New kids cook book courts controversy with crazy cooking challenges

There is a new cookbook that just hit the shelves that is being hailed as the most controversial yet important cookbook that has ever been written for children, and their families. The name of the book is Mission: Explore Food is an activity cook book that challenges kids to do a whole manner of things.

These include going cannibal, cooking in acid, making poos from chocolate that include sweetcorn and nuts, find out how best to slaughter a lamb, and go and ask the Queen if they can have a swan.

Mission:Explore Food has been put together to tantalise a child’s taste for adventure, and not only tests their understanding of where food comes from, but where it goes once they have eaten it.

“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 effect 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 books, published by Can of Worms Kids Press. 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.

“The leading lights of guerrilla geography.” ~ Hay Literary Festival

“A must have book for any adult wanting to grow their own well-balanced child!”

~ Huw James, Science Junkie.

“Oh blimey this book is brilliant!” ~ Emma Freud

Probably the only book I will ever recommend to undergrads, buy for my kids & use as a plate.” ~ Professor Ian Cook, Food expert