There is some evidence that eating vegetables could reduce the risk of mouth, upper throat, and larynx cancers. In addition vegetables are a very good source of natural fibre and there is strong evidence that eating foods high in fibre reduces the risk of bowel cancer. It is estimated that 34% of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, and larynx could be prevented by eating a diet rich in non-starchy vegetables and 12% of bowel cancers could be prevented by eating sufficient fibre (the recommendation is 30g
Diets that are low in veg are associated with more than 20,000 premature deaths across the UK each year (not just cancer). This was one of the headlines of the Vegetable Summit organised in Edinburgh on 24th October by Nourish Scotland as part of the Peas Please initiative. “5-a-day hasn’t worked. It is one of the best recognised consumer-facing campaigns, 86% people in UK have heard of it, but consumption numbers haven’t shifted since it’s been introduced”, explained Nourish Director Pete Ritchie at the opening of the Summit. “If we rely on messaging to get people to eat more veg, it’s not going to happen.”
So instead, Peas Please, a UK-wide project led in Scotland by Nourish, seeks to work with the food industry (in production, manufacturing, catering and retail) and the public sector to transform our food environments to make it easier for everyone to eat more veg. We want to make veg convenient, tasty, affordable, and above all, normal.
On 24th October, 40 pledges from industry, cities across the UK, and Scottish Government were announced at parallel Veg Summits in London and Cardiff. Over the next few years, we will add more pledges to the board and monitor progress. In Scotland, we need to get rid of our prejudice against veg, improve skills in households and in professional kitchens, and ensure good quality fresh and frozen veg is available and affordable to all. We’re going to need all hands on deck to make progress, if you would like to support or get involved with this initiative, please get in touch with Celia at Nourish.
Note from the Editor: The SCPN pledges to run our January 2018 social media campaign around increasing vegetable intake in our diet – look out for #SouperFreshStart soup recipes on scpnblog.wordpress.com.
The first issue of 2018, with contributions from Alcohol Focus Scotland, SCPHRP, Nourish Scotland, Obesity Action Scotland and Exercise Works in practice and policy, as well as the latest updates on research in prevention and screening.