Takeaways across Southmead in Bristol have improved their offer to local people by introducing healthier, more sustainable and environmentally friendly food.
Several fish and chip shops in the area have achieved Bristol Eating Better Awards in recognition of the healthy improvements they've made to make the food they offer, improving the choice for customers.
Star Fish Bar on Greystoke Avenue is one of the businesses offering their customers a range of healthier options than the average chippy. Alongside the usual battered cod, customers are being offered the healthier option of steamed fish and a side salad.
Part of the award is also about reducing their impact on the environment by minimising the amount of packaging used, particularly single-use plastic packaging and ensuring it is recyclable. Many are supporting the Refill Bristol initiative, encouraging people to bring refillable water bottles to the shop in order to reduce the amount of single use plastics being used.
Cod Almighty in Southmead Road is also offering a grilled fish option and has made the decision to remove all palm oil from its cooking. The oil, which is commonly found in a wide range of different processed goods, is responsible for large amounts of rainforest destruction from its wide spread farming. The shop now uses 100% Groundnut Oil and biodegradable containers to cut down on their use of polystyrene and plastics.
Andy from the Cod Almighty said: 'A few simple changes like using healthier oil to fry with and cutting out salt can make fish and chips a healthier meal. We've also made it a more sustainable option by using eco-friendly packaging made of sugar cane and supporting local suppliers. The response from our customers has been brilliant, despite prices rising slightly because of the new packaging.
'I'd definitely advise other chippies to follow suit. We're delighted to receive local recognition through the Bristol Eating Better Awards and would like to say a big thank you to our loyal customers who have helped make it happen.'
Star Fish bar has a bronze award and is now working towards the silver Bristol Eating Better award. Cod Almighty has a silver award and is now working towards their gold award. The Greenway Centre and On a Roll have also achieved the Bristol Eating Better gold award in Southmead.
Across the city over half of adults are classed as overweight or obese* and Southmead has some of the highest levels of excess weight alongside other wards including Filwood and Avonmouth.
In order to support people in making changes to their diets the council is encouraging restaurants, takeaways and cafes to increase the number of healthy options available on their menus to help local people to make healthier choices.
Businesses can sign up to different levels of award ranging from 'commitment' through to 'gold' and including a special Sugar Smart award. Once the award is achieved, the business is given a certificate and window sticker to advertise their achievement. More than 60 businesses have been recognised as part of the scheme so far, with 38 achieving the gold standard.
Cllr Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor with responsibility for Public Health, said: 'We are very proud of our diverse food culture in Bristol. Whilst many of our restaurants already offer delicious healthy options we want to increase those numbers.
'We want to ensure that our residents have the option to choose healthy food wherever they are across the city. Obesity is a major national concern and can be linked with many of the health inequalities that we see locally. We offer health education to children and adults providing information about how they can stay healthy but we need to work together if we are to tackle this problem which has an effect on so many areas of the city.
'I'd like to congratulate all the businesses who have already achieved an award and would encourage others to give it a go.'
The council is working alongside 85 other organisations from around Bristol to work towards becoming the first UK city to be recognised with the Gold Award from Sustainable Food Cities.