Warmest thanks to the leading chefs, foodies and veggie lovers who are encouraging people all around the world to join the Meat Free Week challenge, give up meat for a week and raise funds for a great cause!
"Taking part in Meat Free Week is a fun and easy way to have a positive impact on the planet and on our health. It's also a way to become familiar with a whole variety of meat free foods and extend our range of imaginative menus. Enjoy!"
Paul, Mary, and Stella McCartney (Founders of Meat Free Monday). Photo Credit: © 2017 MPL Communications Ltd.
“In an effort to educate myself and be more conscious of food choices based upon the very confronting rise in lifestyle ailments, I choose to eat intuitively, by listening to my body and what it needs. Through this process I have found a predominantly plant based lifestyle not only helps maintain my personal fitness goals, but I actually feel better!"
Jason Roberts (Chef and Author).
"For me, a meat-free diet is a world of exciting possibilities. Nothing inspires me more than head of broccoli, a bunch of vibrant rainbow carrots, or an abundant handful of Brussels sprouts. Vegetables are superheroes on our plates, nourishing our bodies, while allowing us to be endlessly creative with flavour, texture and colour.
I support Meat Free Week because as responsible humans, we must take the time to consider how our food choices of today will affect our health, our earth and the generations of tomorrow. Going meat-free, even just for one day every week, or for one week a month, will make a huge difference for your body and the earth. Simply, it is the smart way to eat".
Hetty McKinnon (Chef & Author).
“I’m in love with vegetables – and have a little bit of a crush on fruit. Whether it’s the satiny joy of a perfectly ripe avocado, the sweet chew of a slow-roasted carrots, the refreshing wet snap of iceberg lettuce or the way the juice from a yielding ripe peach dribbles down your chin. And there’s no better time to dedicate a week to playing with vegetables than right now when with everything from asparagus and artichokes to silver beet and cauliflower are in season. Oh and then there are new season mangoes and zucchini just around the corner too.
So celebrate by making cocktails like a Greyhound with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice or mix fresh blood orange juice with your Campari and bring a little sunshine into your life.
And the best part for you ‘poshies’ out there, is that you don’t even have to hang up your leather Gucci handbag or slip off your handmade calf skin brogues to take part. Meat Free Week is for everybody."
Matt Preston (Author, TV Presenter and Food Writer).
“I believe in good, clean food and I believe in food education and caring for everyone and every living being in our universal environment. Meat Free Week is the perfect voice for this.”
Rowie Dillon (Chef, Author and Creative Entrepreneur).
“With my wife being vegetarian, meat-free cooking has always been at the forefront of my mind but it’s great to see the movement now becoming more mainstream with initiatives like Meat Free Week taking place.
I have always loved cooking with vegetables and having a solely vegetable-driven menu at Yellow gives me the opportunity to focus on interesting and heirloom varietals, grown by local suppliers. By treating vegetables with the same consideration as protein, we hope to show these dishes are just as delicious as any other menu item.”
Brent Savage (Chef, Restaurateur and Author).
"Growing up in a Greek household vegetarian and vegan dishes were eaten in abundance. As much as we love our lamb, the Mediterranean diet is largely plant based relying on wholesome ingredients like olive oil, vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices.
During lent (religious fasting period) a vegan diet is adopted for 40 days and some of the tastiest and healthiest meals are enjoyed during this period like Fakes (Lentil Soup) and Gigantes (Baked Giant Beans).
At home I feed my family meat free meals at least 3 times a week to ensure they are getting an adequate intake of fibre and phytonutrients only available in plant-based food. I try to get as many colours of the rainbow on the plate and I even hide extra veggies like grated carrots and zucchinis into their hamburger patties on days they are eating meat."
Helen Tzouganatos (Author, Television Presenter, Food Photographer and Recipe Developer).
“Due to various health conditions my doctor recommended a plant-based diet, since the change I’ve never felt better! I’m taking really good care of myself by training and eating properly and I think Meat Free Week is a great way to make people more aware of their diets."
Alessandro Pavoni (Chef).
"As chefs, we need to lead the way in helping people find interesting and delicious ways to make fruit and vegetables the star ingredient when they cook at home. We need to seriously reconsider the quantity of our meat consumption as its just not sustainable anymore.
For example, I'm not sure if people are aware that it takes seven kilos of grain to make one kilo of beef. This is an exciting challenge for home cooks as well as professional chefs and I hope Meat Free Week will encourage people to eat less but better-quality meat in the future."
Bruno Loubet (Chef and Restaurateur).
"I love to adapt seasonality in my diet. Vegetables and fruits bring their best taste and quality when in season. Spring brings tender asparagus; purple broccoli sprouts and winter comes with fabulous root vegetables.
We grow vegetables, herbs and fruits in our kitchen garden with our kids to give them a greater understanding and educating them about the importance of a healthy diet in life. Adding colourful veggies to the menu gives more comfort and good health."
Jomon Kuriakose (Chef de Cuisine and Celebrity Masterchef UK).
"By participating in Meat Free Week you can do your bit to bring about some positive change. So why not make a commitment to doing a good thing and “tread a little lighter” for seven days this Meat Free Week?"
Simon Bryant (Chef and Television Presenter).
“Veg-based food is for everyone! Whether you’re a hardcore veggie, a committed meat eater, or somewhere in between, I truly believe you can find incredible joy in meat-free cooking. Give vegetables the love and care they deserve, and they can be delicious, exciting, comforting and fulfilling. I’m so passionate about meat-free meals that I’ve even published my first cookbook of entirely meat-free recipes, Veg. It’s been 8 years in the making, and I’m so proud of it.
I’m not a vegetarian, but at home we all eat veggie meals at least three days a week – sometimes more. Often, it’s not a conscious decision, it just happens that way. And that’s what’s really exciting me right now – veg-based cooking is becoming much more mainstream. Let’s embrace it. Knowing how to get the most from veg can empower you to shop smarter, save money, learn new skills and still have full, satisfied tummies. Beautiful!”
Jamie Oliver (Chef, Campaigner and Author).
“Gimme Five ! Fruit and vegetables are protective for many types of cancer including bowel.
The highest reduction of risk is seen in people who eat above 200 grams of vegetables and 100 grams of fruit daily. The Australian government suggests adults eat at least five serves of vegetables and two of fruit per day, so go for it! The reverse is true of a high meat diets, so limiting consumption is a healthy option to adopt.
Meat Free Week can open up opportunities to introduce you to some tasty, healthy foods and fabulous recipes for meat replacement meals, so enjoy.
As a nutritionist who has been personally affected by bowel cancer, I know we can’t change some bowel cancer risk factors such as genetic makeup, family history or increasing age, but we can make simple diet and lifestyle changes starting today for a better tomorrow.”
Assoc. Professor Teresa Mitchell-Paterson (Bowel Care Nutritionist at Bowel Cancer Australia).
“Dinner at my house is regularly inspired by what I have found in my local store that day - there is nothing better than fruit and vege at the height of their seasons. Food should be fresh, easy and nourishing, by eating seasonally you are most of the way there!"
Bill Granger (Restauranteur).
"I think it’s vital that we all inform ourselves about the effect the food we eat has on our bodies and the world around us. Cutting down on the amount of meat we eat can help us feel amazing and can be part of huge positive step for our planet. For me eating without meat opened up a new and exciting world of food, where meat is no longer the focus, allowing me to be more creative in the kitchen, to think about layering flavour and texture. It's an all-round win. Here's to vibrant, joyous, knock out delicious food that’s kinder to our bodies and the planet."
Anna Jones (Cook, Stylist and Writer).
“I am definitely a huge supporter of Meat Free Week as it’s a great way to inspire & motivate change and of course my favourite motto is: Eat More Plants.
We know that a predominately plant based diet is great for our health, and as a nutritionist and dietitian it’s important to me that people implement these known preventative measures to diet related disease such as bowel cancer.
Dedicate a week to making veggies the hero on your plate, build confidence in the kitchen and then implement these changes into your daily lifestyle.”
Ellie Bullen (Dietitian, Author and Social Media Blogger).
"Vegetables have been playing second-fiddle to meat for far too long now. Meat Free Week is the perfect time to let vegetables shine and be the star of the show.
There’s nothing more pleasing than a whole golden roast cauliflower drizzled with tahini, adorned with pomegranate and fresh herbs on my dining table - Pure Joy!
A great excuse to get creative with vegetables in the kitchen for better health and a better planet in the future. It’s a win-win!!”
Courtney Roulston (Cook, Presenter and Food Enthusiast).
"We get such a great response from the delicious vegetarian recipes on my program and we even have ‘Meat Free Monday’. People feel great at the start of the week, they do something good for the environment and most of the time they don’t even notice the meat isn’t there.”
Sam Wood (ex-Bachelor star and founder of fitness program 28 by Sam Wood).
“Cooking seasonally is the fun part of cooking and when you have fantastic vegetables and fruits in the garden or the shops you tend to conveniently forget about meat and of course it’s not essential to eat meat.”
Mark Hix (Chef and Restaurateur).
"Cooking seasonally feels very comforting and familiar and I'm always surprised with how harmoniously ingredients work together from their own season.
For me, flavour is the driving force and this has its roots in sourcing the very best produce that is in season and sustainably farmed.
Vegetables will always be the star of the show and each year I find myself excited at the arrival of the first crop of the season, from earthy morels and broad beans in Spring right through to the wonderful bitter leaves and root veg that Winter brings with it."
Skye Gyngell (Chef and Editor).
"We think the future of food is more vegetables, less meat; more cooking from scratch; less waste, more preserving; more sharing and more community building. We made our café in Annandale meat free to remind people that you can still have a delicious breakfast or lunch without bacon!"
Alex Elliott-Howery (Cornersmith Restaurateur and Author)
“I've always enjoyed a plant driven lifestyle in the foods I cook and eat. From the health angle, I feel the difference when I'm including more natural un-processed plant-based foods in my diet. Also knowing it’s helping lower our footprint on the environment, I find it a much more exciting way to cook with and eat. It’s a great way to save money too."
Tom Walton (Chef, consultant and culinary director)
“As a proud health partner of Meat Free Week since 2014, Bowel Cancer Australia is pleased to continue supporting this dynamic awareness and fundraising campaign that motivates action.
Going meat free for one week continues to create a great opportunity for people to start thinking about how much meat they eat and the impact eating too much meat can have.
According to the World Health Organisation, consumption of red meat is probably carcinogenic to humans, and consumption of processed meat is carcinogenic to humans.
With education, awareness and the information to make informed choices, the goal is that for the other 51 weeks of the year meat-eaters will consider portion sizes if including meat as part of a balanced diet.
Try a plant-based menu for seven days this 23-29 September and raise funds for a great cause.”
Claire Annear (National Community Engagement Manager Bowel Cancer Australia).
"I fully support the Meat Free Week campaign with the benefits not only extending to ones own health but to that of the planet. As a general rule I find the better the quality of the meat the better the flavour so spending a little more and eating it less often is a no brainer. Always look for the best and most ethically reared meat you can.”
Anna Hansen (Chef).
"Whilst meat is a treat that I love, I don’t want to eat it too often. It usually takes longer to cook than vegetables, is arguably less versatile and is significantly pricier. It can also be bad for our health and that of the planet.
Luckily Brits no longer only want meat with two veg on the side, but have realised that vegetables can be utterly delicious as the focus of a plate, especially when cooked with a little bit of care and attention."
Thomasina Miers (Cook, Writer and Television Presenter). Photo Credit: © Tara Fisher 2015.
"Even though I’ve never been a vegetarian, somehow I've been well known for my vegetable and fruit focused dishes ever since I created one of London’s first ‘garden menus’ back in the mid-nineties at my Pimlico restaurant Roussillon. Since then, the world has become far more aware of reducing daily meat consumption and focusing on quality has become a real priority for intelligent people. My seasonal fruits and vegetables tasting menu at my restaurant Gauthier Soho remains a popular choice for my diners every day."
Alexis Gauthier (Chef).
"As a Dietitian, eating healthy food is a big part of my life and I love being creative in the kitchen. Having been personally affected by bowel cancer, I am very conscious of the importance of my family eating plenty of vegetables and less meat. For me Meat Free Week is the perfect opportunity to experiment and try out new recipes and make vegetables and legumes the stars of the show."
Julie Meek (Dietitian, Coach, Author and Speaker).