On 22nd June, London’s iconic Borough Market is launching ‘Market Explorers’, a free education resource aimed at connecting primary school children with the food they eat. With the curriculum in mind, children will be encouraged to look at how produce is grown or made, its history, preparation, cooking and how the ingredients are used in the dishes of different cultures.
Borough Market is a charitable trust and has a commitment to providing a market for public benefit and community. With school groups and children unable to currently explore, touch and taste food at the Market due to social distancing measures, the fun learning resources have been created to help parents to inspire their mini masterchefs at home during the Summer Term.
Six ‘Market Explorers’ units will be piloted initially, focusing on a different ingredient each time. The first two ingredients for children to explore are cauliflower and milk. Subsequent units and accompanying videos will be released on Mondays and Wednesdays for three weeks to support home schooling parents through to the school holidays. The free to download A5 booklets will have a range of engaging information and activities aimed at 5-8 year olds, and budding foodies can look forward to learning more about strawberries, bread, honey and tomatoes later in the month.
Parents are encouraged to sign up ahead of time to access the free educational materials, which will be available on Facebook Units, enabling social learning in a private group. Registration opens via https://www.facebook.com/groups/marketexplorers/ at 9am on Monday 15th June. Parents can join and explore at the same time, enabling them to ask questions and build a collaborative community. In line with Borough Market’s commitment to sustainability, the resources will also cover topics such as seasonality and food waste.
The programme has been produced in collaboration with children’s cookery consultants Sally Brown & Kate Morris, who have created successful CBeebies cooking shows including ‘I Can Cook’ and ‘My World Kitchen’, as well as publishing four children’s cookery books. Sally and Kate have also worked extensively with teachers, local authorities and schools to devise and deliver training courses rooted in the current curriculum.
‘Market Explorers’ links to Borough Market’s existing work with London’s primary and secondary schools. To date over 20,000 children have learned valuable growing, cooking and selling skills through the Young Marketeers initiative – culminating in special biannual sales at the Market with profits going to food waste charity FareShare.
Kate Howell Director of Communications and Development at Borough Market, said: “Borough Market is all about sharing and connecting with others through the joy of food. We want to inspire the next generation of chefs, home cooks and food lovers. We know that not all children will be back at school in June, and so we thought that parents might like a helping hand with fun activities to get children interested in different ingredients – especially as so many have been cooking at home during lockdown. Our traders share a wealth of food expertise, with many of them being primary producers who grow, rear or create the food they sell. By teaching young people where their food has come from, how to grow it and what to make with it, we hope to inspire young people to take a more sustainable approach to their food choices in the future – perhaps we might see some of them join us as traders.”
Borough Market has a longstanding commitment to sustainability and reducing waste. None of the Market’s rubbish goes to landfill, with all cardboard, paper, plastic, glass and wood being recycled and the remaining food waste going to an anaerobic digestion plant to be turned into power, fertiliser and water. In 2017, Borough Market removed all plastic bottles and installed drinking fountains around the estate and in 2019 it became the first food market in the UK to replace plastic carrier bags with a fully biodegradable alternative, made from GM-free cornstarch.