Flexitarian Bristol brings meat free eating to schools

Green group’s workshops and resources teach pupils in the city about joys and benefits of environmental eating

Children at Flexitarian Bristol cookery workshops

If you’re looking for the most clued-up schools in terms of meat free eating then take a trip to the west of England and the beacon city of Bristol, where one local group is on a mission to give pupils a lesson in environmental eating they will never forget.

Flexitarian Bristol has done it by setting up two highly successful workshops, which were piloted last December and will be appearing at many more schools in future. The “Brilliant Bean” and  “Feel Good Food” workshops were designed to keep the green momentum going in Bristol following a momentous 2015.

Last year was a particularly green one for Bristol, with the city benefiting from the financial input of an independent leadership organisation, Bristol Green Capital 2015, to create a “low-carbon city with a high quality of life for all”. An important part of that was teaching people about the environmental impact of their food and how to eat with the planet in mind, which it did through the Bristol Good Food Tour (BGFT), which set up numerous events and demonstrations to show that healthy, nutritious food needn’t cost the earth.

Flexitarian Bristol was asked to set up the workshops in order to ensure the good work carried into this year and – by enthusing and influencing young cooks – well beyond. The two devised and trialled in December included interactive materials and a feast of great recipes, two of which you can sample at the bottom of the page.

Children, parents and staff at Barnardo’s in Whithywood took part in the Feel Good Food workshop, working together to prepare a mixed bean stew. Informative and enjoyable, the children described a fun communal experience that taught them a lot about where their food from and why it was important to eat healthily and with the environment in mind.

The Brilliant Bean workshop was test driven at Parson Street Primary School, where children at the after-school club were given the chance to make healthy snacks such as Traffic Light Hummus – three dips made of beetroot, carrot and chickpeas – and Snowball Surprise, fruit and chocolate truffles rolled in desiccated coconut and containing kidney beans. Sound unappetising? One four-year-old, Finn, who tried them, said: “The snowman was yummy!”

It’s a sentiment of which Flexitarian Bristol itself would approve. On its website, where there is a wealth of free resources, including graphics, factsheets and recipes, it says: “We love food and love life and want to ensure everyone can enjoy both as fully as possible.”

Try out two Flexitarian Bristol recipes: Hearty Bean and Veg Stew and Snowball Surprise.

Visit the Flexitarian Bristol website.