2nd May 2013

Campaign Encourages Families to Get Back ‘Round the Table’

A campaign to encourage people to rediscover the benefits of taking time to eat together has been launched today (May 2nd 2013) by Scottish TV personality and mum of three, Carol Smillie.

The campaign, being run by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), highlights the value of friends and families making time to prepare good quality meals and sit down together, away from TV and mobile phones.

Ms Smillie is one of a host of Scottish celebrities who provided recipes for the “Round the Table” cookbook which celebrates the experience of eating together and was launched today at Waterstones in George Street, Edinburgh.

The full colour, hardback cookbook features simple, delicious, family favourite beef, lamb and pork recipes from the likes of actor Ewan McGregor, TV presenter Lorraine Kelly and football legend Sir Alex Ferguson. The inspiring collection of easy-to-cook dishes has been published by QMS and the profits from the sale of the book will go to raise funds for children’s charities CHAS and CHILDREN 1ST.

A YouGov study of over 1000 Scottish adults commissioned by QMS found that, worryingly, over one-third (37%) of people questioned never sit around a table to eat a meal together as a family. The study also revealed that 31% of adults choose to eat seven evening meals in a typical week in front of the TV.

The research also revealed that in a typical week six in ten (58%) of parents who eat meals with their family, say that their children never help to set the table.  Just under two-thirds (58%) say their kids never do the washing up or help load the dishwasher after a meal.

TV presenter Carol Smillie, whose husband is restaurateur Alex Knight, chose one of her favourite recipes - oriental-inspired Spicy Lamb which features in the new book.

“When I was growing up, family mealtimes were important – we all took our turn at setting the table and helped with the washing up. I have tried to instill the same habits in my own children,” said Ms Smillie.

“Like other families across the Scotland, we have a busy lifestyle but we make a huge effort to ensure we are regularly in the same place at the same time so we can eat together.

“Sitting down to enjoy a meal together is a precious moment of family interaction which shouldn’t be, but often is, taken for granted.  I hope this fantastic cookbook helps to rekindle some of those precious family occasions that are such a valuable part of family life.”

Jim McLaren, Chairman of QMS, said: “Scotland produces some of the best food in the world including, of course, our wonderful Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork!

“Scottish farmers, and others involved in the production of our meat, work hard and take a great deal of pride in what they produce and this campaign aims to encourage people to appreciate eating great food together.

“The good news is interest in the provenance of meat continues to grow and we hope this cookbook will also help to improve understanding of the quality assurance and traceability behind these famous brands.”

From Lorraine Kelly’s delicious “Beef Stew” and Ewan McGregor’s mum’s “Hearty Carbonnade of Beef” to Hardeep Singh Kohli’s “Pork Vindaloo” and Clare Grogan’s exotic “Moroccan Lamb with Apricots”, the cookbook is packed full of tasty, easy to cook family recipes made using Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb or Specially Selected Pork.

Maria McGill, CHAS chief executive, said: “Happy family mealtimes are a great way of creating lasting memories.  Everyone buying this fantastic cookbook will not only get inspiration for tasty family meals, they’ll be playing a valuable part in helping us run our care services across Scotland, helping families and children who are less fortunate.”

Anne Houston, chief executive of CHILDREN 1ST, added: “We are delighted that Quality Meat Scotland has chosen CHILDREN 1ST as one of the charities to benefit from its new cookbook and that so many Scottish celebrities have donated their favourite recipe.

“The theme of Round the Table fits well with our work supporting vulnerable families and children throughout Scotland. It is a great way to encourage families to get together, enjoy healthy meals and talk to each other about the day’s events – and hopefully improve their family relationships as a result.”

With an RRP of £10.00, the hardback book is available at selected Waterstones stores and can be purchased on www.amazon.co.uk. Some butchers who are members of the Scotch Butchers Club will also be sourcing the cookbook.

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