School trips to abattoirs should be made part of the curriculum to improve pupils' understanding of where their food comes from, according to Countryfile presenter Tom Heap.
Heap, 52, said the move would contribute to greater transparency of food production practices which would increase awareness of animal welfare.
"I honestly believe that slaughterhouses, intensive chicken barns or crowded pig pens should be open to the public eye. Schools should be encouraged to visit as part of the curriculum," he has written in the Radio Times.
"The public cares about the welfare of the animal and the health of the environment behind the food on their plate.
"Much of the farming industry is nervous about letting the cameras in.
"I'm not saying they have something to hide, but they seem to believe the consumer would rather not know.
"For me, secrecy breeds malpractice inside and, frequently unjustified, suspicion on the outside. It's very easy for campaign groups to fill in the void with their own version of how animals are treated."
Heap even proposed that each stage of food production could be filmed on webcam.
The presenter said Countryfile should not be afraid to cover the issue in the programme, despite its family audience and early Sunday evening timeslot.