Mission:Explore Food is billed as one of the most controversial and yet important cookbooks ever written for children and families.
Mission:Explore Food is an activity cookbook that challenges children to go cannibal, cook in acid, make chocolate poos (including nuts and sweetcorn), ask the Queen for a swan and work out the best way to slaughter a lamb.
Mission:Explore Food has been created to tantalise children’s taste for adventure and tests their understanding not only of where their food is from, but also of where it goes once they’ve finished eating.
“A children’s book that asks them to question if the pig they are eating has ever seen the light of day, make scary soup and keep a poo diary might sound controversial, but it’s vitally important that children think about their relationship with food and have fun while doing it. We all appreciate that children should know how to cook and eat well, but these are just two chapters in the story of our food. Unlike most children’s cookbooks that ignore the rest of the food cycle, Mission:Explore Food includes activities that encourage children to learn about growing, harvesting, waste and soil as well. An essential ingredient is appreciating that their/our choices effect people and places around the world too.” explains Daniel Raven-Ellison, one of the authors.
When I received this book to review I was a bit scared to open it after reading the brief. Well, kids cooking in acid or going cannibal sounded a bit dodgy to me but I was curious to see inside.
As I opened the front cover I could tell straight away that this is a book like no other I had seen before for kids. In fact I could tell it was right up my street. My 12 yr old Daughter is homeschooled and she loves to cook so this book is perfect for teaching her all about where her food comes from.
The book teaches kids in a playful, fun way the truth about what they eat. The book includes chapters on growing, harvesting, cooking, eating, waste and soil.
Inside there are 159 illustrated activities that challenge kids to explore, experience and think about food in a new way. It teaches kids to build a good healthy relationship with food.
Mission:Explore Food was collaboratively written by a team of geography teachers, artists, therapists, explorers and city farmers who all work together to help kids to really learn about food.
The Mission:Explore team have started an expedition around the UK which started this autumn. They will be touring in their Explorer Spaceship HQ (van) visiting schools, libraries, food festivals and more to complete missions and share a series of explorations from the book.
Bottom Line - What did we think?
Honestly? We love it. There is even a section on how to make mud pies - Hooray for kids being kids again! Its a bit pricey at £20 a pop but at the moment there is a special offer in the Guardian bookshop where they have a fiver off.
The book is lovely quality and the size of it makes it easy for kids to handle. Really informative, we love it.
*Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Mission:Explore Food free of charge for the purpose of this review. Our thoughts and opinions are entirely our own.