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

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.

WWF diet to protect planet

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.

Our 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.

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 [email protected] 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.