Campaign launched for more plant-based school meals

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05/07/2018 - 07:00
ProVeg UK, a food awareness association, is calling for changes to school meals to increase children’s intake of plant-based foods. The organisation has started the ‘School Plates’ campaign, which is dedicated to promoting plant-based options.

It claims these plant-based alternatives will ease school budgets and help save the planet.

The company proposes five small changes to school menus in an attempt to improve children’s health without compromising on taste. These changes include: offering a daily meat-free meal, making the meat-free option different from the meat-based one, having at least one meat-free day each week, ensuring the menu does not place the meat-free option as inferior to those with meat, and removing all processed red meat off the menu.

Director of ProVeg UK, Jimmy Pierson, said: “Plant-based foods are mostly cheaper, and that is great news for schools whose budget is tightening. They’re healthy and good for pupils in both the short and long-term as well as helping the environment. Schools can deliver these benefits by simply offering a bean burger over a beef burger – and we can help them every step of the way.”

The plant-based company will offer training from all aspects of the process in order to achieve the best results. These services include training from expert plant based chefs, nutritionists to ensure the meal is balanced, and scientists who can measure the climate emissions savings as a result of reducing the amount of meat based meals.

ProVeg states there are four key reasons why children should be increasing their plant intake. These are: reducing childhood obesity by decreasing saturated fat, establishing healthy eating patterns early which incorporate plant-based meals, reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses by not serving all meals with meat, fish and poultry, and lowering the risk of allergic reactions by serving fewer meals with high risk foods such as eggs and milk.

Chef and Director of Plant-Based Innovation for Tesco PLC, Derek Sarno has assisted in the ‘School Plates’ campaign. He said: “I make plants the centre of every meal, and I think the five recommendations in ProVeg UK’s campaign are a great starting point.”

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