Scotch meat receives Olympic swimmer’s backing

Scotch Beef PGI and Scotch Lamb PGI has received support from 10 Scottish swimmers, including Olympian Duncan Scott and Commonwealth Games star Ross Murdoch. 

The sportsmen and women donned an apron as part of a four-week ‘Get Cooking’ cookery project run by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and sportscotland.

The initiative’s aim was to help the athletes plan, prepare and cook versatile meals that are cost-effective, simple and nourishing. They were also taught about knife skills and received an introduction to protein- and iron-rich meals, including those that contain offal.

‘Get Cooking’ has been designed to allow the swimmers, who train at the University of Sterling, to cook their own meals that contain the nutritional aspects they need for their sport.

“I am not the most confident cook in the kitchen, but when I do cook I really enjoy it and am always conscious that what I make has to be healthy and nutritionally balanced,” commented Scott, who picked up two silver 4 x 200m freestyle and 4 x 100m medals at the Rio Olympics last year.

“It was fantastic being part of this project as it has given me a range of new recipes to try, which are not complicated – they are quick, easy, nutritious and, most importantly, very tasty.”

The project was first piloted last year with a group of Scottish cycling athletes in Glasgow.

“We were absolutely delighted to be working with some of Scotland’s elite swimmers and it’s fantastic they took an interest in joining us in the kitchen and polishing up their cooking skills,” added Jenni Henderson, health and education executive with QMS. “All the recipes the athletes cooked throughout the project have been developed with nutrition in mind and can be simply added to their weekly meal repertoire.

“The athletes also had peace of mind that the Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb they were cooking with is guaranteed to come from animals born and reared only on Scottish farms where animal welfare is a priority.”

Nikos Jakubiak, performance nutritionist at sportscotland institute of sport, highlighted how vital a balanced diet plays in a successful athletes’ lifestyles. “The importance of smart food choices for health and performance is well-established.

“All high-level athletes need to have adequate cooking skills and enough confidence in their ability to put together nutritious and exciting meals. With the help of QMS and chef Scott Lyall, we are helping Scotland’s top athletes enhance their cooking skills and sharpen up their knowledge on performance nutrition.”

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