What is Veg Cities?

Veg Cities is a Sustainable Food Cities campaign led by the Sustain charity, partnering with Peas Please to work with food growers, restaurants, food interest groups, local authorities, schools and other workplaces.

The aim is to help cities and communities to increase the supply and the consumption of vegetables.

Why veg?

We all need to be eating at least one extra portion of veg a day. Many of us, including children, are eating hardly any veg at all. We should be eating 3.5 portions/400g of veg per day but 80% of children, 95% of teenagers and 80% of adults are not reaching that target. People on lower incomes eat half a portion less. Our veg consumption is in decline and is no better than it was in the 1970s, in spite of the 5-A-Day campaign. 

Read the following Veg Facts from the Food Foundation

  1. Everyone needs to be eating at least one extra portion of veg a day. Many of us, including children, are eating hardly any veg at all. 
  2. More than a third of the veg children eat is highly processed, resulting in a situation where 17 per cent of children’s veg comes from pizza and baked beans. 
  3. Our veg consumption is in decline and is no better than it was in the 1970s, in spite of the 5 A Day campaign. 
  4. Diets that are low in veg are associated with more than 20,000 premature deaths across the UK. 
  5. Eating one more portion of veg while reducing meat consumption could reduce our diet-related greenhouse gas emissions by almost a fifth. 
  6. We throw away about half a portion of veg a day and more is wasted on the farm and in the supply chain. 
  7. A meagre 1.2 per cent of food advertising spend goes on veg. 
  8. Horticulture is the most labour-intensive agricultural sector, employing one person for every 10 acres, but many of them are migrants whose future is now uncertain. 
  9. Our horticulture sector benefits least from agricultural subsidies even though it produces food that is healthy and is often low in carbon emissions. 
  10. Thirty years ago, 83 per cent of the veg we ate came from the UK. Now it is 58 per cent, partly because we eat more exotic veg. If we increased veg consumption in line with dietary guidance, the UK would have the chance to grow 1.5 million metric tonnes more veg a year

How to get involved:

FoodWise Leeds is running a local Veg Cities campaign, working with local partners to encourage the growing, sale, sharing, cooking, eating, saving and composting of vegetables across Leeds.

We are keen to support and encourage individuals, groups, organizations and businesses to celebrate veg in all its fabulous forms! Let us know what you are doing to promote vegetables by joining our local Veg Cities campaign and making a pledge to veg. https://www.vegcities.org/local/leeds/ 

Look out for details on our upcoming Pumpkin Rescue.

#vegrocks #befoodwise