Public asked to share their views on food
ahead of Big Norfolk Food Debate

Members of the public are being asked to share their comments and opinions about various aspects of their food habits and the future of food production in order to shape a public debate which will take place towards the end of the month.

As part of the survey, which has been organised by the Joy of Food team – a lottery-funded project which is hosted by NHS Norfolk, people will be asked questions about the types of food they like and regularly eat, whether they follow healthy eating advice, what they know about farming practices and how they view the sustainability of food generally.

The survey will be launched at NHS Norfolk’s Health Fair and AGM – to be held at The Forum in Norwich on Tuesday, September 14.

The topics being covered in the survey are purposely open-ended, so members of the public can discuss their thoughts in as much depth as they wish. Questions people will be asked about will include: ‘Do you use a shopping list?’, ‘If food ran out what would you miss most?’, and ‘How do feel about growing fuel not food?’.

The Joy of Food team also wants to know how people feel about food labelling, choosing local produce and what information would help them eat a more sustainable diet.

Feedback from the survey will help to shape Talking Food – a Big Norfolk Food Debate which will take place at the end of the month. The debate has also been organised by the Joy of Food team in association with Institute of Food Research and the John Innes Centre as part of the EDP Bidwells Food Festival.

The debate is being held on September 29 and will be chaired by Caroline Seaman, Head of the Joy of Food project and NHS Norfolk’s Food and Nutrition Lead, with guests from a range of food backgrounds.

The evening will give attending members of the public an opportunity to hear about some of the work that is happening across Norfolk to support healthier eating habits, hear the views of people working on local farms and in restaurants, find out more about how local food is used in the public sector, and discuss the various food research projects which are ongoing.

The Joy of Food will then supply the audience with some refreshments before tackling some of the issues that have been raised.

Caroline says “The survey is a chance for people to tell the food-industry representatives at the debate their thoughts on food-related issues, which will help inform the discussion. It also means we can provide the representatives with more information about what the public really thinks of various food issues, which they could use when making decisions about the future of food in this country.”

Following their stand at NHS Norfolk’s AGM on September 14, the Joy of Food team will then hold a stand based in The Mall in Norwich from September 15 until September 24 so more people can take part in the survey.

The team will also be hosting a lunchtime ‘cooking theatre’ to share some top tips and recipe ideas with shoppers that they can try out at home for their evening meal. The cooking theatre will also feature guest chefs Tim Kinnaird, Sam Clifford and Roger Hickman, students from the Junior Chef Academy, Mr Bhaji Man, and Frances Webster from Kiddy Cooks, all sharing their ideas and skills alongside the Joy of Food team.

The Big Norfolk Food Debate will take place on Wednesday, September 29 at the John Innes Centre in Norwich between 5-9pm. Attendance is free, but booking is required – please call 01603 257219 or email [email protected] to enquire about booking a seat.

To take part in the survey, people can visit the Joy of Food stand at NHS Norfolk’s AGM at The Forum in Norwich on September 14 and fill in a comment or question card. Alternatively, people can visit the team when they are in The Mall in Norwich (September 15-24), or contact the Joy of Food team on 01603 257219 or [email protected] ahead of the debate on September 29.