A successful Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) initiative to help Scotland’s school pupils to learn to cook quick, tasty and healthy meals is being launched this week.
The Meat Voucher scheme, which is being rolled out again Scotland-wide, offers vouchers worth up to £100 to secondary schools to exchange for Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb or Specially Selected Pork at local retailers.
The scheme was developed by QMS to ensure tight budgets did not result in schools being unable to afford fresh, red meat products for cookery lessons. It is part of the organisation’s health and education work to educate young people on the role red meat can play in a healthy diet.
Jennifer Robertson, a registered dietician and the QMS Health and Education Co-ordinator said: “Last year, we rolled-out the Meat Voucher Scheme nationally and were delighted that almost 20,000 pupils from across Scotland benefitted when 235 secondary schools signed up.
“Along with the vouchers, schools will also receive the much sought-after Scotch Beef cooks’ aprons and a specially produced recipe book. Every recipe has been nutritionally analysed and they are all simple, healthy and quick; taste delicious and show how great cooking can be fitted into a young lifestyle at low cost.”
Home Economics teachers across Scotland should apply for their voucher before 2 December 2011. The vouchers are worth up to £100, depending on the number of pupils on the school roll, and are valid until 12 February 2012. Vouchers can be redeemed at independent retailers and butchers that are members of the Scotch Butchers’ Club.
Jennifer Robertson continued: “The feedback from schools has been very positive with one school in the Highlands telling us that the voucher gave the pupils experience of using quality cuts of meat which they would not have been able to do. They made Greek lamb kebabs and beef chow Mein, and said that the pupils enjoying eating the dishes as much as preparing them.”
Lean red meat not only tastes good, but is a great source of protein, b-vitamins, iron and zinc. With more than a third of Scotland’s young people lacking in iron, red meat is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet.
QMS Chairman, Jim McLaren commented: “We know the Meat Voucher Scheme has really added value to cookery lessons and certainly shows young people what fantastic, quality produce is available on their doorsteps.
“Bad eating habits tend to stem from lack of knowledge and lack of cooking skills. We are extremely pleased to be able to help schools to involve pupils in cooking simple, nutritious meals that need not cost the earth.”
Home Economics teachers can apply for their voucher by emailing QMS directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or via the ‘contact us’ section on the QMS website: www.qmscotland.co.uk.
Photo: Drumchapel High School took part last year and pupils joined their local butcher, Jim Whitelock of Gillespies in Great Western Road, Glasgow to learn about cuts of meat before choosing what to cook.