Veganuary for Archway Food Students at Forest Green Rovers
28 Year 9 and 10 Food students were right on trend when they started the new year with a visit to Forest Green Rovers to develop their understanding of the vegan diet and to make some typical match day food.
After an introductory session to fully understand how “green” the Rovers are, in terms of an organic football pitch, use of renewable energy and food and drink sourced locally as well as being fully plant based, they were introduced to Em Franklin—FGR’s award winning Head Chef. Em fully entertained the students with her catering stories, knowledge of ingredients and the benefits of eating plant based food with tips to get the most flavour out of your food and “bring it to life”.
Students soon got to work making match day fajitas using Quorn, peppers, onions and homemade spicy sauces. Working in teams they catered for the whole group, including staff, and excitedly tucked in to their vegan fayre. Misconceptions were blown away as they realised that it “tasted as good as the real thing”!
This was further proved when Em served a selection of appetising vegan cakes – rocky road, flapjack, fruit cake and a jam sponge – all gone in minutes with an overwhelming consensus that “they didn’t taste any different”!
Before the eagerly awaited “Meet a Player” slot, Jenny Pead, FGR’s Community & Outreach Co-ordinator, tested their new found knowledge of the vegan diet by asking students to design a suitable breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Lots of discussion ensued as they realised they had to find alternatives/replacements for many of their typical foods/meals!
Students were then lucky enough to meet Dale Bennett defender at FGR and one of their longest serving players, who strictly follows the vegan diet. After asking some really challenging questions, the students were surprised to hear how Dale’s performance tests had increased since he had been following the diet and how much more energy he felt he had! Dale explained that the best match he had played in was the Wembley game that saw them in to League 2 and that during his career, he had played against stars such as Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney. All very exciting but it was also hard work with lots of travelling, injuries to contend with and ultimately a short career!
A great end to a very enjoyable, educating and thought provoking day! Thank you to all FGR staff.