Schools


Meat free Mondays in Schools

When the Schools Food Plan was introduced in 2013, it was welcomed with open arms by many people – including the Vegetarian Society. The Schools Food Plan was pioneered to set the
standards of school meals and snacks. While there’s no specific section on vegetarian and vegan options, there are standards set in place to ensure those who are following a meat-free diet have options which meet the right protein levels.

For example, the standards of 2013 said “Other non-dairy, iron-rich sources of protein, such as eggs, beans, pulses, soya products and nuts and seeds should be provided as a protein option every day for non-meat eaters and at least twice a week for all children.”

This, unfortunately, has now changed. The standards set for vegetarian children now say “Other non-dairy, iron-rich sources of protein, such as eggs, beans, pulses, soya products and nuts and seeds should be provided as a protein option at least three times a week for vegetarian children.” In terms of making progress, we at Meat Free Monday believe this is a big step backwards in encouraging people to eat less meat. Who knows what the standards will say when they next review them?

One positive change is that many schools are now participating in “Meat Free Monday” – though not always on a Monday, but we think this is a huge step towards reducing the worlds’ meat consumption.

While many schools will offer three meal options – meat, fish and vegetarian, on the dedicated days once a week, there will simply be more vegetarian options, and no meat or fish options. We can’t wait for the day this rolls out to all schools, and colleges!

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