Brighton and Hove city residents are set to become national trailblazers by promising to ask for an extra portion of Peas Please every day.
It is part of a national initiative to encourage more people to eat healthily by simply increasing the amount of vegetables eaten on a daily basis. The campaign is backed by a host of influential food experts and celebrities including TV’s Doctor in the House Dr Rangan Chatterjee, TV’s Dr Dawn Harper and chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
At The Vegetable Summit a national conference in London organised by the healthy eating charity the Food Foundation, Deputy Council Leader Gill Mitchell and Vic Borrill, Director of the Food Partnership made the pledge on behalf of the residents.
Cllr Mitchell said; “We are extremely proud to be making this commitment to become a ‘Veg City’ and encourage everyone in Brighton & Hove to include more vegetables in their meals.
“From our very youngest children in nurseries and schools, to the owners of our many cafes and restaurants and major food producers and suppliers, and developers delivering landscaping that could include edible planting, we will work with Brighton & Hove Food Partnership and others in the city to explore exciting and innovative ways to improve access to fresh good healthy food.
“Embedding ‘Veg City’ in the heart of our five year food strategy will also build on the success of our Sugar Smart campaign and further improve the health of our residents.”
Not-for-profit organisation Brighton and Hove Food Partnership will work with the council to spread the ‘eat more veg’ message.
BHFP Director Vic Borrill said; “We are excited to have been chosen to be one of the pioneer cities to help everyone in Brighton & Hove eat more veg. We’re looking forward to working with chefs and caterers to help make veg the star of the plate.”
The national campaign, which will run for the next three years, aims to change how people eat at home and in restaurants or catered environments by encouraging extra portions of vegetables to be included in meals. Other ideas include asking food manufacturers to include more veg in their products such as having bigger vegetable portions in a ready-meal and launching an ad campaign aimed at making veggies appealing to children.
Brighton and Hove will be one of only a handful of cities pledging to become a pioneer Veg City so will be presented as ‘trailblazers’. Brighton and Hove Food Partnership and the council will work with partners throughout the city including public sector food catering companies such as those in schools and hospitals to help increase the amount of veg in meals. They will also launch a public campaign to raise the issue in the city to encourage individuals to act.
The local Primary School Meals Service provides lunch for every primary school in Brighton & Hove and aims to lead the way, committing to increase consumption of vegetables by the children, rather than just increasing the number of portions of vegetables available, with a target to reduce food waste. They will also be trialling raw veg as well as cooked on the new menu.
The new plan will continue alongside the hugely successful SugarSmart campaign run by the council, BHFP and Jamie Oliver’s Food Foundation. The campaign was piloted in Brighton and Hove and has now been rolled out across the country to other cities such as Exeter and Bristol.
The Brighton & Hove Food Partnership is a non-profit, membership organisation. They are a hub for information, inspiration and connection around food – including growing, cooking and eating. They deliver a range of community projects such as:
• Cookery courses for beginners and those looking to teach others
• Helping people get involved or start new community gardens
• Tips and advice on reducing food waste at home
• Setting up community composting sites across the city
• Healthy eating advice and workshops
• Advice on food poverty and support for food banks
• Weight management programmes for adults and families.
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