AS SHEFFIELD’S bid for gastronomic recognition gathers pace, local people are being given a chance to get in on the action.
The Sheffield Food Plan – originally due to be launched at last year’s inaugural Food Festival – is now almost complete and members of the public are being asked to comment on the strategy in the run-up to its official adoption.
The plan, funded by the Let’s Change4Life obesity-prevention programme, focuses on seven key areas, from promoting healthy eating and local enterprise, to encouraging people to eat local produce – or even grow it themselves.
“Food is worth about £1bn a year to Sheffield’s economy. The idea is to create a food system that is resilient and sustainable,” says the city’s director of health improvement, Chris Shaw.
The three-year plan draws together a whole range of initiatives designed to improve health and welfare.
In practical terms that includes ‘speed dating’ to link local producers and consumers; setting up community allotments on land owned by churches, schools or the council; creating a glorified compost heap that turns food waste into heat and fertiliser; and helping people to make more informed choices about what they eat.
“We currently consume about 9g of salt each a day but if we reduced that to 6g we could save as many as 140 lives a year in Sheffield,” says Chris.
“When you compare that with about four lives a year saved through the ‘stop smoking’ campaign, it makes you think.”
lTo see the Food Plan, visit www.sheffieldfirst.org.uk/foodplan. Consultations end on February 25.