Sustain London Food Link Articles

Time to veg out

Whilst there are committed carrot crunchers out there, in general we’re not eating enough veg. Veg Cities campaign coordinator Sofia Parente introduces a new mission to help convert our city and nation of veg-o-phobes.

Photo credit: Erik Scheel, Pexels

Photo credit: Erik Scheel, Pexels


  • …if the journey on your daily commute to and from work was peppered with food growing gardens and markets selling seasonal, locally-produced veg. 
  • At lunch or dinner time, eateries served reasonably-priced, freshly-prepared food incorporating plenty of veg. 
  • Shops promoting two-for-one deals on fresh, colourful veg, instead of junk. 
  • Schools getting kids involved in food growing and preparing food, inspiring them to be curious about trying new vegetables. 
  • If families could take part in community cooking classes. 
  • Advertising billboards all across London showing vegetables and healthier food. 

Might this inspire you to eat more veg? 

We think so and that is precisely why we launched Veg Cities this June, calling on cities and other local areas to grow, cook, sell, serve and save more veg. The London Borough of Lewisham and 14 more cities and boroughs have registered so far to run the campaign.

Grow-op The Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency (GCDA) has long been helping people eat more veg, setting up seven vegetable stalls in schools and children’s centres in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, selling 500kg of seasonal fruit and vegetables to around 300 residents every week.

Livia La Camera, who is responsible for the project, says: “The stalls are financially viable due to the low running costs and wholesale produce and are making it far easier for families to include more fresh fruit and veg in their diet because they are so conveniently located.”

As part of Veg Cities, GCDA is now working to set up shop in four new locations in the Borough of Lewisham. 

The problem

  • Over 80% of us are not eating the recommended 3.5 daily portions of veg.
  • People on lower incomes generally eat half a portion less.
  • Diets low in veg are associated with more than 20,000 premature deaths across the UK.
  • We’re binning not eating: Fresh veg makes up 19% of household food waste, worth £1.7bn.

Plantastic pledges

We are encouraging all London boroughs to join Lewisham by running their own campaigns, and we want to see lots of organisations, from community groups to businesses, signing up to make Veg Pledges and ultimately getting people eating more veg. 

How to get involved

If you’re involved in a business, local authority or other organisation, make your Veg Pledge via the website.

Everyone else is encouraged to sign up to volunteer and stay in touch with news of the campaign. 

Veg Cities is part of Peas Please, and is a feature campaign of Sustainable Food Cities, a network of over 50 cities and local areas working for good food.


Published Tuesday 18 September 2018

London Food Link: London Food Link brings together community food enterprises and projects that are working to make good food accessible to everyone in London to help create a healthy, sustainable and ethical food system for all.

Support our work

Your donation will help support community food initiatives and enterprises to thrive as part of a more sustainable food system.


The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

020 3559 6777

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

© Sustain 2024
Registered charity (no. 1018643)
Data privacy & cookies