The Western Cape education department has dismissed parents' complaints that a vegetarian teacher is changing their children's eating habits and turning them away from God, according to Sunday's Rapport.

London - One in ten adults has never tried vegetables such as leek, celery and kale, according to researchers.

And some have managed to avoid tasting Brussels sprouts.

And it’s not just greens that are getting pushed to the side of our plates. The study also found one in five has never tasted sardines or scampi, while one in ten has never had tuna, salmon or goat’s cheese.

The study of 2 000 people, commissioned by supplement producer Seven Seas, found a quarter of people have avoided eating Omega 3-rich mackerel.

Researchers said the omission of nutritious foods in the average diet is leading to serious deficiencies of Omega 3, a vital fatty acid which helps boost the immune system.

A Seven Seas spokesman said: “It’s hard to keep track and manage our diets day to day to ensure we’re setting ourselves up well, but there is clearly a trend of people avoiding many of the foods that can be of great benefit to health and well-being.

“The average Western diet does not provide the levels of Omega 3 recommended for health because many people do not eat enough oily fish on a regular basis.”

The study also found six in ten Britons described themselves as a fussy eater, and many said their avoidance of certain foods led to difficulty when eating out.

And the habit is being passed on to the next generation. More than one third of parents were worried limited diets were causing themselves and their child to miss out on essential nutrients. Not liking a food as a child or even associating it with school dinners was enough to put one in ten adults off it for life.

The most commonly refused foods also included baked beans and black pudding.

The British government advises that a healthy diet should include at least two portions of fish a week, one of them oily for a boost of Omega 3. But the Seven Seas report revealed confusion over the recommendations, with a quarter of Britons having no idea what Omega 3 is.

Biochemist Professor Gordon Bell, who worked with Seven Seas on the campaign, said: “Samples analysed in our laboratory show that people in the UK have an average of about 25 percent Omega 3 in their Omega 3 blood count. A count of about 40 percent would be considered as a healthy level.” - Daily Mail


* Use the comment form below to tell us which foods you just can’t face. For IOL Lifestyle staff it’s chicken liver, fried egg white, pork and yes, Brussels sprouts.