Full of Beans is a new Glasgow-wide campaign with the aim of getting more beans onto Glasgow’s plates. The campaign started when Glasgow Community Food Network’s Jenny MacGillivray came back from the Slow Beans conference in Tuscany, and brought a whole new enthusiasm for beans with her. One conversation with Glasgow Food Policy Partnership’s Riikka Gonzalez, and the campaign was born!
The campaign team began to realise that so many of their aims around Good Food in Glasgow - health, sustainability, affordability, tastiness - could be communicated and furthered through work around beans. We think the humble bean is a great starting point for conversations around food, and others seem to agree. Talking beans really does make people full of beans - perhaps they find something whimsical about these nutrition packed pulses - but soon they can see the serious benefits of incorporating more beans into our diets.
To launch the campaign we hosted a webinar with speakers from the Sustainable Development Goal 2 Advocacy Hub and University of Oxford sharing their respective bean projects, Beans is How and Bean Meals. Our own Glasgow bean team also shared the motivations for the campaign and our plans for the next few months. The webinar will be released as an episode of The Good Food For Glasgow Podcast soon, and is currently available to watch here.
Like a lot of food work, the benefit of the bean is that there are different ways to involve beans with a variety of sectors and in our daily lives. Reflecting the multi-sectoral nature of Glasgow Food Policy Partnership, the Full of Beans campaign will work with community groups and growers, school caterers, restaurants, and the general public.
For our first big in person campaign event we’re taking over Glasgow Community Food Network’s quarterly networking event on the 23rd February. The day will be a chance for those working in community food to hear how they can get involved with the campaign, have their input into what would make it successful, and enjoy a delicious bean-packed lunch. This will also be the launch of our How to Get Involved Toolkit for community groups and those working with food, complete with growing information and activity ideas.
We’re working with schools to engage pupils in bean growing activities over the summer, and with Food for Life Soil Association and Glasgow City Council Catering to increase the number of bean dishes available as part of school meals. In order to increase access to Glasgow-adapted bean seeds, we’re working with Glasgow Seed Library to develop a landrace bean for Glasgow. For this we’ll be recruiting growers who can commit to growing at least 12 bean plants and saving the seeds. And we’re working with chefs to get more beans on restaurant menus and change our perception of beans into something that’s worthy of ordering for a special meal.
We’re looking forward to getting going with this campaign over the coming months and hope you will follow along with us. You can find out more about the campaign, blog posts, upcoming bean events, and our Communications Toolkit at http://goodfoodforall.co.uk/projects/fullofbeans