We know we all have to eat more vegetables. It’s simple – eating more vegetables saves lives. Every year in the UK 20,000 deaths could be prevented if we could tackle the low consumption of vegetables and pulses in our diet. (And that’s before we start on the environmental impact which is a subject for another time).
We know we have to… but I agree it’s hard and it’s not all our fault. The UK food system actually makes it quite hard for us to eat as much veg as we should (7 portions a day). I’d like to share with you the work of some great people who are helping in the background to make it easier for us all and highlight some of the changes that we can be starting to see already.
While I was researching DizzleSky earlier this year, I came across The Peas Please Team. They are an inspirational initiative who are uniting businesses and organisations to pledge to help us (the UK) eat more veg. Those signing up are being monitored and their results measured; they must deliver. There are some great names up there already – Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Greggs, Lidl, BirdsEye, Co-op, Mars Food UK to name a few.
Peas Please are influencing our food environment focused around their 5 p’s:
Pleasure – Making veg delicious whenever we eat it
Producers– Growing veg sustainably at all scales of production
Price – Making veg affordable at a price that works for both producers and consumers
Products – Finding new ways of getting veg into what we buy and eat every day
Placement – Increasing prominence in shops and on menus and more places to buy veg in towns and cities.
Sounds good doesn’t it? And what’s better is that without possibly knowing it, you will have seen their work in action already. For example Lidl’s Fun-Size vegetable range, ITV pledging £2m in vegetable advertising during prime-time children’s tv and creating Veg Cities across the UK. The Veg Cities (Oxford, Sheffield, Birmingham and many more) have pledged to help people buy and eat more veg whilst improving the food on offer in their cities.
My personal pledge this year is to try to eat meat-free meals three/four times a week. I start on a Monday and try to get to Thursday… on the weekends we are often entertaining, out and about with the kids or I’m cooking for the family so they tend to be more meat orientated. And it’s worth remembering that there are three meals (on average) a day so this includes breakfast and lunch as well.
Over the coming years we will see plenty of change with veg getting more prominence in our society. And with more prominence and kudos, people will naturally start choosing veg above other (sometimes much less healthy) items. For our children, and the generations to follow this is imperative to fight against disease and keep looking after our planet.
Making these small changes to our lives will make a huge impact on the environment and our health. It makes sense doesn’t it… What would your pledge be?