Children 'believe sheep lay eggs'
Published 02/02/2010 | 07:48
Eggs come from sheep, crisps are made of plastic and butterflies produce cheese - these are just some of the wrong answers given by children in a test of their knowledge of food sources.
The survey of more than 1,000 school children showed that nearly two thirds struggled to identify the origins of the everyday foods they eat.
Some thought beef burgers came from McDonalds or Burger King, that yoghurts were made using turkeys or ducks, ham came from the Co-Op, bacon from horses, goats or peacocks and cheese originated from butterflies, rats or mice.
Fewer than one in four knew that beef burgers come from cows: 29% said they believed beef burgers came from pigs.
Around 1,100 pupils aged six to eight from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset, were questioned for the research commissioned by rural insurance firm Cornish Mutual.
The survey was used to determine their level of awareness and knowledge of vegetables, dairy products and meat produce and to see if they were able to recognise where they come from.
Other bizarre responses from pupils included children believing rabbits, plastic or sheep were the main ingredient of crisps (two thirds correctly identified potatoes).
Some thought ice cream was made with cheese, air, fish or potatoes (43% correctly said milk or cream).
But recognition of vegetables was high, ranging from 98% for carrots and sweetcorn to a low of 44% for swede/turnip.
Levels of animal recognition were even higher. All pupils correctly identified cows, 99% for pigs, 98% for chickens and 97% for sheep.