A new public campaign is working to improve the plant-based options in UK schools. School Plates, an initiative of ProVeg, is working with public schools, local municipalities, and catering companies to transform cafeterias into healthier, plant-focused facilities.
School Plates plans to overhaul the current animal-heavy school lunch system by implementing “five small changes.” The changes include making meat-free meals available every day, ensuring these meat-free options vary from meat-based meals, mandating one completely meat-free day per week, ensuring that meat-free meals are viewed as equal to meat-based meals, and finally, eliminating all processed red meat from the menus.
Jimmy Pierson, the ProVeg UK director, commented, “We’re starting with relatively minor, easy-to-implement tweaks, but these can make a big difference in so many ways.”
The campaign has employed a team of trained chefs and nutritionists who can support the schools who wish to make these changes, all free of charge.
“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,” Pierson affirmed.
ProVeg has also put together a comprehensive, step-by-step guide for schools to follow this program. The guide ensures that plant-based foods “are cheaper and can ease the burden on the school budget,” and further states: “Plant-based foods can help reduce childhood obesity; do not include many common allergens; reduce the risk of foodborne illness and can help establish long-term healthy eating patterns.”
The guide also includes a forward by Chef Derek Sarno, Director of Plant-Based Innovation at Tesco and one half of the Wicked Healthy duo, a plant-based brand featuring a recipe blog and robust vegan cookbook.
ProVeg is an international food awareness organization on a mission to promote foods that will benefit human health, the animals, and the environment. It has set an ambitious goal to reduce the world’s consumption of animals by 50 percent by 2040. The organization works with public officials, corporations, and communities to increase education around and access to healthy plant-based foods.
By implementing change in schools, the organization hopes to create a new generation of plant-based eaters and instill the values of conscious consumerism in our youth.
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