It’s no secret that Wales is the fattest nation in the UK. Over a fifth of five year olds in Wales are overweight, whilst nearly two thirds of people in their early forties are classed overweight or obese. But, in Cardiff, there’s work afoot to turn that statistic upside down.
Against a burgeoning vegan culture and spiked interest in cookery, Cardiff is on a mission to improve its health. Recently being chosen as one of just six UK cities to join the Sustainable Food Cities Network, the city will share in one million pounds of funding to invest in food culture, in a move towards the ultimate aim of becoming a Sustainable Food City.
And they aren’t alone in their quest for better health. Since recent UK-wide health scares relating to dangers of eating processed meat, plant and vegan foods have not only become more accessible, but they’ve become better quality. More Brits than ever are going vegan, with the entire nation predicted to be predominantly vegan by 2020 if this trend continues to grow at its current speed.
Back in Cardiff, plenty of restaurants and cafes are including fresher, increasingly inventive plant and veggie food options. For some delicious, complex refreshment, wet your lips with a goji berry and ginger lemonade from Milgi Lounge, or feed your soul with some hearty, spiced dahl from Café Atma. If you’re not fazed by not having a place to sit, visit Clancy’s Vegetarian Emporium for some take-away lentil balls or some sweet treats to munch on the go.
And as there’s been a hike in the amount of vegan and vegetarian restaurants and market stalls opening up, Cardiff city dwellers are becoming more interested in learning about food as well as sharpening their tastes. Last year, cookery was the most searched for course across the entire city.
But it’s not just new business that’s helping Cardiff get healthy. 58 established businesses have been backed by the Cardiff Council Health Improvement Team in pursuit of the Healthy Options Award, a scheme designed to improve Welsh standards of nutrition.
To boot, this boost in interest has been strong enough to see advent of the Cardiff Vegetarian Festival: the city’s celebration of its local vegan and vegetarian eateries, and the growing awareness of health food culture and nutrition.
Whilst things may seem grim for the overall state of British health, we can look to the silver lining over in Wales. Next to concerns linked to over-consumption of animal and saturated fats, we can see growing, increasingly critical concern for health, and the integral impact that eating fresh, vegan produce can have on it.
About the Author: Monica Karpinski is a writer for Hotcourses (www.HotCourses.com), the UK’s leading provider of education websites. She is passionate about food culture, and firmly believes in the importance of health and nutrition education.