Love Lamb Week (LLW) runs from Friday 1-7 September 2023, and the team at Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) is all set to help celebrate the provenance and versatility of Scotch Lamb by highlighting its nutritional benefits, the green pastures it hails from and delicious lamb recipes.
The industry-wide initiative is supported by QMS, the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB), Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales), LMC in Northern Ireland, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), as well as the National Sheep Association (NSA), NFU, NFU Scotland, the Ulster Farmers’ Union and Red Tractor.
The line up for the week includes learning about the nutritional value of lamb with dietician and QMS board member, Dr Carrie Ruxton. Immersion in the life of a shepherd with former AgriScot Sheep Farm of the Year, Calum McDiarmid, and falling in love with the taste of lamb with new recipe, which is quick and easy to cook, but packed full of flavour.
“Lamb is naturally rich in protein, low in salt and provides seven vitamins and minerals that all contribute to health and well-being,” says Dr Ruxton. “One of these is vitamin B12 which supports energy production in the body. Other nutrients in lamb include niacin, which helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue, two B vitamins that help regulate our hormones, and zinc for normal immune function.
“Given many people’s interests in keeping their hearts healthy, it's good to know that lamb is a source of potassium, a mineral that supports normal blood pressure. It also contains phosphorus needed for the normal growth and development of children’s bones.”
With fewer than 200 calories per serving, a leg of lamb steak contains less fat than a cereal bar, yet it delivers an impressive 29 grams of protein – perfect not just for consumers but for feeding farmers like Calum McDiarmid after a long day.
At Mains of Murthly, Calum has around 600 acres of land, the majority of which is grass for his 1,300 ewes.
“It’s no secret that consumers are becoming more interested in where their food comes from. With environmental pressures, traceability and animal welfare top of the agenda, farmers are working tirelessly to make the journey from farm to fork as sustainable as possible,” he says.
“For Scotch Lamb farmers such as myself, meeting these challenges can be demanding – but they also open the door to opportunity within the sheep sector. It’s up to us to pull together to become more efficient and meet demand.”
QMS is harnessing the platform of Love Lamb Week to do just that - uniting members of the supply chain and showcasing what it does best to help stimulate demand for this sustainable source of nutrition.
Kate Rowell, Chair of QMS said: “We’ve created a variety of online advertisements to illustrate how families across Scotland can enjoy Scotch Lamb, cooked in a host of different ways, and how lamb can support a healthy diet and lifestyle.” Website takeover advertising will begin on 4 September and run for three weeks, directing viewers to makeitscotch.com, offering recipes for cooking inspiration, during and beyond Love Lamb Week.
On the 9th of September and 23rd of September, the Royal Highland Education Trust will be exploring the Journey of Food: Sheep and Wool, with speaker Alix Ritchie, Health and Education Manager at QMS . This event will illustrate how Scotland’s quality assured livestock farms not only produce nutrient-rich red meat for us to eat, but also involve a range of interconnected natural cycles and ecosystems which benefit us all. QMS’ activities will sit alongside those of other organisations. AHDB, for example, is teaming up with popular farming influencers of social media to share ‘Shepherd’s and their Pies’.
If you would like to support the campaign and share photos, cooking tips and recipe ideas, head to the QMS Instagram @qmscotland, Love Lamb Instagram @lovelambuk , Facebook @LoveLambWeek and Twitter @LoveLambWeek accounts to find out more, and look out for the hashtags #LLW2023 and #ShepherdsandtheirPies.