Alison Henderson


Primary School teacher with STEM responsibility in my school.

Location North Ayrshire


  • The reality is that the fortification isn't effective as the body doesn't process the nutrients efficiently unless it's whole milk. Also whole milk is only 3.7% fat content so hardly fattening and I've seen a programme where people consuming full fat milk products they were less likely to be obese.

  • Not sure you actually have a picture of a dairy cow - looks more like a Limousin which is a beef cow so doesn't give confidence in your farming knowledge.

  • @RosaFernandez Yes that's why the British Nutrition Eatwell Plate is successful as it is environmentally sustainable as well as being healthy. I do have concerns about the affordability of it but that's where the emphasis needs to come in about eating local and seasonal and where possible grow your own.

  • In reality in UK as long as you are eating to the Eatwell Plate you are eating sustainably. The meat and dairy impacts here are very different to the global situation. We already have net zero farms in the UK.

  • These are global statistics around cattle. In the UK most water for cattle comes from rainfall therefore doesn't have a carbon cost and they also urinate. This means the water returns to the environment. Land use for cattle is also very different in the UK - don't tar everybody with the same brush. Think global, act local.

  • As I live in Scotland meat and dairy emissions are significantly lower with already net zero farms. Eating to the Eatwell Plate can lower emissions by 30% whilst maintaining health. Eating seasonal and local food is the way forward. A balanced diet is what's needed.

  • The BBC calculator is based on global not UK data, there's a huge difference, we already have net zero farms in the UK:
    The British Nutrition Foundation have determined that their plate is sustainable, just not...

  • The science in the article is flawed and is the problem that keeps perpetuating they myth about cattle especially in the UK:
    Also we have net zero farms in the UK as the calculation doesn't allow for the carbon sequestration of the grass which the...

  • Alison Henderson made a comment

    I think that small actions matter - if everybody does something that becomes a big thing.

  • Leaders need to be active in the process to support teachers and not expect it to harm. Old school countrymen who have a great appreciation for nature and the countryside - that has been lost with a more urban society.

  • Thankfully you don't seem to be blaming the cows! Everyone else does yet we have the same cattle numbers as the 1950's meanwhile traffic and flights have significantly increased. I live on a net zero farm.

  • You can just go outside but I think it takes a mindset shift and building up of confidence so going outside becomes the norm and not an extra.

  • Trying to integrate the UN SDG's across the full curriculum. My school goes outdoors but not in a coherent, planned way.

  • I don't mind having children out in poor weather, it's the 20 mins either side of a 15 min break with P1's that's a struggle.

  • A) Dreich, B) Frosty, C) Sunny

  • I've embedded UN Sustainable Development Goals in my classes.

  • Children definitely focus better and stretch themselves outside.

  • Last year I had a squirrel living in a tree outside my classroom window and the kids loved it frequently somebody would shout 'squirrel' leaving total disruption in the class!!! It was my turn once when a cat was chasing the squirrel, thankfully it got up the tree in time!

  • Alison Henderson replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    The HMIE document in Scotland last week said all learning that happens outside can be outdoor learning.

  • Alison Henderson made a comment

    I'm a primary teacher currently working on my local authority STEM team and we also have responsibility for outdoor learning and LFS. I believe that the UN Sustainable Development Goals are a great vehicle for teaching as they cover everything.

  • Again like other headlines the journalist focuses on the negative for impact rather than the what we should be doing.

  • Do we eat junk food for short term sugar rush which leads to feeling worse about ourselves? Something to ponder.

  • Glad to hear you have a solution, sounds like it is a combination rather than a food solution. Getting outdoors is proven to help.

  • Alison Henderson made a comment

    I think you need to consider lifestyles factors in this, I don't think food alone is the issue.

  • This is focusing on cancer risks but I know a lot of people who have Crohns or colitis and I do wonder the impact of processed food on these conditions. Not to mention the likelihood of obesity and associated conditions like diabetes.

  • Interesting reading.

  • The journalists are looking for the big dramatic headline. The reality of milk is that we should take whole milk which only has 4% fat and our body can absorb the nutrients. Semi-skimmed and skimmed don't give us the same nutrients. Again only take quantities to meet the Eatwell plate.

  • It depends on the message the journalist is sending. BBC Panorama did a programme about beef production and it's impact on the environment. Although a UK programme they focused on the Americas who's carbon footprint is horrendous. They didn't reflect the UK which is completely different in terms of emissions and we don't eat meat from abroad - less than 1%...

  • I wonder if taking the negative makes it more dramatic. Less interesting when you say eat more plants and high fibre foods. There is definitely a problem in the UK with ultra high processed foods - not enough people follow the British Nutrition Foundation Eatwell Plate.

  • I like to look for the source or study so that the information is regulated.

  • I work in a school and some lunchboxes are fantastic with a great mix. Others however are not much more than different types of sweets and frequently highly processed like cheesestrings and dunkables. So my personal experience fully agrees with the article without needing scientific research. If I didn't work in a school I would find the headline...

  • A lot of it comes down to the quality of the journalism. A friend has said how she spends a lot of time checking authenticity etc whereas the online information which younger people follow doesn't have the same research.

  • I think the rise of the internet and social media has led to the opportunity for commentary to be made from unauthorised sources that becomes 'fact' while national organisations aren't able to have the same impact. You only have to look at the marketing around the veganism fad - my oven chips are now vegan friendly, contents haven't changed just the packaging!

  • Online much from sources like national websites, tv news and newspapers as well as my own research and learning.

  • Connecting pupils to the world is important. I live in a rural area yet I have pupils who have never ventured to nearby forests or go for walks so what hope have city kids got!

  • Lots of really good activities to try in the playbook to get you thinking.

  • Due to being in a rural area we don't of community food waste which is a possible solution to improve what has been happening. Young people are concerned about what is happening in the world and want to see changes made. The 'Nae straw at aw' campaign was really effective.

  • It was a challenge and needs different groups of people to be involved right through from supermarkets avoiding wonky veg so we make the most of what comes out of the ground. Also thinking about the journeys of our food and only buying what we need. There is a mix of what organisations do but also teaching consumers.

  • I looked at food waste - there are a huge amount of elements to it both through the home and businesses. There are a huge amount of considerations and people need to think about what they are using.

  • I think you just have to look across the world. Our climate is changing mostly caused by the West but is affecting badly countries which are probably the least polluting!

  • I'm in a Scottish rural community where there is still a strong sense of looking out for one another particularly when we had snowmageddon a few years ago and people were cut off with no electricity for a week. The local hotel opened it's doors and sent food parcels to the elderly and people checked up on their neighbours.

  • Alison Henderson made a comment

    Lovely video on the concept. It's recognising that everything is inter linked and knowing that our individual small parts can make a big difference. I like this quote from John Muir 'When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.'

  • Looking forward to week 3, sustainability definitely isn't just an entity on it's own.

  • I like the idea of writing to the tree.

  • I think that values are discussed as part of school and especially through teaching the UNCRC.

  • Plenty to reflect on and more reading, thank you.

  • I felt comfortable with the concept of the carbon footprint and travel as I have worked in industry. I think the racism faced by the children is appalling and is prevalent throughout society particularly when you see how footballers have been treated. I think that is the big thing I'd want to influence to change.

  • I think that the SDGs are a useful structure to follow where people, particularly teachers may not have knowledge, understanding and confidence in sustainability and what it means. The LFS wordle connects to everything so where do you start. I think it is easier for children to follow and they make the connections themselves.

  • For my personal action it definitely centres around my families' consumption particularly focusing on food and avoiding ultra high processed food. It will link to a number of SDG's including Goal 2, 3 and 12 but knock onto 14 and 15 by me making careful food choices. Everything is inter-connected.

  • Interesting - we need to be protecting and supporting eco systems. Our activities aren't necessarily affecting our local areas but around the world.

  • Just be kind, it's that simple. Very sad for these children and the experiences they have had.

  • Growing up everybody had a veg patch in their gardens. I remember as a child I couldn't wait until the peas were ripe!! You only have to look at the houses being constructed today compared to post WW2 housing which has big enough gardens to grow your own and feed a family.

  • I used to be a transport planner - people don't want to leave the comfort of their cars. You also by travelling in cars lose your perception of distance which puts people off walking and cycling. More pleasant spaces to walk and cycle need to be created.

  • Sounds interesting.

  • I think probably zero hunger, good health and well-being and life on land and he sea are probably the most important to me personally. All of them for my community as I want to see the poster on every classroom and have them fully integrated into the Curriculum for Excellence. Nationally more people need to be aware of them.

  • My school topic was My Community and I got my class to litter pick in our local area so that they can recognise about looking after their local environment.

  • I think that people don't know what happens in the environment. I heard recently in England people had called the police to complain about the smell a farmer was making. The farmer was simply doing his job but obviously the people don't know about where their food comes from!

  • I think it is important to be connected to nature and the environment and consider our actions to avoid detriment to the planet.

  • Looking forward to this, the course has been fantastic so far!

  • Thanks for the resources. I've seen some before but some great new ones in there - I really like the sound of the Global Storylines!

  • The rope is really effective in explaining the timeline and the impact humans have had. I definitely believe that Think global, act local is the way forwards and sustainability isn't a one fit approach around the world. Local solutions are needed for example the global red meat statistics are horrendous with meat produced on feed lots in America which is...

  • @IainMorrison I think that it is very important that people know where their food comes from and avoid ultra high processed foods. The British Nutrition Foundation have done a review and their eatwell plate is sustainable, currently only 1/3 of the population overeat on meat. As a teacher in Scotland I wouldn't suggest to pupils to cut out red meat as 50% of...

  • I think everybody needs to recognise that they each can make small changes which adds up to a lot of change. Getting that message across is vital.

  • I definitely need to review my own consumption with regard to use of materials.

  • I'm in Scotland and ate Scottish porridge oats and Scottish milk. I think that trying to eat local, seasonal and unprocessed is the most sustainable way forward.

  • I have porridge but some of my other food choices aren't so local to home.

  • I think that carbon emissions from zero waste Scotland show personal consumption at over 80% that has to be addressed going forward.

  • Sustainability means leaving the planet no worse off after me being on it and looking after everybody and everything.

  • I think the core thing about sustainability is that everything is inter-connected and it's not just one thing. There's a lot of focus on emissions and companies are carbon off setting by planting trees when in fact consumption needs to be reduced. I have a long term interest in LfS from working as a transport planner and now working in teaching I want to be...

  • It is scary how much impact humans have had in such a short time on the planet. I have used the Think Global, Act Local but never knew the original source and really like the concept of by leaves we live - so true.

  • Breakfast is Scottish porridge oats for the low GI with Scottish whole milk. Lower food miles and unprocessed and better absorption of nutrients from the milk (needs to be whole milk for best effects).

  • I'm from Scotland and have previously completed the Connecting Classrooms course when I was a class teacher. I'm currently on secondment for Learning for Sustainability for my council and want to ensure that LFS in the classroom continues beyond COP26.

  • Alison Henderson made a comment

    Thank you. Glad to see that you were just following the typical don't eat meat to save the planet mantra. Much more informative.

  • Education about where food comes from and how to prepare and cook healthy food is needed. Also soil and it's importance for everything not just food producation.

  • People need to work together in order to find sustainable solutions.

  • In Scotland meat production can support and enhance biodiversity -

  • People need to better understand where their food comes from.

  • Food waste is horrendous both in terms of carbon footprint, packaging and how it could be better used. People need to change their habits.

  • Cheap food in the UK is usually poor quality health wise.

  • It is a complex situation but people really need educated about where their food comes from.

  • Food processors have a huge influence with governments and don't want to see ultra high processed foods which are profitable and extremely unhealthy disappear from shops.

  • I'm on a Scottish island where it is mostly hill farming of beef and sheep. The land isn't suitable for growing anything other than grass. The meat is of great quality and comes farm to fork so we have traceability.

  • Support local small producers often you have the opportunity to buy direct.

  • Unfortunately it's not the families that are making the money it's the food processors just look at the likes of Arla in the UK.

  • Interesting, people need to know more about soil!

  • I think there needs to be a mix of solutions depending on your local setting to ensure sustainability.

  • I don't think it needs to be organic to be less intensive but whether enough food can be grown to support the global population is probably an issue.

  • Technology can definitely help with resources being targeted efficiently and not just a blanket approach.

  • @AlisonT it depends where you are in the world. Also meat is a much better source of iron than plant based. Just because spinach has lots of iron our bodies can't absorb it effectively.

  • Interesting that people called the police because of the smell the farmer was making. Little did they realise that the farmer was simply spreading slurry back onto the soil. It shows the disconnect people have with the land.

  • Interesting.

  • Looking after soil is vital to our planet.

  • Extreme weather events make farming even harder. You used to be certain of weather windows but sometimes it can be as wet and cold in June as it was in December.

  • It depends where in the world you are, a lot of the action points aren't relevant in Scotland, this article removes many of the myths

  • Definitely need local solutions in local areas. Act local, think global.

  • Interesting - reading the label is vital. I went to a farm shop in Scotland selling their own meat and bought chicken too. When I got home I discovered that it was from Poland, there is really no need for meat to travel so far.

  • It does depend where you are in the world. Scotland much better than the rest of the world, less than 50% of the global average. Also avoiding the processed food.

  • People need to follow the nutritional advice only 50% of teenage girls in the UK get enough iron. As red meat is a more effective source of iron compared with plant based like spinach it's got to be included in diets.