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Technology has eaten up food

Much attention has been focused lately on the lack of physical activity among children, both at home and in school.

Through a career spanning nearly 30 years in secondary schools, I have never worked in a school that did not have an incredibly thriving PE department offering an extensive range of extra-curricular teams and activities.

Nevertheless, I wonder how much thought has been given to the effects of years of national curriculum technology, which "swallowed" whole the skills of home economics and cookery, on the new generation of young parents.

At the risk of opening up an acrimonious debate, I venture to suggest that by lumping cooking, a joy as well as a skill - just read Nigel Slater's excellent autobiography Toast - with technology, a whole generation or more has been denied access to the skills of cooking "real" food for health, economy and fun.

Robert Newton Retired head 5 Netherdale Close Sutton Coldfield West Midlands

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