There’s a reason nine-year-olds aren’t typically on trivia game shows, and that reason is, on the whole, they’re pretty stupid. With only partially formed brains and way less total years of accruing knowledge under their belts, they just can’t compete with even reasonably intelligent adults, let alone well-educated ones. For evidence of that, look no further than a recent study in which one thousand British children between the ages of 7 and 11 were asked a series of food-related questions. Not surprisingly, they didn’t do so well.
According to Digital Spy, when asked what tuna is, sixty-four percent of the responders could not correctly identify the food as fish. It’s unclear exactly where they thought that strange, pungent odor originated from, but a very high percentage of their guesses were obviously incorrect. Beyond that, thirteen percent of the kids didn’t realize beef comes from cows. More troublingly, five percent of the kids were actually convinced tomato ketchup grew straight out of the ground.
The study was conducted by popular British pub restaurant brand Table Table with an aim toward identifying five families to product test new dishes and win free prizes for a year. Executives seem to have expected some incorrect answers, but I’m not sure anyone involved thought there would be as much widespread confusion as the survey exposed. Here’s what spokeswoman/ model Melanie Sykes had to say…
"I was shocked to see the results from Table Table's study and the lack of understanding from children on some very basic foodie questions. Findings showed that most of a child's food knowledge is taken from their parents, so it's imperative that we educate our little ones on what we are eating. One of the best ways to do this is by sitting down and spending time together over meals as much as possible."
People always get bogged down talking about all the lessons children need to be taught and the examples that need to be set. All of that is well and good, but a seriously underrated job of being a parent is just telling them shit. Kids are literally born without any knowledge at all. Parents are the ones who need to explain to them what the hell tuna is and why Michael Jordan is great at basketball and the necessity of buying an entire block of same-colored properties in Monopoly. They might learn some of this on their own through friends and television, but there are still going to be a ton of cracks.
So, if you have children, try to teach them a few random facts at the dinner table every night. Explain to them what they're eating, offer random asides. Just stick as much knowledge inside their brains as possible. Some of it will actually stick.