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Eat well: pledging for change

Eat well: pledging for change

So Food Revolution Day was a huge success, and hopefully we’re a step closer to getting food education back in schools and communities so people understand what they eat, work on their cooking skills and understand the impact their diet can have on their bodies. The problem is that responsibility can’t just fall on the individual ­– food companies have to shoulder some too.

Many times throughout the year, registered nutritionists and dieticians from all over the UK come together. As a member of Nutritionists in Industry (NII) (www.nii.org.uk), I regularly meet other nutritionists and dieticians who work for food and drink manufacturers, retailers and food service providers to discuss the latest topics in nutrition. As you can imagine, it’s usually quite the party.

Last week I attended one of the regular meetings, held at the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) in London. The big area of discussion on the agenda was the Department of Health Responsibility Deal pledges. Organisations can voluntarily sign up to pledges to improve in the areas of alcohol, food, health at work and physical activity, all designed to help create an environment that helps people lead healthier lives.

Here at Jamie HQ, we’ve just signed up to two of the food pledges. Jamie’s Italian in the UK has pledged that a minimum of 50% of their ingredients will meet the strict salt targets, while the retail part of Jamie’s business, Jamie Oliver Licensing Limited, has signed up to the salt-reduction pledge, and vow that all their retail products developed also meet the salt targets. That means all Jamie’s products in supermarkets, like his sauces, pastas and spices – so you can trust that what you’re eating is within government guidelines. We hope that this will allow our customers to reduce their salt intake and help them achieve the government’s public health goal of consuming no more than 6g of salt a day. We are looking to sign up to further pledges with our other businesses in the coming months too.

So sure this is a plug to show you what we’re doing, but it’s also a call to other businesses to follow suit. Jamie takes nutrition and health extremely seriously, and has three registered nutritionists in his food team that have been accredited by the Association of Nutrition, for more information on this company take a look at their website: http://www.associationfornutrition.org/


Eat Well

It’s that time of year again – when the smell of sugar literally fills the air! Going light on some of your recipes can go a long way to help reduce unwanted calories and weight gain. Many recipes can tolerate a healthy renovation without affecting the taste or texture of the food.

1.Reduce the amount of fat, sugar and sodium: For baked goods, use half the butter, shortening or oil and replace the other half with unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana or prune puree.

2.Make a healthy substitution: Use plain Chobani Greek Yogurt in place of cream cheese, butter, heavy cream and oil. Plus, you’ll get a healthy dose of protein!

3.Delete an ingredient: In some recipes, you can delete an ingredient altogether such as frosting, coconut or candied nuts.

4.Change the method of preparation: Use healthier cooking techniques such as braising, broiling, grilling and steaming.

5.Change the portion size: No matter how much you reduce, switch or omit ingredients, some recipes may still be high in sugar, fat or salt. Smaller portions have less fat, calories and sodium and allow you to eat a wider variety of foods during a meal.


How to make the most of your New Year’s resolutions

Every January many of us sit down and make commitments to ourselves and to each other about how we will better ourselves in the coming year. And year after year, many of these resolutions concern our weight and our overall health. But what do we need to do in order not only to make a real, positive change in our lives but also to stick to these resolutions? Here are some of my tried and tested tips.

One of the first steps in ensuring that you are at your healthiest is to make sure to get the vitamins that you need. If you are not already doing so, make a multi-vitamin part of your daily routine. I recommend Centrum, One-A-Day, Multibionta or one of the Vitabiotics products (Wellwoman and Wellman). Children can benefit, too, with child-friendly brands such as Flintstones, Yummi Bears, Wellkid or Rainbow Light. Making sure you get your vital vitamins will reduce your chances of sickness and can improve your energy levels.

Make a multi-vitamin part of your daily routine to supplement any nutritional deficiencies in your diet.

Another simple fix for your health and weight is to take stock of how much you are eating. What many people are guilty of, knowingly or not, is overindulging in their portion sizes. It is generally recommended that your plate should contain a mix of proteins, starch and vegetables. You should aim to make sure that your plate has an assortment of colours: get greens in your salad, orange and red in your carrots and beets and white meat on your plate, for instance. Your protein portion should be about the size of a deck of cards.

It is important to not only set goals for yourself, but to set realistic and perceivable ones: for instance, losing one to two pounds a week or reducing your cholesterol a certain number of points each month. This will give you something achievable and satisfying to work toward.

These small goals can also be more effective than bigger, more vague ones. Instead of pledging to drop three dress sizes in a year, promise yourself that you will exercise at least four times per week, or that you will have at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

You can make small but significant changes to your everyday routine that will pay dividends over time. Some suggestions:

  • Take the stairs rather than elevator whenever you can.
  • Walking short distances rather than taking the car.
  • Take healthy snacks to work with you and do not tempt yourself with unhealthy snacks by simply not buying them.
  • Include at least one piece of fruit or vegetable with every meal.
  • Drink water in place of sugary sodas.

Rule out absolutes: telling yourself that you will give up all unhealthy indulgences will only make you miserable in the short term and lead to failure in the long term. Allow yourself a ‘treat’ once a week, whether it be your favourite fish sandwich or a slice of chocolate cake. And remember, it’s much easier to exercise self-restraint if your favourite unhealthy snacks are not within reach: avoid having them in your cupboards or fridge.

One trick that you might find helpful is that if you feel an intense craving for something, make yourself wait for twenty minutes. You will be surprised how often the craving passes. If your sweet tooth absolutely won’t be denied, try a few squares of dark chocolate instead of more processed candy. Herbal and fruit teas can also help for when you need a little sweetness.

It is important whenever you make a lifestyle change to do so gradually: don’t starve yourself, don’t exhaust yourself. Remember that being your best self-means allowing yourself some happiness and enjoyment in life’s small pleasures.

Stephanie Simons is the head pharmacist at Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has been practicing for over 20 years. She is a registered pharmacist with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council and is a member of the Bermuda Pharmaceutical Association.


‘Eat Them To Defeat Them’ Campaign for ITV and Veg Power

‘Prepare for Battle’ is the theme of the latest ad in the award-winning campaign from Veg Power and ITV, supported by STV, Channel 4 and Sky and sponsored by an alliance of supermarkets and food brands

Campaign is proven to get children eating their greens, driving additional sales of over 500 million portions of vegetables since launch

A New Report, Veg Facts 2021, shows that almost a third (29%) of children aged 5-10 years old eat less than one portion of veg a day

89% of children aged 5-10 years eat less than the Government’s Eat Well Guide recommendations for veg

An army of warrior kids vows to vanquish a legion of evil vegetables in the brand new TV advert for ITV and Veg Power’s highly effective Eat Them To Defeat Them campaign, created by adam&eveDDB, supported by a multi-million media alliance between ITV, STV, Channel 4 and Sky, and funded by 10 food and retail brands.

The cackles, grunts and groans of the evil attacking vegetables have been hilariously voiced by top celebrities including Dame Emma Thompson, Amanda Holden, Jamie Oliver, Stephen Mulhern, Giovanna Fletcher and Ranvir Singh in a bid to build on previous successes in getting children to eat more vegetables. One in three children leaves primary school overweight or obese, and eating vegetables is core to a healthy diet.

This comes with a new report from the Food Foundation showing almost a third (29%) of children aged 5 to 10 years old eat less than one portion of vegetables a day.

Called ‘Prepare for Battle’, the campaign carries on the successful strategy of positioning the evil vegetables as an enemy where the children become the heroes and have to Eat Them To Defeat Them. This counter-intuitive approach has already proven to be very effective with kids, parents and schools all confirming it actually gets kids to eat more vegetables. 81% of school staff stated that the campaign was more popular than other healthy eating initiatives. 76% of kids in schools said the campaign made eating veg more fun.

Since the campaign debuted in January 2019, it has led to sales of over 517 million additional children’s portions of vegetables worth £63m.

The new hero 60-second spot starts with the news that evil veg are back. We then see kids from across Britain pledging to make their foes ‘wish they were never grown’. In a montage, the kids undertake intense training using everyday kitchen utensils, eventually squaring up against the veg on the battlefield. The first shot is fired, in the form of a fork piercing a terrifying tomato, before all hell breaks loose. As the army charges forth, one of the warriors turns to camera, demanding of her fellow children: “Will you just sit there? Or are you with us?”

‘Prepare for Battle’ launches on Saturday 29 May including in ITV’s new show, The Masked Dancer. The Masked Dancer includes a Beetroot character, inspired by the campaign. The new Eat Them To Defeat them ads will also run in major shows on Sky, Channel 4 and STV, and feature in editorial including Martin and Roman’s Weekend Best, James Martin’s Saturday Morning, Alan Titchmarsh’s Spring into Summer, and ITV Daytime.

The campaign is set to reach 5.2 million households with children, thanks to donated media from ITV, Channel 4 and Sky, as part of their £10 million commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles for children.

The campaign is funded by 10 major food retailers and brands - Aldi, Asda, Birds Eye, Co-op, Lidl, Total Produce, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. Media agency Essence have planned the off-air media for the campaign, securing pro-bono contributions from advertising and media partners, including Pearl and Dean, News UK, Mail Metro Media, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Verizon, Spotify, Mail Online, Mumsnet, LadBible, Snapchat, Twitter, Acast, JCDecaux, First News, Clear Channel and Ocean Outdoor in a huge drive to encourage children to feel more enthusiastic about eating vegetables.

This year the campaign is rolling out into 1,900 primary schools with veg tasting sessions, posters, teaching aids and games, and into the homes as 500,000 children will be given a vegetable reward chart and sticker pack, alongside a puzzle book co-created and funded by Public Health England’s Change4Life campaign.

A new report, ‘Veg Facts 2021’, being released by The Food Foundation and Peas Please Partnership, reveals that almost a third of children between 5-10 years old eat less than one portion of veg a day. The Eat Them To Defeat Them campaign shows how advertising can be used to inspire kids to eat a healthier diet. The situation does not improve with teenagers with only 6% of teenagers aged 11-16 years old currently eating enough veg to hit the recommendations in the Government’s Eatwell Guide.

Research conducted by YouGov, commissioned by ITV and Veg Power for the campaign found that 35% of parents worried about their children’s diets during the pandemic.

Evil Vegetable Cast List

Carrot - Jamie Oliver
Broccoli - Giovanna Fletcher
Pepper 1 - Emma Thompson
Pepper 2 - Ranvir Singh
Sweetcorn - Stephen Mulhern
Tomato - Amanda Holden

Baroness Rosie Boycott, Chair of Veg Power Board, said: “We are delighted that Eat Them To Defeat Them has returned for its third year and is set to reach even more children across the UK. As our mission is to get the UK eating more veg, engaging with children on this topic is crucial as not only will it improve their health but encourage life-long eating habits.”

Susie Braun, Head of Social Purpose at ITV, said: “This award-winning campaign is proof that it’s possible to change not just kids’ attitudes but their behaviours around eating vegetables. We are delighted to be driving this huge alliance around Eat Them to Defeat Them for a third year, together getting literally millions more portions of vegetables into kids’ tummies.”

John Hegarty, Veg Power Board, said: "Once again television proves to be the best mass medium for persuasion. After the success of the first spot for ‘Eat them to Defeat Them’ we’ve come back with a follow up, imploring children to join the battle against the evil veg, in an irreverent, funny and compelling commercial. Veg beware!"

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, writer and chef, said: “It’s time to defeat those dastardly veg – and eat them again!! It’s been great to be part of the Veg Power team and watch this funny, irreverent and counter-intuitive ad come together, following the success of the first Eat Them to Defeat Them campaign. We know kids are enjoying these spots, and relating to them, and even more importantly, we know many of the kids who are seeing these ads are indeed eating more veg. Long may it continue.”

Mat Goff, Joint Chief Executive Officer at adam&eveDDB, said: “This campaign is important, increasingly urgent, and it works. It’s good to see an ever-growing coalition of partners getting involved and to know that together we are helping to get more veg on more forks and in more mouths.”

Verica Djurdjevic, Chief Revenue Officer at Channel 4 said: “Positively changing kids’ eating habits through a bold TV wide campaign such as Eat Them to Defeat Them demonstrates the real social impact broadcaster collaboration is delivering. We’re delighted to play a role in building upon this amazing momentum and continuing to inspire young people.”

Tim Pearson, Managing Director, at Sky Media, said: “Encouraging kids to eat healthily goes hand in hand with Sky’s long standing commitment to grassroots sport and helping young people get active. We’re proud to offer the power of TV advertising to support this campaign and help kids lead healthier lives. We can’t wait to see the impact of this partnership grow as it returns for a third year.”

Jason O’Rourke, Head of Washingborough Academy said: ‘’The EAT THEM TO DEFEAT THEM campaign is one that the whole school community look forward to every year. The impressive resources are really engaging and provide staff with excellent ideas to support learning in the classroom. It is wonderful to see how enthused the children are and how excited they get about the great message of eating more vegetables.’

The campaign is funded by Aldi, Asda, Birds Eye, Co-op, Lidl, Total Produce, Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, with pro-bono contributions from advertising and media partners.


The Eatwell Guide

  • To introduce and explain the concept of the Eatwell Guide, show the pupils the introductory Eatwell Guide video. Challenge the pupils to create a poster or information guide to explain the Eatwell Guide. Use the pupil’s work to create a classroom display.
  • To investigate the key messages and the foods which are included in each group of the Eatwell Guide in more detail, show the pupils TheEatwell Guide presentation. Task the pupils to complete The Eatwell Guide worksheet.
  • To consolidate learning, provide the pupils with a The Eatwell Guide blankworksheet and a set of The Eatwell Guide food cards. Working in pairs, ask the pupils to sort the cards and place them in the correct food group on the blank Eatwell Guide.
  • Task the pupils to see how well they are meeting the healthy eating guidelines. Give them the My diet worksheet to complete. They can then analyse how well they met the guidelines over this period of time. What changes, if any, do they need to make to meet the guidelines?
  • To establish the pupils understanding of the principles of the Eatwell Guide ask them to complete the Eatwell Guide circle map.
  • Use the Eatwell Guide quiz as an interactive way to test pupil knowledge of the Eatwell Guide. The Eatwell Guide Kahoot Q&A will support this activity.
  • To enable the pupils to apply their knowledge, ask them to plan and make a dish which would provide at least two portions of fruit and vegetables and use potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates
  • Show the pupils the Making better choices with the Eatwell Guide podcast to further enhance their knowledge of the Eatwell Guide. Challenge the pupils to create their own short video or podcast which could be shared with the school community and parents/carers via your school website.
  • Use the interactive Eatwell Guide game to test the pupil’s knowledge of the different food groups.
  • Discuss portion sizes for fruit and vegetables – have some examples ready and ask the pupils to estimate how much of each food would be a portion. Weigh 30g of dried fruit. Compare this with the amount found in dried fruit snack bags or boxes. Ask the pupils why 30g of dried fruit counts as a maximum of one portion a day.
  • Ask the pupils why one 150ml glass of fruit juice or smoothie counts as a portion per day. Challenge the pupils to pour the amount of juice that they would drink into a glass (this could be plain water or water coloured with food colouring). Then ask them to pour the liquid into a measuring jug and see how it compares with the 150ml glass recommendation.
The Eatwell Guide presentation

A presentation about the Eatwell Guide.

The Eatwell Guide worksheet

A worksheet looking at the Eatwell Guide.

The Eatwell Guide blank worksheet
The Eatwell Guide food cards

The Eatwell Guide food cards.

My diet worksheet

A worksheet comparing your diet to the Eatwell Guide.

The Eatwell Guide circle map

A worksheet exploring pupil knowledge of the Eatwell Guide.

The Eatwell Guide quiz

A quiz about energy requirements.


by Elizabeth Hall, MS, RDN, LDN, Food City Registered Dietitian

We want to help your family eat well and be well together!

September is National Family Meals Month! Researchers and health experts agree that family meals produce lifelong benefits! Studies show that families who take the time to eat together at home are not only happier, but healthier as well. Regular family meals are linked to positive outcomes for kids including better grades, higher self-esteem, healthier eating habits, and less risky behaviors. Home-cooked meals nourish the spirit, brain, and health of all family members!

At Food City, we care about the health of you and your family! That&rsquos why we are celebrating National Family Meals Month in September, a nationwide event designed to share the benefits of family meals on the health of children and adults alike. We know that juggling jobs, kids and the demands of a busy life often come at the expense of family mealtime at home. We hope to be your ally&mdashthe solution to your mealtime dilemma. You can find easy, healthy mealtime solutions in nearly every aisle of the store from pre-prepped fresh ingredients, to delicious readymade entrees, wholesome heat and eat dishes, and more.

How can you get involved? Join the Food City Wellness Club for health tips and recipes to help you celebrate National Family Meals Month all year long! We will be celebrating in store and online with meal deals, recipes, Dietitian Pick items, coupons, and more.

Engage with us and show your commitment to more meals together on social media. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@FoodCity or @FCDietitian) for family meals shopping tips and recipes.

Show your support for National Family Meals Month by pledging on social media to share one more meal at home per week. Have fun with the pledge and help us bring national awareness to the benefits of family meals with Raise Your Mitt to Commit selfies and by using the following hashtags: #foodcityfamilymeals or #familymealsmonth.

We are committed to helping you make shared meals at home fun, affordable, and healthier. This September, take the pledge to make memories and improve health through family mealtimes!


Share All sharing options for: G-7 pledge to share, but jostle for ground in the sandbox

Leaders of the G7 pose for a group photo on overlooking the beach at the Carbis Bay Hotel in Carbis Bay, St. Ives, Cornwall, England, Friday, June 11, 2021. Leaders from left, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, European Council President Charles Michel, U.S. President Joe Biden, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi, French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. AP

CARBIS BAY, England — Group of Seven leaders brought pledges to share vaccine doses and make a fairer global economy Friday to a seaside summit in England, where British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the coronavirus pandemic should not be allowed to leave a “lasting scar” on the world.

The wealthy nations’ leaders were all smiles and unity as Johnson greeted them on the freshly raked sand of Carbis Bay, but they jostled over who was doing most to help the world’s poorer nations fight COVID-19.

Recovery from the pandemic was set to dominate their discussions, with members of the wealthy democracies club expected to commit to sharing at least 1 billion vaccine shots with struggling countries. That includes a pledge from U.S. President Joe Biden to share 500 million doses, and a promise from Johnson for another 100 million shots.

Opening three days of talks in Cornwall, in southwest England, Johnson warned that world leaders must not repeat errors made over the past 18 months — or those made in the recovery from the 2008 global financial crisis.

“It is vital that we don’t repeat the mistake of the last great crisis, the last great economic recession in 2008, when the recovery was not uniform across all parts of society,” he said after leaders posed for a formal “family photo” by the sea.

“And I think what’s gone wrong with this pandemic, and what risks being a lasting scar, is that I think the inequalities may be entrenched,” Johnson added.

The leaders of the G-7 — which also includes the United States Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan — hope the meeting at the resort will also energize the global economy. Beneath moody dark skies, the group walked away from the photo as cheerful as children who had just built a sand castle. As Johnson led the politicians off the beach, French President Emmanuel Macron threw his arm around the shoulders of Biden, whom he was meeting for the first time.

Facing criticism that they are hogging vaccines, the leaders are competing to be the global champion of so many wounded by the virus. With 3.7 million people lost in the pandemic, the world’s richest democracies are eager to show themselves the champions of the afflicted.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she hoped the summit would show the world “we’re not just thinking of ourselves.” Macron sought to underscore that, noting that France had already shipped vaccine doses to the world’s poor — and gently chiding countries that have not by urging in a tweet for “clear goals” and “concrete commitments.”

For Johnson, the first G-7 summit in two years — last year’s was scuttled by the pandemic — is a chance to set out his vision of a post-Brexit “global Britain” as a mid-sized country with an outsized role in international problem-solving.

On Friday Queen Elizabeth II — Britain’s biggest global star — traveled from Windsor Castle near London for a reception with the leaders and their spouses at the Eden Project, a futuristic botanical garden housed inside domes that features the world’s largest indoor rainforest.

Senior royals — including heir to the throne Prince Charles, his son Prince William and William’s wife, Kate — joined the leaders for the reception and a dinner of roasted turbot, Cornish new potatoes and greens with wild garlic pesto cooked by a local chef.

The choice of an ecologically themed venue was deliberate. Climate change is also a top issue on the agenda, and hundreds of protesters gathered in Cornwall to urge the leaders to act, some dressed as sea creatures such as jellyfish. Demonstrators deployed a barge off the coast with two large inflatable figures depicting Biden and Johnson on board.

The G-7 is also set to formally embrace a global minimum tax of at least 15% on multinational corporations, following an agreement reached a week ago by their finance ministers. The minimum is meant to stop companies from using tax havens to shift profits and to avoid taxes.

It represents a potential win for the Biden administration, which has proposed a global minimum tax as a way to pay for infrastructure projects. The idea also creates an alternative that could remove some European countries’ digital services taxes that largely hit U.S. tech firms. But the endorsement from the G-7 is just one step in the process. The hope is to get many more countries to sign on — a fraught proposal in nations whose economies are based on attracting business with low corporate taxes.

But the main issue of the day was vaccines and the mounting pressure to outline global vaccine-sharing plans, especially as inequities in supply around the world have become more pronounced. In the U.S., there is a large vaccine stockpile, and the demand for shots has dropped precipitously in recent weeks.

Biden said the U.S. will donate 500 million Pfizer vaccine doses in the next year, 200 million of them by the end of 2021. That commitment was on top of 80 million doses Biden has already pledged to donate by the end of June. A price tag for the doses was not released, but the U.S. is now set to be the larges donor to the international COVAX vaccine effort, as well as its biggest funder.

Johnson said the first 5 million U.K. doses would be shared in the coming weeks, with the remainder coming over the next year. He said he expected the G-7 to commit to 1 billion doses in all.

Macron said France would share at least 30 million doses globally by year’s end. Germany plans to donate the same amount.

The COVAX vaccination campaign got off to a slow start as richer nations locked up billions of doses through contracts directly with drug manufacturers. The alliance has distributed just 81 million doses globally, and large parts of the world, particularly in Africa, remain vaccine deserts.

Humanitarian workers welcomed the new donations but said the world needs more doses and sooner.

“We are still far from getting there,” said United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who is due to attend the summit Saturday as a guest.

“We need a concerted effort. We need a global vaccination plan,” he added. “If not the risk is there will still be large areas of the developing world where the virus spreads like wildfire.”


Pump Up the Protein

Apart from burning calories, chemotherapy and other treatments that kill cells result in a lot of protein turnover in your body. You need to take in more proteins during chemotherapy than in your usual diet. Eating only fruits and vegetables will not get you all the proteins that you require. Eggs and meat are excellent sources of protein, as are nuts, beans, and legumes. Milk and cheese are other good sources. Ask your doctor about protein supplements that you can get from a store.


Becoming a Frugalvore

Is it easy to become (and remain) a frugalvore? Not always. And it definitely won't be as easy as grabbing a precooked chicken or ordering takeout.

But keep in mind that until fairly recently, people generally cooked most or all of their meals at home. Yes, we're a busy nation. Sure, that rotisserie bird looks delicious – and, more to the point, it's ready to eat.

However, those on tight budgets generally don't have the luxury of spending the majority of their food dollars on prefab grub. And even those with some disposable income should consider frugalvorism at least some of the time.

What we choose to buy and eat has consequences. Dollars spent on the priciest beef or the out-of-season tomatoes flown in from Israel are dollars that can't support our long-term goals.

So try this mantra: If it's not on sale, it's not in my cart. Say it as often as you need to until frugalvorism becomes automatic. This isn't penury. It's prudence.

Donna doesn't just keep an awesome frugality blog. She has also written two books. The PDF versions are available to GRS readers for $5 each: Your Playbook for Tough Times (discount code GRS1 ) and Your Playbook for Tough Times, Vol. 2 (discount code GRS2 ).


Rethinking food in Wales: linking food production and public health

Submission to the Assembly’s Rethinking food in Wales consultation, from Amber Wheeler, University of South Wales and Peas Please Steering Committee

There is much good food work being done across Wales in terms of production, manufacturing, processing, brands, food poverty alleviation, community growing, food sustainability and more with many enthusiastic and successful stakeholders. However, there is more that can be done to enhance the food and drink sector, and particularly the food we eat, by adopting a more collaborative approach and adding to that work.

For many years I have been conducting doctoral research around a vision for a sustainable food system in Wales that is linked to fulfilling the health requirements of the nation. The particular focus of my research has been fruit and vegetables but I have learnt a lot, through extensive consultation and engagement, that can be applied across the food sector. I have found there is a lack of overall vision, lack of a plan and lack of an organisation and network to deliver a food secure and sustainable food system in Wales. Some key points : –

  1. It is clear from my research and the research of others, see particularly http://foodfoundation.org.uk/publication/force-fed/, that the food system, as it stands, is not enabling the population to eat as healthily as it should.
  2. Historically the approach has been to try and drive food system change through focussing mainly on the consumer, but this narrow focus has not been enough to drive change : –
  3. What might be needed is a new systemic approach where food sustainability and public health issues are worked on by every aspect of the food system : –
  4. This model needs exploring further in Wales. Through participatory doctoral research I became involved with the Food Foundation, Nourish Scotland, WWF-UK and Food Cardiff in organising national initiative called Peas Please to increase vegetable availability and increase consumption through supply chain collaboration. As a result of Peas Please, major stakeholders in the supply chain will be pledging to increase the availability of veg in the UK at summits held in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff on October 24 th 2017. This initiative represents a test bed of a systemic approach to public health and sustainable food and yet it is being delivered in Wales by myself as a volunteer, and by Food Cardiff who are coming up against the limits of their capacity to deliver Wales wide work. Wales is missing a national food organisation.

To achieve a sustainable and secure food system in Wales it is clear that we need the following : –

We need to model the secure and sustainable food needs of the Welsh population. In relation to fruit and vegetables my research remains the only research to date, showing that there is a large deficit in terms of production and availability compared to public health requirements of the population. Fish and wholegrain needs would be an easy next step to analyse. Once secure and sustainable food needs have been established national aims can be set and actions generated.

We need a new ‘Sustainable Food For and From Wales Action Plan’ based on a Food Needs Assessment and the current Food and Drink Action Plan.

Progress does not happen without a driving force. Scotland has Nourish Scotland http://www.nourishscotland.org/ and England has the Food Foundation http://foodfoundation.org.uk/ who are pushing forward these agendas with small, flexible teams. Wales does not have a national organisation, though Food Cardiff has been increasingly helping in this capacity. We need a national organisation, funded from central resources, as Nourish Scotland, which drives this agenda in tandem to the other nations.

A national organisation will need to be backed up by a Wales Food Network where good practice can be shared and spread across the nation in an efficient way.

Without these steps progress is likely to be slow and disjointed. With these steps Wales has a really good chance of becoming a leading light in sustainable food and helping to ensure Wales has a thriving food sector as well as a healthy eating nation.

Amber Wheeler is working on a PhD at the University of South Wales and is on the steering committee of Peas Please. She is based in Pembrokeshire.


Watch the video: Eat Well for less Season 01 Episode 01 (January 2022).