The Grain Chain

Archive for June, 2009

DATA conference, Royal Show and ‘credit crunch lunches’

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Design and Technology conference

The Annual Design and Technology Asssociation conference is taking place at Loughborough University on Tuesday 30 June – Thursday 2 July. Wednesday’s food-related activities include sessions on ‘Implementing the new healthy eating policies through your food lessons’ and from Sainsbury’s Active Kids Get Cooking, and on Thursday you can learn about ‘Training the next generation of food teachers’.  To view the complete conference programme and book a place at the conference, visit the Design and Technology Association website at

The Royal Show 7 – 10 July 2009 rs-logo-gold-blue-cmyk

This year’s Royal Show is taking place from 7- 10 July in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. The Royal Show is ‘the UK’s leading agricultural show’ and is presented by the Royal Agricultural Society of England. The Grain Chain Team will be attending the Royal Show and will be appearing at the Education Village. Organised by Face and with support from the HGCA and DairyCo, the Education Village is hoping to attract over 6000 school children.  The HGCA team will be doing paper-making, bread-baking and the grain art activity. DairyCo will be introducing children to the working life of a dairy farm, with free samples of milk, cheese and yoghurt samples.  Come along and try it for yourself!

For general information about this year’s Royal Show, visit To find out more about the Education Village and school visits, go to

‘Credit crunch lunch’ means more making their own sandwiches

According to a recent newspaper article, sales of bread are rising as more people make their own packed lunches to take to work or school.  You could take a look at the recipe section on the Grain Chain site for ideas for homemade snacks for packed lunches and suggest your pupils make their own.  They could then report back in class on the success of their lunch, how they might improve it next time they make it and so on.

Children’s Food Festival and other events

Friday, June 5th, 2009

cff-logo-09-rgb1Dates for your diary

The Children’s Food Festival in Oxfordshire is taking place on Saturday 27 June and Sunday 28 June in the beautiful new setting of the Northmoor Trust Farm, 10 miles south of Oxford. This year the Festival celebrates ‘the colourful world of food’ and is fronted by celebrity chefs Raymond Blanc and Sophie Grigson. For more information, visit their website

The Grain Chain Team will be attending the Royal Highland Show, which takes place 25 – 28 June at Ingliston, Edinburgh.  We will be working alongside the Women’s Food and Farming Union (WFU) in the Royal Highland Centre doing a bread baking activity. The two school days are 25 and 26 June; the Royal Highland Education Trust also provides various educational activities.  

 We will also be attending the Royal Norfolk Show at the Norfolk Showground on 1 and 2 July. This year we will be working with oilseed rape and demonstrating to children how you can make rapeseed oil using a cold press. We will also use this as an opportunity to talk about the end products and sustainability. The show is the largest two-day agricultural show in the country. There will be something for everybody, from farm machinery and livestock to sampling local produce.

Healthy schools

Bread and wheat products form part of a balanced diet. How about introducing your students to some of the healthy recipes on the Grain Chain site as part of a lesson on healthy eating? 

The Grain Chain on YouTube!

The Grain Chain now has its very own YouTube channel. There you can search for and watch videos and podcasts exploring the Grain Chain all in one place, share and comment on them with other users. Check it out at

 White bread sales up due to credit crunch

According to a recent article in The Grocer magazine, sales of white bread have increased during the recession, with shoppers perceiving white bread as a ‘cheaper, more family-friendly option’. Asda bread buyer Chris Bates is quoted as saying that the quality of white bread has improved in recent times. How about conducting a class survey to see how many students prefer white/brown bread, followed by a blind tasting to see whether it reflects their views? Students could then compare the nutritional values of white and brown bread.