This year's LACA theme is ‘The Taste of Tomorrow', recognising the fact that school meal providers are having to adapt to many changes, while keeping sight of the fact they still need to deliver nutritious, healthy and tasty meals1. Through its Big Green Tick range, Bernard Matthews Foodservice continues to show caterers how they can ‘lean on' British turkey breast as a low in saturated fat ingredient versatile enough to be used in a whole host of dishes. At this year's LACA, however, the focus will be on that great British institution, the roast dinner, with the launch of a handful of new Big Green Tick products to help schools rise to the occasion…
Hearty way forward
Fitting nicely in with this year's LACA theme, versatility and ease of use are key selling points of British turkey2. On top of this, concerns over health are also playing a role in uptake, with one in four adults cutting back on red meat for health reasons3, a trend that may influence parents' decision to allow their children to have a school lunch.
"The debate over red meat is affecting consumption, with a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health adding weight to the debate, maintaining that replacing a serving of red meat with a healthy protein source can reduce chronic disease and lead to a lower mortality risk4, said Duncan Marsh, general manager for Bernard Matthews Foodservice, which supplies British turkey products in its Big Green Tick range to UK schools.
Skinless turkey breast contains 20 percent fewer calories than beef5, less than a third of the fat in pork and less than a sixth of the fat found in lamb, which has to be a selling point in modern day school catering, bearing in mind the food and nutrient based standards.
"Offering ultra-lean, British turkey dishes as an alternative to red meat options, as an example, could be the carrot parents' need to get them to seriously look at school lunches," he said. "Often cheaper to buy than other proteins British turkey's cost-effectiveness is also a selling point as education caterers face a greater challenge than ever before to deliver the right meal at the right price."
Very, very versatile
When it comes to school meals, certain dishes traditionally made with meat hold more clout with UK pupils6. However, it might not necessarily be the specific meat that is the attraction, but the type of cuisine it represents and the flavours associated with it, according to Duncan.
"For example, Italian is children's top cuisine, according to a recent parent survey, with 43 percent of respondents saying spaghetti Bolognese is their child's favourite dish, 39 percent saying pasta. Indian curries are also now very popular with little ones, the findings show7.
"As well as the cost savings British turkey offers schools, which can be passed on to parents, it is also extremely versatile and can be used in a host of kids' favourites from spaghetti Bolognese to curry. And, by ‘leaning on' turkey in place of beef, pork or lamb, schools can, on average, significantly lower the amount of saturated fat in the dish."
Committed to helping school caterers make this idea a reality with products and recipes that help caterers create menus which meet the food and nutrient based standards, Bernard Matthews Foodservice Big Green Tick range of British turkey products, developed in conjunction with LEAs and school caterers, includes a selection of ingredient products for use in global dishes.
Ideal for everything from spaghetti Bolognese to curries, Big Green Tick IQF Turkey Thigh Mince (4mm) and Diced Turkey Thigh (20-25mm cubes) contain, on average, significantly less saturated fat than lean beef*, and are made from fully traceable from farm to fork, turkey thigh, trimmed to remove excess fat and skin.
Staying with the international theme and answering demand for ‘on the go' options, schools can also lean on turkey to serve up an Asian-inspired Turkey Tikka Chapatti using ready-to-eat from defrosted Big Green Tick mild Tikka Turkey Breast Chunks and pizza topped with Big Green Tick Roast Turkey Breast Chunks, both ingredient products are low in saturated fat and perfect for use in fast casual favourites.
At this year's LACA exhibition, Bernard Matthews Foodservice will also be demonstrating the top three ways to serve its two Big Green Tick turkey chunk ranges as voted for by children.
As most UK school caterers will testify, roast dinner is one of the most eagerly-anticipated lunches in the school week, which is why Bernard Matthews Foodservice is launching a new selection of British turkey products for this great, British institution at this year's LACA.
"Last year, an estimated one million meals were served up by schools and caterers to mark the Food for Life Partnership's national Roast Dinner Day8, which demonstrates how popular the roast dinner is in Britain, with many finding any excuse to tuck into one," said Duncan.
"As a key ingredient in roast dinners, British turkey has been experiencing a renaissance in the past year as more and more caterers realise its all year round appeal as a versatile, white meat that could save them money in a tough, economic climate."
The new, frozen and boneless, British turkey products for roasts in the Big Green Tick range come in a variety of formats to suit operations of all types and sizes.
From boneless, raw and cooked, breast saddles to waste-free single breast lobes for smaller catering operations, both roasting joints are easy to prepare and roast. The raw saddle can be roasted in its bag to retain moisture and flavour and, being boneless, both products are easy to carve. Perfect for creating scrummy roast lunches turkey breast slices are also a great filler for hot baguettes or why not serve with a jacket potato and salad.
As with all Big Green Tick products, they are free from artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and hydrogenated vegetable oils (HVOs).
The new Big Green Tick products for school roast lunches are:
- Raw Single Turkey Breast Lobe 2×2.25-2.5kg - ready to cook from frozen or defrosted
- Raw Turkey Breast Saddle 1×4.4-4.6kg - ready to cook from frozen of defrosted
- Cooked Turkey Breast Saddle 1×3.5kg - serve hot or cold
Peace of mind
"When it comes to provenance, we are fiercely proud of our heritage and are proud to supply cost effective British turkey products which offer natural appeal all year round, with each bird cared for on our own farms across Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire in line with the Farm Animal Welfare Council's '5 Freedoms'," said Duncan.
"Each farm is Quality British Turkey and Assured Foods (Red Tractor) certified and welcomes visits from Defra and independent welfare bodies. Each bird is fed a nutritious cereal-based diet, the majority being wheat grown locally and prepared at our own mill near Kings Lynn for the highest quality and control, plus some of the lowest food miles in the industry."
The ongoing challenge
With British turkey, the challenge is the same; to change the preconception that it lacks the flavour of its more popular adversary9, chicken, while better demonstrating to cost sector caterers its sheer versatility and potential role at the table 12 months a year.
"Over the past year, we have risen to the challenge to show caterers the many benefits of leaning on British turkey as an alternative to other mainstream meats, and will continue to do so as we endeavour to double UK turkey consumption by 2020," said Duncan."
"In particular, we are committed to inspiring dishes which complement turkey breasts leanness, versatility and affordability10, key strengths that have been overlooked because of its perceived image as solely a Christmas bird."
Benefits of Big Green Tick British turkey products:
- Made from fully traceable from farm to fork Quality British turkey
- Free from artificial colours, flavours and HVOs
- Gluten free
- Super versatile
- Great portion control
- Easy to prepare, cook and serve
- Consistent results every time
- Loved by kids
For more information, visit www.bernardmatthewsfoodservice.co.uk or call 0845 519 4097.
This press release was provided by Bernard Matthews Foodservice