Tag Archives: vegan food

Vegan school meals: why should they be available for all and how can I help?

3 Valley Vegans is informing parents about campaigns to get vegan school meals on the menu for all school children. Some Calderdale schools are now providing vegan meals for those requesting it, but we believe vegan meals should be available for all, as an option, for the environment, health and the animals.

Why support vegan meals in schools?

There are many sources to consider which advocate or encourage plant-based diets for all ages:

  • Veganism is supported by the Human Rights Act 1998 Article 9 which protects personal beliefs including veganism. This has been reinforced in a 2020 legal case in which ethical veganism was confirmed as a protected belief under the 2010 Equality Act in the same way as religious beliefs. The case therefore removes any doubt that it is illegal to discriminate against vegans by treating them less favourably than others i.e. not catering for them with vegan meals that are as equally nutritious as those served to non-vegan pupils.  Also, there is a wealth of evidence that shows a vegan diet to be healthy, and to be preventative with diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes (see the China Study). Many children suffer from dairy intolerance, which may cause eczema, who for health reasons need to avoid dairy.
  • The World Health Organisation states processed meat is a group one carcinogen, and red meat which includes beef, lamb and pork as a group 2 carcinogen. In the WHO School Policy 2008 framework it states “A nutritious diet should meet the nutrient and energy needs of students and be based on a variety of foods originating mainly from plant-based sources.”
  • The British Dietetic Society recognise that a well-planned plant based diet is suitable for every age and lifestyle, and the NHS confirm this.

By providing a vegan option in schools, the government will be addressing human rights, environment, health (government guidelines encourage us to eat more fruit and veg, 5 a day, as recommended by WHO), and poverty (free school meals for vegan children).

What can I do as a parent?

ProVeg offer support to schools on how to increase the intake of vegetables, fruits and other plant-based foods.

The Vegan Society have a template letter which families can use when writing to schools. They also have letters for caterers and educators too.

Calderdale Council no longer provides any catering to schools.  Therefore, we suggest you write to individual schools, although some schools provide the catering for a number of others in the area and deliver prepared meals daily. Nevertheless, it may be worth referring to a Calderdale Council internal human resources policy, introduced recently in response to the climate emergency, that requires meals and catering at Council events to be plant-based by April 2021.  This is relevant since many school staff (not academies) still receive their salaries via the Council.

Did you know that it’s still mandatory for school caterers in England to serve meat, fish, and dairy? Sir Paul McCartney, MPs, and environmental, health, and other groups have asked the government to revise these guidelines so that schools have a choice in the matter. Add your name to the healthy children’s meals petition by PETA UK.

In summary, have a look at the template letter or better yet craft your own using the sources above. Write to your children’s school, or the one where their food is prepared and ask what they are doing to support you. Add your name to the healthy meals petition.

Image by Andrzej Rembowski from Pixabay

CANCELLED: 9 Aug: Socially distant picnic in Hebden Bridge

∙∙∙∙∙∙∙ We have cancelled this event for obvious reasons following the new government rules. ∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙∙

Come and join us for our annual pot luck picnic! This year we will of course be following government instructions and keeping a safe social distance throughout, and sadly not sharing food this time.

  • Sunday, 9th August at midday.
  • Calder Holmes Park, Hebden Bridge
  • Meet between the cafe and the path to the railway station (see photo).

As usual, everyone is welcome to come along, we just ask they you only bring vegan food or drink (thank you for respecting the wishes of our vegan members). Please bring your own cutlery and plate. We will probably be sitting on the ground, so you may wish to bring a portable seat or blanket.

If you want to come, please send us an email. Dogs are welcome too. If the weather is bad, we may have to cancel, check here or look out for an email if it comes to that.

See you there!

Featured image by Carroll Pierce, CC BY SA 2.0

26 Jul: Foodie Friday stall at Tod market, can you help?

Monthly Foodie Friday events are running this summer and autumn in Calderdale. “A feast for the senses on the last Friday of each month.” 3 Valley Vegans are hosting a stall on Todmorden open air market on Friday, 26 July 2019.

Foodie Friday (Fryday) Todmorden Markets

Our information stall will be a celebration of veganism and will promote all things vegan. We will provide information about how and why to go vegan and where to buy and eat vegan food in the area. There will be vegan recipes demonstrated and written down for people to take away and free samples of vegan food for people to try.  If anyone would like to help out either by baking or creating some food samples to give away or by helping out on the stall then please contact Hilary on hils46@yahoo.co.uk. Even a few hours would be wonderful.

  • 3 Valley Vegans vegan food and information stall
  • Friday, 26 July 2019
  • Start: 9am (time TBC)
  • Finish: 7pm or earlier (time TBC)
  • Even if you could come for an hour or two, that would be great
  • Location: Todmorden outdoor market, OL14 5AJ

Contact: Hilary on hils46@yahoo.co.uk

Edit: Photos from the event

1 Nov: World Vegan Month Todmorden market stall, can you help?

It will be World Vegan Month soon! 3 Valley Vegans are hosting a stall on Todmorden open air market on Thursday, 1 November. (That’s World Vegan Day, within World Vegan Month.)

The information stall will be a celebration of veganism and will promote all things vegan. We will provide information about how and why to go vegan and where to buy and eat vegan food in the area. There will be vegan recipes demonstrated and written down for people to take away and free samples of vegan food for people to try.  If anyone would like to help out either by baking or creating some food samples to give away or by helping out on the stall then please contact Hilary on hils46@yahoo.co.uk. Even a few hours would be wonderful.

  • 3 Valley Vegans vegan information stall
  • Thursday, 1 November 2017
  • Start: 9.00 am
  • Finish: 3.00 pm
  • Location: Todmorden outdoor market, OL14 5AJ

Contact: Hilary on hils46@yahoo.co.uk

Vietnamese spring rolls, as demoed at the Incredible Festival of Ideas

 

Plate of delicious food at IFI
A plate of some of the wonderful food offered by volunteers at Todmorden Learning Centre. See top-left for a spring roll

Hilary demonstrated how to make Vietnamese spring rolls at the Incredible Festival of Ideas future of food event. They are very easy to make, healthy and tasty. You can experiment with different fillings as you wish.

Ingredients

  • Rice wrappers
  • Thin batons of carrot, cucumber and peppers
  • Beansprouts or cooked thin rice noodles.
  • Chopped coriander
  • Thin strips of tofu
  • Soy sauce / chilli sauce etc

Method

Rice wrappers can be small or large, square or round and can be bought from Asian / Chinese shops or the lady selling Chinese food on Todmorden market.

Tofu should be marinated in soy sauce beforehand or cooked ’til crisp.

  1. Soak wrappers, one at a time, in a shallow bowl of water until just soft enough to roll.
  2. Put wrapper on a dry surface and place strips of tufu, veg, herbs and noodles etc in a small pile in the centre, lower half, of the wrapper.
  3. Roll wrapper from the bottom, folding sides in as you go and press firmly to seal at the top.
  4. Chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Serve with a dip of choice … soy sauce, chili sauce, tahini sauce etc.

Experiment with different fillings and sauces. Better still, watch this video!!

21 May: Healthy eating on a budget

You are invited to another 3 Valley Vegans cookery demo.

Healthy eating on a budget (flyer)

Healthy eating on a budget

Learn how to make nutritional and tasty meals for less. Enjoy taste testers throughout the evening. We will have an opportunity to share tips about eating healthily while saving money.

Limited places are available! Book now: kim@3valleyvegns.org.uk

  • Free entry
  • Gluten-free options
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Burnley Road, main roundabout in Todmorden

Funded by Todmorden Town Council and 3 Valley Vegans.

budget cookery demo

Review, by Phil D

Meet new people, learn some things and get free food; what more could you ask for from an evening out?

Healthy Eating on a Budget was the first 3 Vally Vegans event I have attended and I’m happy to say I’m sure to come back again.

The cookery demo had a variety of interesting dishes being prepared by Hillary, Kim, Rob and Sandy with each of them sharing their own insights into how to eat healthy while not spending a fortune.

The hosts presented great tasting vegan dishes such as mushroom risotto, vegetable stir fry and lentil dahl with plenty of useful hints and tips, even for those meat-eaters present who were looking to start ditching the dairy as well as helpful dietary guidance for the recently converted like myself. Even the vegan veterans in the audience got a few “I never knew that!” moments of culinary inspiration. Personally I was most tempted to try the homemade oat mylk (astonishingly easy) and frozen banana-based “nIce cream”, while other audience members were keen to start wild foraging for dandelions and lovage for their next salad. Free recipe cards and leaflets to take made it even easier to try out these new ideas at home.

With a welcoming and inclusive vibe, audience participation through sharing recipe tips and a great debate on how exactly do you pronounce “tabbouleh”, this evening was fun and informative and I look forward to the next event.