Students on UCB’s Food and Nutrition course have been tasked by a local council to concoct a range of delicious, balanced meals for under 50p for a single serving.
In a morning lecture by Angela Blair, Food and Nutrition Project Manager for Sandwell Council, and Katie Badger, Graduate Management Trainee, students were briefed about the issues affecting food poverty and insecurity in the West Midlands. Making full use of their degree’s focus on public health, food politics and the social and behavioural aspects of good diet, students reflected on ways to introduce healthier options into the diets of lower-income families.
Split up into teams, participants then worked diligently to create a main meal that was simple, nutritious, and had a cost price of less than 50p. Using nourishing staples of pulses, grains and potatoes, recipes were given extra flavour with low-cost additions such as chili, dried spices and tomato.
Highlights from the session’s taste test included a chickpea curry with potato rosti and a spicy tomato, bean and sweetcorn dish, topped off with a poached egg.
“It’s a fantastic use of our students’ skills,” said Applied Food and Nutrition lecturer, and organiser of the event, Hannah Boardman. “Having been specially trained to understand exactly what a healthy diet requires, what better way to put that knowledge to the test by creating healthy meals that are accessible to everyone?”
Final recipes will be handed over formally to lecturers in just over a week’s time. The best two will then be given to Sandwell Council for potential use as part of a campaign promoting healthy eating on a budget.
Leftover food from the session was donated to FoodCycle, a charity that makes the very most of surplus produce by making large-scale free meals for the local community. It will be used for a free, three-course meal for users of the service this Sunday.