Embargoed for 00.01 on Monday 8th October
- Glasgow businesses have made commitments to the Peas Please initiative to help increase vegetable consumption.
- Children attending parties in GOALS Glasgow South and GOALS Glasgow West football centres will be offered fruit and veg snacks as starter.
- 5000 students will be encouraged to eat more veg at City of Glasgow College, as catering company BaxterStorey pledge to put 20% more veg on their plates.
- Glasgow is also one of 15 Veg Cities across the UK, a campaign seeking to bring together community groups, businesses, and local Councils to drive up veg consumption.
- 1 in 10 children in Scotland eat no fruit or veg at all, with only 15% eating the recommended minimum of 5 portions per day – revealed figures published last month.
- 24% of adults eat 5 portions of fruit and veg a day, but there are strong inequalities between different levels of income: those on lowest incomes eat a whole portion less than those on highest incomes.
- Peas Please pledging businesses served 4.8 million additional portions of veg in the first year of the initiative.
Vegetables are trending in Glasgow this week. Today, the City of Glasgow College and two Glasgow-based GOALS football centres, are among hundreds of places joining the UK-wide Peas Please initiative seeking to put more vegetables on our plates.
As part of its Veg City campaign, Glasgow is also in the middle of a Chef’s Challenge. The final day of the competition is coming up on Wednesday, and will be judged in City of Glasgow College, by among others Scotland’s national chef, and Master Chef winner, Gary MacLean.
Peas Please is coordinated by partner organisations in each of the four UK nations, and aims to bring together companies and brands to make it easier for people to eat veg. Businesses are invited to make commitments for how they will help us all eat more veg. ‘Veg Cities’ is a spin off campaign from the Peas Please initiative; Glasgow Community Food Network is one of 15 partnerships from across the UK delivering ‘Veg Cities’ campaigns in 2018-2019.
Why veg? To save lives. 85% of children in Scotland eat less fruit and veg than the recommended 5 portions per day, with 1 in 10 eating none at all. Adults do slightly better, with 1 in 4 managing their 5-a-day, the highest proportion since 2003, when monitoring began.
Yet, for every one of your five-a-day eaten, your risk of premature death decreases by 5%. Eating more veg helps prevent diet-related chronic illnesses like heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and would significantly reduce the subsequent financial burden on the NHS.
City of Glasgow College and their catering company BaxterStorey are also among the 15 new companies pledging to make it easier for us to eat more veg. Today, they are committing to serving 20% more veg to the 5000 students they cater for on a daily basis. They will also try to inspire students to eat more veg through pop up stands, events with veg demos, and Veg days throughout the academic year.
Mike Hanson, Head of Sustainable Business at BaxterStorey, said: “We are proud to be working with City of Glasgow College to deliver the great health and environmental benefits of eating more veg to students. Not only are we excited to be creating innovative and nutritious dishes which make veg the star of the plate; we are proud to play a part in leading the change towards a more sustainable hospitality industry.”
Willie McCurrach, Head of Curriculum for Food at City of Glasgow College, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be part of this new exciting project. We run a Bistro in the College, which is both a teaching space as well as a realistic work environment, which already offers healthy choices, but our students are reluctant to try and eat fresh vegetables, so we hope to make changes for the better. We are also growing our own vegetable so that the students can harvest, cook, and eat the vegetables to understand the quality and freshness.”
Football centre chain GOALS, who manage 46 centres across the UK, with two in Glasgow and one in Aberdeen, will introduce veg sticks and hummus as a starter to their party menus, and plan to get kids eating an additional 100,000 portions in 2019.
Martin Rigby, Head of Food and Beverage at GOALS, said: “We’re really pleased to be part of something that will make a difference for future generations. Making small changes in our lifestyle choices can have a big impact on our health and wellbeing and GOALS are proud to support Peas Please.”
Peas Please is coordinated by partner organisations in each of the four UK nations, and aims to bring together business and brands from across the food system to secure commitments to improve the availability, affordability and quality of the veg offer in shops, schools, fast-food restaurants and beyond.
London City Hall will play host to the Vegetable Summit 2018 on 8th October as participants in the initiative celebrate the impact already made by Peas Please, announce major new pledges, welcome Northern Ireland as a new partner4, and launch the Peas Please 2018 Progress Report.
Pete Ritchie, Executive Director of Nourish Scotland, said: “It is fantastic to see Glasgow lead the way in UK-wide efforts to drive up veg consumption. We all know we should be eating 5-a-day, but it can be very hard when the veg offer is limited. Seeing businesses and chefs in Glasgow step up to the plate is encouraging, now we need to make sure pledges are turned into extra portions consumed by children and adults across the city.”
Abi Mordin, Chair of Glasgow Community Food Network, said: “Eating more vegetables is not only better for our health, it’s also hugely important for our local producers. We’re very pleased to be delivering the Veg City campaign and bringing together Glasgow-based chefs and veg producers. The pledges announced today help us build momentum and reach more people.”
Notes to Editors
Contact: Riikka Gonzalez – 07967 479 152 / email@example.com
References for figures quoted above:
- Health benefits of veg: Food Foundation – Veg Facts
- 5-a-day statistics: Scottish Health Survey 2017
- Peas Please portions to date: Peas Please Progress Report
Social Media: #PeasPlease
About Peas Please
A trail-blazing initiative focused specifically on veg, Peas Please aims to bring together farmers, retailers, fast food and restaurant chains, caterers, processors and government departments with a common goal of making it easier for everyone to eat veg. Committed to collaborative working, Peas Pease is led by project partners the Food Foundation, WWF UK, Nourish Scotland, Food NI and Food Cardiff who have secured engagement and support from over 150 organisations in cities, business and Governments across the UK to bring about change to the whole food system to improve people’s health and wellbeing.
Find more information about Peas Please here.