Boost for plant-based school meals

A new campaign has been launched to promote plant-based meals in schools.

School Plates, which is being run by food awareness group ProVeg, will work with schools, local authorities and catering firms to help them make “five small changes” to menus.

These are: making meat-free meals available daily; ensuring meat-free options are different to meat ones; introducing at least one meat-free day per week; writing the menus so that plant-based meals are presented as equal (for example, using “option 1” and “option 2” rather than “main meal” and “vegetarian option”); and taking all processed red meat off the menus.

The changes will encourage healthy eating and save money, said ProVeg. The organisation has trained chefs and nutritionists available free of charge to help school caterers adapt their meals. There is also a climate scientist on hand to help calculate the emissions savings from the changes to menus.

“We’re starting with relatively minor, easy-to-implement tweaks, but these can make a big difference in so many ways,” said ProVeg UK director Jimmy Pierson.

“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.”

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