The Controversy Behind Meat Free Schools
To celebrate World Vegan Day, today’s blog is dedicated to the School’s who have joined the meatless society and to inspire others who are keen to make a difference .
There is constant news coverage highlighting how detrimental meat is for our planet and our bodies. Raising livestock uses 70% of agricultural land which is one of the leading causes for deforestation, biodiversity loss and water pollution. The National Geographic have even reported that we need to ‘radically change our food systems’ in order to save the world we live in.
An increasing number of Schools in the UK have joined the meat-free society, banishing meat from School lunches completely. We don’t blame them – there are tons of good reasons to go meat-free. Editing out the cost of meat or simply eating less of it will save you money. This money can then be spent on good food meaning more nutritional meals with higher quality, local produce. It could even be put back into the School if you’re well under budget. There are so many vegetarian and vegan recipes out there, choice is far from limited; Waterstones now have 3,545 book titles with the word ‘vegan’ in them available for sale as of October 2019 compared to just 944 in August 2018.
Jamie Oliver has been encouraging School’s to adopt this dietary change with Greenside Primary featuring in his latest venture ‘Jamie’s Meat Free Meals.’ Currently 13% of Primary School pupils in the UK eat less than 1 portion of veg a day. Greenside Primary won’t have a problem with this, with their menu being totally vegetarian. They even have their own vegetable garden and any produce is given to the kitchen to be used in their own lunches. From watching the programme, the pupils were totally engaged with the scheme and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the meals that were produced.
Another School who have opted for a totally vegetarian menu is the Swan School in Oxford. The change in menu caused quite the controversy, with some parents outraged by the meatless madness. Headteacher, Kay Wood stuck by the transformation stating the main reasons for the change, “…it allows us to serve better quality meals for the same money” and “…there are huge environmental and sustainability benefits.” It’s true. Choosing vegetarian food is the single biggest thing anyone can do to help stop climate change, with animal agriculture responsible for around 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions – that is more than all transport combined!
Think of the difference you could be making to the planet if you took the vegetarian plunge in your School. It doesn’t even need to be every day, just one day a week can have a dramatic impact on the School’s food costs and our planet.