Jamie Oliver Aims to Increase Vegetable Consumption Across the UK

Jamie Oliver Aims to Increase Vegetable Consumption Across the UK

A new fundraising initiative, Veg Power, has launched in the UK. The initiative, backed by celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, aims to increase the UK’s vegetable consumption through marketing.

The new initiative is led by Peas Please, an organisation formed by The Food Foundation, WWF, Food Cardiff, and Nourish Scotland. The main aim of Peas Please is to “bring together farmers, retailers, fast food and restaurant chains, caterers, processors and government departments with a common goal of making it easier for everyone to eat veg.”

In order to achieve its goal, to create inspirational, motivational and contemporary veg marketing, Veg Power has launched a crowdfunding appeal to raise £100,000. The initiative also intends to release a book aimed at getting kids to eat more veg – the book will contain kid-friendly recipes and activities, as well as facts and tips from over 50 contributors.

“Advertising works,” Dan Parker, founder of Living Loud, who is assisting The Food Foundation, said in a statement. “Which is why companies spend so much money to promote their products. People buy happiness not health, so this is no longer about the health message and cartoon vegetables with smiley faces. It’s about making veg cool and contemporary in a way that means kids don’t need to be bribed with dessert to finish their greens.”

According to Peas Please, 80 percent of children in the UK are not getting enough greens. “We all know that encouraging kids to eat more greens can be a challenge,” stated Oliver. “So, we need to get them really excited about veg by celebrating all the beautiful, colourful, fun things you can do with them.”

“There’s endless junk food advertising but why aren’t we marketing the good stuff to our kids?” Fearnley-Whittingstall added. “Let’s do something really amazing. Let’s power up the next generation.”

The organisation is also calling for the backing of the government, asking for both the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, to get behind the initiative. According to Peas Please, low vegetable consumption contributes to around 20,000 deaths every year, causing strain on the National Health Service.

To contribute to the Veg Power crowd funder, see here.

Image Credit: Veg Power UK  | Jamie Oliver