamb in post primary schools and over the past 15 years we have worked closely with some really enthusiastic students. It is encouraging to see that over 60% of pupils have now heard of the NIFQAS and we will continue to work with HE teachers and demonstrators to communicate the importance of sourcing local produce.
“We recently launched our new site beefandlambni.com where pupils can find a whole host of nutritious recipes to try and later this year the food4life website will have a new A-level section which will be a fantastic aid for coursework, revision and providing recipes.”
Additional results showed that 87% of school children sometimes helped with the cooking at home and homemade lasagne came out on top as the favourite meal to cook with over 30% of pupils choosing it as their top dish.
Jamie Oliver topped the poll as the most popular chef amongst young people with an overwhelming 78% of pupils voting him as their favourite celebrity cook.