One of the key challenges that the UK faces is moving towards a healthier and more sustainable diet. Recent statistics show 28% of Britons are considered obese, while a further 36.2% are overweight. Not only that, but environmentally, our diets contribute 3 tonnes of carbon a year due to a variety of factors ranging from shipping to food waste. It’s clear from these figures alone, that our food consumption habits need to change so that we can enjoy better diets in future. One group aiming to achieve this is BeansMeals.

Who is BeansMeals?

BeansMeals is a government advisory group, supported by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the University of York which hopes to address these challenges by promoting the use of UK pulse crops to replace high-fat-sugar-salt diets and reduce supply chain emissions. Pulses include foods like peas and lentils, as well as beans and are high in protein and fibre, while low in fat. One of the key figures in this group is our managing director Ernie, who, with his extensive knowledge of the food industry will be playing an important advisory role to the project.

BeansMeals aims and objectives

One of the key aims of BeansMeals is to determine how to best promote healthy diets, particularly in school meals. In order to do this, new bean-based recipes will be introduced to six school kitchens in the trial county of Leicestershire. In addition, there will be school activities to promote knowledge about healthy diets and observations on how pupils enjoy the new meals. Another objective is to estimate the health benefits by consulting with experts and use comparisons with average food intake data. 


The project will be tested in Leicestershire, due to the county’s ethical and cultural diversity, with a focus on more deprived city wards of Leicester where children’s diets can be the unhealthiest. The county is also primed for growing beans as it possesses a wealth of rural areas where crops can be grown. 

Bean benefits

The two pulses intended for use are the UK-grown Capulet navy bean and Godiva blonde kidney bean. Those little beans come packed with a whole host of benefits, both for the environment and for human health. 

Environmentally, these beans tend to cook faster which will reduce energy use, while emissions are reduced due to lower transporting costs and soil carbon can be built up by growing them. In terms of health, these beans will improve satiety which means those who eat them will be fuller for longer and less likely to reach for the biscuit tin! 

Diets matter

We want to give our children the best possible start in life and one of the ways in which we can contribute towards this is providing them with healthy school meals.

For more information on the school meal solutions provided by Evolve, contact Edward on +44 (0)7545 786300