Half of all London boroughs are now serving healthy, ethical and environmentally sustainable meals, Food for Life reports. Meal providers in these boroughs have proved that they meet the requirements of the Food for Life Catering Mark’s Bronze or Silver award, an accreditation scheme which is a recognised benchmark for quality catering. Schools enrolled with the Food for Life Partnership promote a whole-school approach, which aims to transform food culture and connect children with the environment and source of their food. Schools are encouraged to grow their own food, teach pupils and parents to cook for themselves and visit a farm. (Picture FFL: Carshalton Boys Sports College – the Big Lottery CEO Peter Wanless (left) presented the school’s Food for Life Silver Award to the Head Teacher Simon Barber (right).)
The report, Tipping the Scale, by the London Assembly found that child obesity costs the capital £7.1 million a year to treat and that rates of childhood obesity are higher in London than any other English region. The Food for Life Partnership, supported by celebrity chef and food campaignerJamie Oliver, has published independent evidence which showed that by taking part in the scheme, schools can have improved results and behaviour and reduced obesity.
Rosie Boycott, Chair of London Food said: “Hats off to the Food for Life Partnership for championing healthier eating in London’s schools. We have been encouraging schools to grow their own through our Capital Growth scheme and I believe strongly that when kids grow fruit and veg themselves, it kick starts an enthusiasm for healthy eating.”
David Hall, assistant headteacher, Carshalton Boys Sports College, London, said: “Our work with the Food for Life Partnership and other healthy schools initiatives has had a great impact in reducing obesity. At Carshalton the percentage of obese pupils fell from 10 % in 2002 to just over 2 % in 8 years, and exam results increased from 32 % of pupils passing five subjects with good grades (GCSE / General certificate of secondary education/ A-C) to 90 % in the same period. This really demonstrates how nutrition and healthy life choices play a key part in supporting academic achievement.” (Picture: Carshalton Boys Sports College student in the vegetable plot)
Text: Organic Market Info