News / Toronto

Ontario urged to bring back home economics in high schools

The president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture says many young people in Ontario don’t know how to prepare a meal from scratch because they have never been shown how.

“We’ve almost got a generation or more who really don’t know how to prepare a meal,” Mark Wales told Premier Kathleen Wynne on Wednesday when she attended a breakfast meeting at Queen’s Park with federation representatives.

Wales urged the Liberal government to bring back home economics to the high schools so both teen girls and boys can learn at least the basics.

“That’s been gone from the school system long enough that the ability to make a meal from scratch with local food preferably and the ability to do home canning and those kinds of things that has been lost and that’s something that need to go back,” Wales said.

He said the generation that still does visit the farms to pick fruits and vegetables for canning purposes “probably weren’t born in Canada.”

Wales also noted that even when a London food bank is given fresh vegetables “what they have found is that the people who sadly need to use the food bank don’t have the skill set to do canning.”

Wales said the province should establish a food literacy program in which young people not only learn the basic of food preparation but also how to prepare a healthy meal.

“If you take the average teenagers today they have no idea how to make a meal from scratch. They think it comes out of a box or a bag and goes into a microwave . . . That’s a skill that’s lost and that’s something they (the government) needs to do,” he told Torstar News Service later.

Wales said after all the “best and the freshest” produce comes from Ontario “and it’s best that they use it here, preserve it and prepare it properly . . . and that’s all good for Ontario jobs.”

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