Real men don't just eat quiche - they cook it. Cooking was once considered a woman's job, but not any more. With the dramatic rise in single-person households and dual-career families, cooking is now a survival skill for all. How many people really know what is in the 60 million frozen meals sold annually by supermarkets? To live, one must not only eat, but eat properly.
Cooking is also fun, a way of doing things for others. People once learned to socialise at the meal table, but no more, it seems, from the detailed evidence of the RSA Focus on Food education campaign (pages 9 and 51-55).
The top chefs backing the campaign may be over-egging the pudding by harking back to a golden age of family togetherness and high-quality nutrition. But they are right in saying that the skill of cooking has been lost in the curricular complexities of design and technology and an over-emphasis on industrial production.
Schools must be helped to teach all children how to cook, and the basics of healthy eating and nutrition. Otherwise we leave diet, health and welfare to the dictates of machines and the commercial interests of manufacturers.