Home Economics - Essential or Unnecessary?

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There is a great article in this months BBC Good Food magazine about the review of Home Economics, of Food Technology as it is more recently known, and its place in the National Curriculum. The results of the review aren't actually due until 2014 so for now we can only debate how essential this subject is. 
I remember my first Food Technology lesson in 1997. They taught us to make toast under the grill and hot chocolate on the hob, so at the very least I won't be lost if my kettle and toaster decide to break at the same time. It would surprise me if teaching children to turn on a grill and a gas hob now is against health and safety! 
According to the article; in 2005, 100,000 pupils took GCSE Food Technology; by 2011 this had dropped to 55,000. There is a pressure on schools to emphasise core subjects and there are also difficulties in planning smooth and successful lessons. I can't imagine trying to teach 25 kids to cook a lasagne in one hour. 
Obviously, it's hugely important that children and teeangers learn how to cook but I also believe it's just as important that they learn where their food comes from, for example, cuts of meat, different vegetables and herbs and spices. I shop in a supermarket, I'm not going to sit here and claim I buy everything organic and from my local grocer because I don't really have a local grocer. Budget constraints often mean Sainsbury's is the better option because, sadly, supermarkets can offer better offers. Despite this, it is important to me to be aware of the food I am eating.
If Food Technology is scrapped from the National Curriculum what does this mean for the future health of Britain? Almost 35% of children are overweight or obese. Junk food isn't going to go away, I wouldn't want it to...sometimes it's nice to order a Dominos but we need to be better informed from an earlier age about food and what to do with it. 
I found the article really useful, having left school 8 years ago I'm a little out of touch with the curriculum so it was good to find out where things are at. It was, however, disappointing to find that subjects which have a strong place in the real world are being considered unnecessary. 
What is your opinion? Is Food Technology a waste of time that could be better spent on Maths or English?