Chef Nairn stirs the stew over Selkirk school meals

Selkirk High School garden.
Selkirk High School garden.

Celebrity chef Nick Nairn thinks it “barking” if pupils like those at Selkirk High School do not get to eat vegetables they grow in school gardens.

Nairn was taking part in a discussion on school meals during a BBC Radio Scotland last week.

He was asked to comment on claims by former Selkirkshire councillor, Kenneth Gunn, who had phoned in to highlight what he said was a ridiculous situation at Selkirk High School.

Mr Gunn said, although pupils grew vegetables in the school garden, these were not regularly consumed in daily school meals as it could possibly affect the contract Scottish Borders Council had with the company supplying school food.

Mr Nairn, a long-time campaigner on school meals, responded: “It’s barking mad if the kids are growing veg which they are not then allowed to eat.

“We have to look at what is going on in school dining rooms, because we’re missing a major opportunity.”

But SBC said the “modest amount” of veg grown at the school is used in home economics classes or taken home by pupils.

A spokesman said: “In general, if any veg grown at a school was used as part of a school meal it would be for specially promoted dishes or seasonal items, and would have minimal impact upon food supplied into schools.”

But Mr Gunn believes it is a wasted opportunity, telling us: “What incentive is there for youngsters to eat more vegetables when they see most of the stuff they grow at the school not being used by the school in its own daily meals?”