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.
The book, a collaboration between 2 of our 2011 GeoVation Challenge winners Mission:Explore and City Farmers is billed as one of the most controversial and yet important cookbooks ever written for children and families.
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 affect people and places around the world too.” explains Daniel Raven-Ellison, one of the authors.
There are loads of recipes and activities to try in and outside the kitchen developed not by famous chefs and cooks, but guerrilla geographers who are on a mission to encourage children to explore their local area, forage for food and play outdoors.
Humorously and provocatively illustrated by the award-winning artist Tom Morgan- Jones, each page includes a quirky mission to complete. Children who complete missions from the book can visit the Mission:Explore website to be rewarded with points and badges for their efforts.
This is the fourth in a series of Mission:Explore won the National Trust Outdoor Book of the Year award in 2012 and was runner-up for the Society of Authors Education Writer of the Year 2012. The series has also won accolades from Pink Stinks for its balanced portrayal of boys and girls from different backgrounds.
The Mission:Explore team are going on an expedition around the UK over the coming year, starting in autumn 2012. 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.
“Oh blimey this book is brilliant!” ~ Emma Freud