14/08/2014 12:53 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Raymond Blanc: 'Force Schools To Teach Children To Grow Their Own Food'

Raymond Blanc: 'Force schools to teach children to grow their own food'

Schools should be forced to teach children how to grow their own food, according to TV chef Raymond Blanc.

The Michelin-starred restaurateur has called on Education Secretary Michael Gove to make gardening lessons compulsory to help children learn the importance of fresh ingredients and healthy eating.

Mr Gove plans to make cooking classes compulsory for children aged 7-14 from next September, but Mr Blanc wants him to go further.

He told The Independent: "I hope gardening will soon be part of the study programme.

"We have a wonderful opportunity to truly reconnect with food. We need to engage with the outside world, with our gardens and the life within them.

"Children need to learn the simple magic of taking food from the seed, from the earth or from the rivers and then to transform it into something simple and delicious.

"We have a multi-billion dollar problem with heart disease, diabetes and obesity because of intensive farming and heavily processed food. We could learn to eat carrot soup produced from our gardens."

Mr Blanc has produced an animated cooking iPad app for children, called Henri Le Worm, which features recipes and a cast of insects voiced by film star Simon Pegg.

The app encourages children to explore Henri's magical 'Forest of Plenty' and 'reconnect with nature'.

Mr Blanc added: "We are the generation who truly messed it up by creating so many problems for our kids by reducing food to a mere commodity."