HSI/Africa and the Western Cape Government launch the first South African plant-based cooking course for communities
Eating green is affordable, fun and delicious for all South Africans
CAPE TOWN (17 April 2019) — Humane Society International/Africa (HSI/Africa), in collaboration with the WoW! Healthy Lifestyles Programme of the Western Cape Government: Health and Ubuntu Wellness, has developed and launched a novel Healthy Plant-Based Cooking course for community members on practical plant-based nutrition. The course, developed by an expert panel, is an instrumental part of HSI/Africa’s Green Monday initiative to encourage South Africans to eat plant-based at least one day every week to improve their health, reduce their carbon footprint, and make a positive difference to the lives of farm animals.
Families on tight budgets will be pleased to discover that plant-based meals can be quick and easy to prepare, often being more affordable (and more delicious) than conventional animal-based foods.
“Participants were excited to learn how to cook plant-based ingredients as a main meal”, said Leozette Roode, Media and Outreach Manager for HSI/Africa. “A key part of the course is the ripple effects it will have, as it is designed to teach attendees how to train other community members on plant-based cooking as well as the environmental, public health and animal welfare benefits of adding more plant-based meals to their weekly routine”.
HSI encourages everyone to reduce or replace consumption of animal products with plant-based foods, and to refine their diets by avoiding products from farms with abusive practices, such as the confinement of hens in cages and choosing products from sources that adhere to higher animal welfare standards.
The 5-day course combined theoretical training with practical plant-based cooking, and was attended by 17 participants from various Western Cape communities, including Bishop Lavis, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Ravensmead, who committed to share their knowledge with 10 additional community members, who in turn will spread the plant-based message with another 10 community members. The course is facilitated by the WoW! Programme in partnership with HSI/Africa and supported with free training manuals and presentations.
Comments from participants include: It made me rethink on how to be a more plant-based eater; I have decided to join the plant-based eaters; The meal was delicious. Will definitely encourage my community to go plant–based; I enjoyed eating vegetables; Overall it’s been an exciting time for me to actually cook plant-based food.
Dr Frederick Marais, Deputy Director: Increasing Wellness, Western Cape Government: Health, said: “The development and delivery of this unique course are important steps towards making healthy plant-based cooking and eating contextually appropriate and accessible, easy and enjoyable! This course is a first in Africa, so WoW! is very excited to work with our much valued partners, sponsors and importantly the WoW! Community Wellness Champions to increase cooking and eating with plant-based foods, together with regular physical activity, as part of promoting physical, intellectual, social, financial and environmental wellness. We are pleased and encouraged by the preliminary findings suggesting increased knowledge and behaviour change after the 5-day course! Determined by the long-term findings, the aim is to scale the course as part of promoting healthy eating behaviour at population level”.