A new book for primary school children that uses poetry and illustrations to simplify the science of sustainable farming and food nutrients has been made available to every primary school in NI.

Entitled Northern Ireland: Our Food, Our Story, it is aimed at educating 4-12 year olds about NI farming, food, culture and health.

The book covers a wide range of topics such as food nutrients, sustainability, traceability, soil health, grass-fed food, greenhouse gases and carbon sequestration, biodiversity, the importance of a balanced diet, dental health, farm safety and local culture.

It was written by Dr. Vanessa Woods, a scientist and consumer engagement professional. Vanessa was previously the chief executive of the Irish agri-food education body, Agri Aware and prior to that had worked as a senior scientist at the Agri Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI).

In 2018, she founded the first Science Communications Consultancy on the Island of Ireland.

“Our Food, Our Story is the first step in delivering science-based messages to children, their teachers and parents by telling the story of sustainable and nutritious food,” she explained.

Commenting at the book launch, Josephine Kelly, Acting CEO of AFBI said that it brings the story of farming, food, culture and health to young people in an imaginative way. “We are particularly pleased that the book is curriculum linked, as it is important that we educate our primary school children on the important role that food plays in human health and how crucial it is in this era of climate change that we produce our food sustainably,” she said.

As well as AFBI, other partners in the project include: ABP; ASDA; Cavanagh Free Range Eggs; Deansgrange Dental Clinic; Grassland Agro; Irish Farmers Journal; Livestock and Meat Commission; White’s Oats; and the NI Fish Producers’ Organisation.

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