Animal, Vegetable, Mineral

5 March 2012

I remember seeing a Jamie Oliver show a couple of years ago when he discovered that so many of the children he was talking to didn’t recognise very common vegetables – onions and potatoes for instance. They’d never seen them in their uncooked states, just as side dishes to hamburgers perhaps,  

The papers today are talking about a similar story in Australia – in a recent survey, a quarter of Year 6 students thought that yoghurt is a plant product. And cotton comes from animals. 

I’m not making any comments on these findings; I just thought they were interesting.  And don’t blame the schools.  I didn’t learn what a tomato was at school and I would presume that neither did you.





  1. What I really find appalling is the lack of knowledge of geography and history. And, by the way, did that survey happen to mention what sort of animal bears cotton? Being a spinner, I’d really like to know.

  2. I think my 4 year old would give most of those kids a run for their money!

    • I KNOW he would (I’ve known this little boy since he was a day old). He could certainly tell me the difference between brussel sprouts, cauliflower, brocolli (AND he’d eat them all – usually with great gusto).

  3. Have to admit after reading the article I’m siding with some of the grade 6ers. Since when did bread and cheese come from farms? The raw products, wheat and milk I can understand, but I’m pretty sure most bread and cheese comes from factories (some small scale and some industrial)…

  4. I completely agree. I also have the SOs Holden who will really only eat corn- because it’s the only thing their mother will eat. Also wrong in my mind – but they aren’t my kids so I make 2 veg and ask that they eat a bite. They may not like it – but they do it….

  5. Infrequent reader here (blown in on the back of the ACM whirlwind). My son (11) can tell you all about the processing of wool, scouring, carding, combing, spinning but I was horrified to find that he thought cotton came from lambs. I did a quick poll of small children and it seemed to be a common belief, wool from sheep and cotton from lambs.

    He can cut an onion though but as a spinner I’m still ashamed.

  6. Do cotton balls get called “cotton wool” in Australia as well? If so, that probably isn’t helping.

    • Good thinking, Kim. Yes, we do call cotton balls “cotton wool”.

  7. When I was a student teacher, a group of us took students from a nearly public school to Centennial Park. Sitting by the pond, I asked my young pupil, “what’s that?” (pointing to a fish). “I don’t know,” came the reply and when I told her I was reprimanded: “But fish can’t swim, they’re flat and covered in batter”. Her father owned a take-away shop!

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