Magazine Archive

I know that we were all disappointed in the content of the government’s Childhood Obesity action plan, but I think what it has done is draw attention to this growing concern and spur on organisations to provide more evidence-based reporting. There has never been more focus in the news about childhood obesity and I for one am going to an event at least once a month that centres on this topic in some way. Public Health England draws on the ‘plan for action’ every time it announces a new funding strategy or there’s news about the impending sugar tax and it certainly came up at the Food Foundation’s recent Vegetable Summit. Held at City Hall in London, the summit saw supermarkets, caterers, manufacturers and local councils making a ‘pledge for more veg’ and commit to getting more vegetables into people’s diets – either by discreetly reformulating recipes or by promising to better promote vegetables. None of the pledges were all that ground breaking, but it raised awareness that 20,000 lives could be saved if we all ate one more portion of vegetables and the Foundation made a strong point that it would be holding these pledgers to account, ensuring they stay true to their word. You can read some of the pledges on page 16. Jamie Oliver was vocal when the Childhood Obesity plan was published and his foundation has recently come out with a report into cooking in schools and the wider food culture in schools. If anything, the report highlights the importance of evaluating – something many caterers are desperate to do with Universal Infant Free School Meals – as the document reveals a wide disparity in the delivery of cooking, which has been back on the curriculum since 2014. “The biggest scandal is that childhood obesity is avoidable. We all have the power to improve the food our children eat and it starts with food education,” Jamie writes in the report. On page 18 I’ve pulled out some of the report findings and details of the report’s recommendations. Elsewhere this month we’ve got our big round-up of the EDUcatering Excellence Awards from page 20, including an interview with our Lifetime Achievement Award winner Vic Laws on page 12. We’ve given our winners some time to soak up the feeling of victory before handing over our pages to say a word of thanks and what it is like to be looked upon as 2017’s trailblazers in school catering.

  • The Big Interview: First Past the Post

    The Big Interview: First Past the Post

    Vic Laws’ enthusiasm for the hospitality industry – and school catering – remains as undimmed as it was when he first entered the industry more than 50 years ago, he tells Jane Renton

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  • More peas please!

    More peas please!

    The first Vegetable Summit by The Food Foundation saw supermarkets, manufacturers and caterers commit to getting people eating more veg with their Peas Please pledges. But what are the biggest barriers to eating our greens? asks Morag Wilson

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  • Neither time nor money

    Neither time nor money

    It’s the first action of the School Food Plan: put cooking into the curriculum in Key Stages 1 to 3. But how many schools are actually delivering this? Three years on, the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation decided to see how schools are getting on.

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