- Introducing game to your classes – possible activities, dealing with reluctant cook, dealing with sensitive issues and beliefs
- Masterclass – Demonstrate how to prepare and cook a game dish that teenagers will enjoy
- Sensory Evaluation – Taste a variety of game dishes
- Practical Skills development – Individual or group practice of preparing and cooking
- Knowledge – knowing different meats (names and animals), discussion and learning about where food comes from, how animals are raised, reared and prepared, benefits of using game, nutritional content, sustainability. Have a looking the shops to find what game is sold, and what ready prepared dishes can also be found.
- Knowing how to adapt recipes where other meats might usually be used, and understanding the function of ingredients.
- Using game in the practical skills test to show understanding of traditional British cuisine.
- Coping with students that say: I don’t want to touch it!
- Prepare the class in advance and ensure that no-one feels forced to handle meat if they do not want to.
- Adopt a professional chef attitude as this is a normal part of teaching how to cook, try not to make a fuss
- Use positive role models – show the videos/images from the Masterchef 2017 finals where venison and rabbit were cooked
- Allow students to work in pairs as peer pressure/support does help
- Allow the student to wear disposal gloves
- A student who does not want to handle the meat could still take part by taking step by step photos of the process undertaken by others
- Often once the session is underway, the student may be reassured enough to handle the meat.
- Everyone that wants to should be encouraged to taste the cooked dishes that are demonstrated by the teacher. If you would like advice on setting up a tasting, you can find that on the Chilled Food Association website or Food a fact of Life website
- Dealing with issues and beliefs about animals
Isn’t it cruel to shot these animals?
Is that the same rabbit that I have as a pet, or the same squirrel as in my garden?
Discuss the facts so that students are better informed
You could create ‘true or false’ or myths cards.
You could ask them to research some facts, to give both/differing viewpoints.
- Game contributes to a healthy diet,
- Game is wild and natural, hormone – additive free,
- Game is sustainable, good for the countryside with a low carbon footprint
You can remind them to distinguish between subjective and objective information.
Example questions you could pose are:
- In some countries, they eat animals (or parts of animals) that we find unacceptable (horse, dog, snails, grasshopper, frogs legs, kangaroo, alligator, crocodile, guinea pig,). Why do we eat some animals and not others? Who decides what is acceptable to eat? Should we only raise and eat a few animals or many?
- Can you find any early recipes that use game in British cuisine? How far does this go back in history? Does food shortage (for example in times of war, such as World War 2) make a difference to the animals that we eat?
- Which animals live in the wild and are shot for sport, and which are raised on farms and killed in abattoirs? How do you feel about either one of these?
- What beliefs affect people’s food choices and why do they hold those beliefs.
- Which game have you eaten, what was it like? Why don’t you eat it more regularly?
Set some boundaries for the discussion
- Everyone is entitled to their view and beliefs about food
- It is important to distinguish between fact and myth, and understand/recognise why some views are spread by groups trying to influence others