Co-op’s food book hopes to promote healthier eating habits

By Frank Pachas

Would you like to improve your food habits without spending a lot of money?

Well you may be able to with the help of a new recipe book by doctors, nurses, patients and gardeners which aims to help people improve their food procurement.

The Lambeth GP Food Co-op (LGPFC) is a community of doctors, nurses and patients working together in and for the NHS.

Since 2013, they’ve created garden communities in GP surgeries and NHS hospitals in Lambeth, one of London’s most deprived areas, where people suffering from depression, loneliness and other mental problems are learning to grow healthy nutritious food free from pesticides with the support of an experienced gardener.

Now LGPFC members have published a second cookery book with their favourite organic food recipes, which they hope people will enjoy.

Readers can find about 30 new delicious recipes in the new book ranging from starters such as courgette, pea and coconut soup, to mains such as prawn and courgette curry or baked fish with corn cou cou.

For dessert, there is also a muffin recipe and delicious zucchini (courgette) bread.

Proceeds will be reinvested in the co-operative and will enable to buy more seeds, plants and tools for the co-op gardens.

Advertised by the NHS, the book has been sold already to health consultants, nutritionists and nurses.

Edward Evans, director of LGPFC, said: “We’re interested in how to promote health and nutrition. We’re not interested in food Franchising. The aim of this project is to influence food procurement”.

For leading food growth co-operatively and promoting gardening for health, the LGPFC has been recognised as a pioneering initiative and was awarded the Best Sustainable Food Initiative in the NHS by NHS Sustainability Unit 2013.

In February this year, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, visited the co-operative for its sixth anniversary.

When asked about who should attend the gardening sessions, Raj Mitra, doctor at Lambeth Walk Group Practice, said: “Those with long-term conditions or who are socially isolated or anybody who is interested in keeping fit in another way and meeting people in the group” is invited to attend.

The recipe book costs £8 and can be purchased at any of the 45 Lambeth GP surgeries in London as well as at King’s College hospital.

Pictured top are patients in one of the GP garden communities

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