85% of parents would change their family diet to help protect the planet – and the South West is leading the way

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New survey results released by WWF-UK have revealed that 85% of parents of primary school age children are willing to change their family diet to help protect the environment. Unfortunately, only 13% of parents nationwide are currently taking steps to improve their impact, with a lack of information on the subject holding many of them back.

Food is a key environmental issue. What we eat and the ways in which we are growing, producing and processing food has a massive impact on our planet, contributing substantially to climate change and biodiversity loss. WWF-UK carried out a nationwide survey to find out what can be done to help create change.

The good news for the South West is that an impressive 73% of families have tried growing their own food at home or on a family allotment – with 38% of children saying they have grown fruit and vegetables at school. This makes the South West the champion growers in the UK.

WWF's Green Ambassador Champion School, Wicor Primary School, Hampshire.

The survey results show that overall, 91% of parents and 92% of children agree that it is important that the food we eat and the way it is grown should not damage the environment. Even better, 52% of parents state that if they had greater knowledge of how to eat sustainably, they would happily take steps to do so.

Of those surveyed, 77% of children say that school is the biggest source of learning about food, and 39% of parents say they learn from their family – so what kids learn at school could make a real difference to the whole family’s diet. Acting on this news, WWF-UK is launching the Plant2Plate campaign to help support more schools, parents and children to consume and produce food in a sustainable way.

In a calendar of events throughout 2016, the Plant2Plate campaign will provide free school resources based on WWF’s Livewell principles – a set of easy-to-follow guidelines that will encourage better food choices – from eating more vegetables and plant-based food, consuming meat in moderation, and wasting less food, all of which could help make a real difference to help protect the future of the planet.

WWF's Green Ambassador Champion School, Wicor Primary School, Hampshire.Although the South West is leading the way in growing, with 38% of children having grown food at school, Plant2Plate would like to encourage all schools to try, whether on the windowsill or a small area outside. Through the project, green-fingered children can get involved with schemes to grow fruit and vegetables at school, using WWF’s free resources such as the ‘Growing food at school: Beginner’s guide’ and the ‘Growing guide calendar’.

Plant2Plate has also launched a recipe competition, in partnership with Alpro, makers of plant-based food and drink, calling on budding young chefs to enter a tasty, original recipe, which includes fruit or vegetables they have grown at school. The top 50 winning recipes will be published in a recipe book and the overall winner will receive £1000 to spend on gardening or cooking equipment for their school.

Schools wanting to get involved can enter the Plant2Plate recipe competition by sending their recipe by email to greenambassadors@wwf.org.uk or by post to Green Ambassadors Recipe Competition, WWF-UK, The Living Planet Centre, Rufford House, Brewery Road, Woking, Surrey, GU21 4LL.  Closing date for entries is 5pm on Monday 6th June 2016.  Visit: wwf.org.uk/plant2plate for further details.

wwf logoWWF is one of the world’s largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries. Through their engagement with the public, businesses and government, they focus on safeguarding the natural world, creating solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature thrive.  Find out more about our work, past and present at wwf.org.uk.

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