Local authorities are working with catering companies in an attempt to increase the number of plant-based meals in schools via the ‘School Plates’ campaign, by food awareness organisation ProVeg Uk. This follows a campaign launched by The Vegan Society last year, which called upon the Government to increase the variation of plant-based meals in schools, universities, hospitals, workplaces and prisons.
The organisation believes that there are many benefits to reducing our meat-intake and following a more plant-based diet: “Increasing fruit and veg consumption can help address some of the nation’s biggest health concerns including childhood obesity, which the World Health Organisation regards as one of the most important challenges of the 21st century.”
They continue: “Schools can also play an integral role in encouraging pupils to establish healthy eating habits from an early age, and plant-based meals are suitable for almost everyone, whatever faith and whatever their dietary requirements.”
Rearing animals is much more labour intensive and expensive that producing vegetables, so this scheme will be ideal for school on a tighter financial budget.
School Plates is looking to make five small changes to menus in order to increase the amount of plant-based meals consumed by children. Director of ProVeg UK, Jimmy Pierson stated: “We’re starting with relatively minor, easy-to-implement tweaks, but these can make a big difference in so many ways. Schools can deliver these benefits by simply offering a bean burger over a beef burger, or a cassoulet over a casserole – and we can help them every step of the way.”
ProVeg UK are offering chefs training courses in plant-based cooking to help them master cooking healthy, hearty and nutritious vegan meals. Nutritionist will also be on hand to help ensure that all the meals are well balances, and scientists will measure the climate emissions savings.