SHSK Thinks

Food and nutrition

September 2022

The global food crisis

In Year 8, we have been discussing the very real global food crisis being faced in many parts of the world. We are delving into the causes of our rocketing food prices, the spike in global food insecurity and trying to come up with solutions.

The main factors affecting food insecurity worldwide are:

  • Climate change
  • Pests and diseases
  • Water stress
  • Loss of farmland
  • Conflict
  • COVID-19
  • Poverty

In the UK, we have seen the price of food increase because of the soaring cost of fuel and fertilisers as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. Extreme weather events – such as this summer’s drought in Europe – have done little to help farmers produce good crop yields. It is difficult, as consumers, to feel we can make a difference, but some of the ideas suggested by Year 8 students included:

  • Avoid food waste. Plan your meals and shop only for what you need.
  • Use fuel sparingly. When you turn on the oven make sure everything goes in at the same time, rather than one dish after the other.
  • Base your meals more on plant foods – not every meal needs meat.
  • Eat seasonally where possible.
  • Avoid foods which have been air freighted.
  • Support food banks to help those in need.
  • Grow your own vegetables.

During the climate change fortnight in November, we will be looking at how to avoid food waste in a practical way and how to shop sustainably. We will post more recipes specifically aimed at using up ingredients that are commonly wasted, such as bread, fruit and vegetables.

Here is a lovely seasonal recipe for you to try at home!

Plum (or apple) cake

It uses American cup measurements. If you don’t have cup measures, use a measuring jug.

250ml = 1 cup


  • 400g of chopped fruit of choice
  • 2 cups of self-raising flour
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 125g of melted butter
  • ? cup (80ml) of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of extra sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)


  • Line a 20cm x 30cm rectangular slice tin with baking paper and preheat oven to 180 °C (Gas mark 4)
  • Place the flour, sugar, and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  • Add the fruit and stir to coat.
  • Now add in the butter, milk, egg, and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  • Press mixture into prepared tin and sprinkle with extra sugar if using.
  • Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until golden brown and a cake tester/toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in tin completely before removing and slicing.

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