• Jens Hannibal

Food made with proper, nutrient-dense ingredients for the front-line heroes

During the months of March and April, The Bear Kitchen made and delivered nearly 1500 free meals, made with proper ingredients, to front-line workers at the NHS, fires stations, ambulance bases, homeless shelters and the care homes. We did it because we know how important proper nutrition is, and how difficult it can be to come by. It was the right thing to do. We were approached by Meals for the NHS to do 300-400 meals per day.

They had heard on the grapevine that The Bear Kitchen was doing something that was well-liked by NHS staff, who were getting a whole lot of pizza, burgers and other types of fast food that is not exactly immune and energy boosting in the long run. Sadly, because we had not yet had a visit by the Tower Hamlets Council, Environmental Health Officer despite being a registered food business since May 2019, we did not have the required FSA approved food rating, and could therefore not proceed with Meals for the NHS.

It was a hugely positive experience overall, and we have internally begun talks about how we can help get better food into hospitals and other public institution that are currently served by gigantic behemoth contract catering companies that care about maximising their bottomline for their shareholders - not the long-term health and sustainability of people and planet.

In fact, we'd like to do a study looking at the cost/benefit of re-allocating a significant amount of the health-care budget to public awareness campaigns and education about eating well - as well as increasing the budget for food in hospitals, and getting hospital kitchens to make their own food again so half the budget isn't spent on expensive layers of management of margin increasing practices as is the case with big contract caterers.

Some 80 percent of the health-care budget is currently spent of treating the symptoms of life-style illnesses that are caused primarily by poor food choices. Our hypothesis is that if, say, 20-30 percent of this vast sum was spent of public awareness, education and better food, then in the medium to long-term, you'd be able to save money, reduce waiting times, increase public well-being.. and of course, help save the planet! We've had an initial dialogue about such a study with Be The Earth Foundation and will publish more on this as it happens.

Below you will find a collage of images that hopefully will put a smile on your face, as it did ours. Experiencing the reactions to our meals was an immense joy, and a true testament to the Transformative Power of Food.

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