Loving Food @ East Lothian is a new initiative from East Lothian Council Environmental Health, to support and advise local businesses about calorie and allergen labelling.

Local food businesses at Loving Food event The official launch event was held last night (Thursday 26 September) at the Brunton Theatre, with many food businesses based in East Lothian attending.

After a welcome from East Lothian Council’s Chief Executive Angela Leitch, delegates heard about East Lothian’s rich food and drink prospects from Provost John McMillan. This was followed by a talk from Peter Faassen de Heer, Scottish Government Diet Policy Executive, about the Scottish dietary landscape and how the Scottish Government plans to help the nation make healthier choices.

Food Standards Scotland colleagues Grainne Gilson-Smith and Laura Wilson spoke about calorie labelling and demonstrated MenuCal, a free system which helps food businesses calculate calories and work out allergens for their menu.Laptop showing MenuCal signup screen

Finally Joanne Burns, Reformulation Project Manager at Food and Drink Federation Scotland talked through food reformulation, which is the process of reducing levels of salt, calories, saturated fat and sugar from foods.

Many other organisations attended the event, including East Lothian Food and Drink, Edinburgh Community Food, Scottish Craft Butchers, Business Gateway and NHS Scotland – and delegates had the opportunity to sample some reformulated produce too.

Laura Gunning, Senior Environmental Health Officer explained: “Scotland has a health issue. As a nation we are consuming way too much fat, salt and sugar which is impacting on health.”

“Nutrition is becoming a key focus for the Scottish Government and in due course this may affect how food businesses are run in the future. We are setting up this initiative to support local food producers and caterers with calorie labelling and how to reformulate recipes to reduce fat, salt and sugar levels.”

Food businesses looking for advice on calorie and allergy labelling or food reformulation can contact Environmental Health by emailing lovingfood@eastlothian.gov.uk

Published: Friday, 27th September 2019