In 2008, Agri Aware developed and delivered the 'Meet the Spuds' campaign during the year of the potato. Following the success of this project, the Incredible Edibles project was developed.
The Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Health and Children, through the Healthy Ireland framework, joined Agri Aware's Incredible Edibles patrons along with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Bord Bia and the horticulture industry to support this important healthy eating educational programme for primary level students.
Soon to be in its 14th year, Incredible Edibles is now a well established healthy eating and horticultural growing programme, long established within schools nationwide and impacting over 3.5 million Irish primary pupils. The aim of the project is getting schools growing and encouraging healthy eating within schools and at home.
This aim is achieved by its objectives:
- To educate students about growing fruit and vegetables
- To increase awareness of food origin and quality.
- To highlight the important role that fresh, Irish produce plays in a healthy balanced diet
- To communicate the health benefits of consuming at least five to seven portions of fruit and vegetables every day, to help prevent obesity.
By empowering students with knowledge of where their food comes from, the initiative allows students to make healthy choices into the future and encourages a heightened knowledge of local Irish produce. Therefore, this project is designed to enhance generational change in the fight against obesity, ensuring participating students become informed consumers when making purchasing decisions as young adults, and indeed as parents going forward.
Tasks range from food origin and identifying Irish produce, to growing, cooking and eating healthy Irish fruit and vegetables, the project aims to cover all grounds of learning where your food comes from and the importance of the food pyramid for a healthy balanced diet.
Participating schools are sent FREE grow packs that contain everything they need to start their own school garden, including seeds to grow strawberries, potatoes, lettuce, spinach, chives, carrots and turnips, as well as wildflowers and other materials!
Downloadable curriculum-linked activity sheets, grow charts, and recipes are also provided to schools in efforts to expand students' knowledge on the subject matter.
This is a fun and educational curriculum linked horticulture project, that gets pupils thinking and learning all about how your food goes from Field to Fork, in an interactive way.
In September 2011, Agri Aware was invited to participate in an Obesity Governance Stakeholder conference in Brussels. Here, Agri Aware advised other countries across Europe about the Incredible Edibles project and how it was delivered.
Those in attendance were interested in the Incredible Edibles project as a potential strategy to address childhood obesity issues in Europe.
Meet the Incredible Edibles Team
My name is Cian and I'm one of the sturdiest vegetables in Ireland. Need convincing? You can leave me in the ground for most of winter and I will still grow. The more orange I am, the sweeter I taste! I am made up of 88% water while humans only contain 60% water. Most people don't know this, but I can come in many colours other than orange! Other colours include white, yellow and purple!
Did you know?
Cooking me releases lots more flavour and beta carotene! Beta carotene is what gives me my orange pigment and turns into vitamin A when digested. Vitamin A is important because it supports your immune system, boosts healthy skin and even enhances eyesight. That's not all! I also contain natural sugars such as glucose, xylose and fructose! The nutrients that I carry include vitamins A, C, K, B6, calcium, fibre and potassium! I truly am a super vegetable!
Hi! My name is Lisa Lettuce! Lettuce has been around for thousands of years, since the Egyptian and Roman times. I am a good source of vitamin A, C and folic acid.
There are hundreds of varieties of lettuce, but some of the most common types grown in Ireland are Butterhead, Rocket and Iceberg; all which can be included as part of a healthy, balanced diet! Butterhead lettuce is round in shape and has loose green leaves! Rocket is peppery in flavour and often used in mixed, side salads. Iceberg lettuce is more of a crisp lettuce and brings a fresh taste to any dish.
This type of lettuce is best kept in the fridge! And of course, I am one of your 7-a-day!
I'm Paddy the Potato; Ireland's most loved vegetable! Potatoes can be traced back to 6000 BC and are a fundamental ingredient in all dishes around the world! Apart from rice, wheat and maize, potatoes are the fourth largest food crop on the planet!
I am rich in magnesium, potassium, folate and fibre, which help to keep your teeth and bones strong and healthy. I also help reduce tiredness, assist with muscle functioning and maintaining a healthy blood pressure; all while boosting your immune system! I am also fat free and of course - one of your 7-a-day!
Don't forget to include me as part of your healthy balanced diet. From boiled, baked and mashed to crisps and chips, you really can do just about anything with me! Some of our favourites are Roosters and Kerr's Pinks.
Hi, I'm Clive the Chive! I am an onion flavoured herb. When you grow me in your garden, I produce pretty purple globe tops - almost like a flower!
However, it's my stalk that is full of nutrients and vitamins A, C, E and fibre too!
I am good to include in soups and salads and pair nicely with egg and cheese-based dishes, like an omelette! I am a perennial herb, meaning I grow back year after year!
Hi, I'm Sammy Spinach and I am a superfood! I am a leafy vegetable and dark green in colour. I am loaded with lots of nutrients, minerals and vitamins such as; Vitamin A, C, K, folic acid, iron, and calcium.
Including me as part of a healthy balanced diet results in good skin, hair and bone health as well as improving eye health and blood pressure. I am also one of your 7 a day!
My name is Saoirse Strawberry! I am one of the first fruits to ripen each Spring.
I have over 200 seeds on the outside of me which is unusual for a berry, but I'm a special berry! I'm also what's known as a perennial plant; meaning I grow back year after year! Yum! to help me grow, it's important that I get extra sunlight and to keep me away from pests as well as soil diseases- ew!
What's that deliciously sweet smell you ask? Well it's me of course! I'm considered a member of the rose family and taste just as sweet! Have you got me in your lunch box this week?
Oh, I do hope so! After all, I'm one of your 7-a-day
Hi! I'm Tim the Turnip. I am slightly purple in colour with a crisp white inside! Here in Ireland the 'turnips' we know are actually commonly referred to as 'Swedes' in England or even 'Rutabaga' in America and France.
I am mainly a versatile winter root vegetable, but you can find me almost all year round. I am a good source of fibre, as well as vitamins A, C and folic acid!
Why not include me as part of your healthy balanced diet? You can eat me raw, grated in a salad; or as a side vegetable, steamed, roasted or mashed. I am also a great addition to soups, stews or casseroles! Don't forget, I am also one of your 7-a-day!