I was very surprised to read this article.
Apparently "cash strapped Bits" can't afford to eat healthily.
I'm sorry, but it should say lazy Brits can't afford to eat healthily. During my adult life there have been several times when cash has been tight, but I have always been able to put a decent meal on the table.
I will hazard a guess that it a question of priorities.
When I was young, my parents weren't flush, but they got by. Mum and Dad's first priority was that we ate well. This was put before other luxuries. There was always enough food, even if we didn't have the latest trend in clothes, or any other consumer "must haves", that are only "must haves" due to advertising bombardment for the particular product.
I am so glad my parents had this outlook on life, as it rubbed off on me.
At one time whilst I was married my husband was made redundant, and it was a good three months before we were in a position where we absolutely had to go shopping for store cupboard staples, thanks to a chest freezer and a garage where we stocked sacks of veg, and fruit. We also grew veg in our garden, and soft fruits.
All the meals I made were from basic ingredients, the only tinned products I regularly used were tinned tomatoes, and my children did like the occasional meal of baked beans.
It is a myth that baking meals from scratch is expensive. Granted setting up a store cupboard takes time and doesn't happen over night, but I suspect the people who opt for ready meals are lazy, or were not brought up with the same basic principles I was.
In answer to your question, did I take cookery as an exam subject, the answer is no. Taking food/cookery as an exam is a whole different blog post.
The government have scrapped their "license to cook scheme" which is a great pity. Our food teacher still follows the rough guidelines, but then again, she was on the right track before it was introduced. Again, another topic for another post.