According to research by the Food Foundation, UK vegetable consumption remains same as in the 1970s despite the 5-A-Day campaign. Very few people in the UK consume as much as three and a half portions, and a quarter of teenagers consume less than one portion a day.
In response to these findings, the Food Foundation, Nourish Scotland and WWF-UK launched Peas Please – an initiative bringing together producers, manufacturers, retailers, fast food and restaurant chains, caterers, broadcasters and government departments to transform the way vegetables are produced, seen and consumed.
In addition to health benefits, consuming more vegetables can help the environment. According to the Food Foundation, if UK residents ate an extra portion of vegetables and less meat, the UK’s diet-related greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by 17%.
Peas Please culminates on Tuesday 24 October, with Vegetable Summit events running simultaneously in London, Cardiff and Edinburgh and the opportunity for organisations to pledge their commitments to significantly increasing vegetable consumption by 2020.
With celebrity participants including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Dr Dawn Harper, special guests from across the vegetable supply chain, and the support of major retailers, manufacturers, restaurant chains, large catering organisations and government bodies, 20 pledges are planned, all of which will be announced at the London Vegetable Summit at City Hall.