A new crowdfunding appeal launches today. Its mission? To raise money to rebrand the humble vegetable, transforming it (in the minds of the nation’s unenlightened youngsters) from questionable green stuff to be pushed around a plate into Mum-Dad-please-say-it’s-sprouts-tonight, eat-me-now superfood.
The Veg Power fund aims to give healthy fresh food a shot in the arm, turbocharging its image among the people who need it most – children – and giving frustrated parents a bit more help in getting those all-important greens eaten. According to the Veg Power campaign, 86 per cent of parents worry about what their children are eating – or rather, where fresh food is concerned, not eating – and are looking for help. As it points out: “This is about all coming together to help parents throughout the UK get more veg into kids’ bellies.”
As a result, businesses and individuals are being asked to give what they can to raise £100,000 via the Crowdfunder website, and with it the profile of our humble veg. If you thought carrots had it covered, that broccoli didn’t need a boost and that legumes could look after themselves, then consider what they are up against: a mere 1.2 per cent of the money spent on advertising food and drink goes towards promoting the benefits of veg.
That is a shocking when you think that 80 per cent of children and 95 per cent of teenagers are not eating enough greens, but not so surprising given that the big brands, large companies and fast food outlets that pay for most food and drink advertising have to sell their processed, sugar-and-salt-laden and often meat-based products. Small wonder that none are out there celebrating the simple nutritional delights of kale, mushrooms, sweetcorn and [insert your favourite vegetable here].
But that’s set to change thanks to Veg Power. Set up by the Food Foundation, Nourish Scotland, Food Cardiff and WWF, the campaign works with producers, supermarkets and government with the aim of encouraging everyone to eat more veg. It is supported by the likes of Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Dr Rangan Chatterjee. The plan is to use the fund to create new and exciting campaigns to really capture kids’ imaginations; to lobby politicians, farmers and supermarkets to throw their weight – and cash – behind the campaign; and to create a Veg Power kids’ recipe book, yours for free if you pledge just £25!
More than 20,000 lives a year could be saved if people ate more fruit and veg. Teach young minds about the importance of fresh food to their diet, and teach young tummies about how delicious veg can be, and the battle to cut that number has already been won.
Visit the Veg Power crowdfunding page
Visit the Veg Power website