Food awareness organisation ProVeg UK has launched a new campaign – School Plates – aiming to improve the health of pupils, help save the planet and save money. Working with schools, local authorities and catering companies, ProVeg UK is calling for five small changes to menus to increase children’s intake of healthy plant-based foods.
“Plant-based foods are mostly cheaper, and that is great news for schools whose budgets are tightening. They’re healthy and good for pupils in both the short and long-term as well as helping the environment and therefore protecting the future for everyone. We call this a win-win-win-win,” said Jimmy Pierson, Director of ProVeg UK.
“We’re starting with relatively minor, easy-to-implement tweaks, but these can make a big difference in so many ways. 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,” he added.
In order to make sure meals are balanced, wholesome and healthy, ProVeg UK is offering training from expert plant-based chefs, the services of a nutritionist, as well as a scientist that can measure the climate emissions savings – all free of charge.
By increasing the fruit and veg consumption, schools can help address some of the nation’s biggest health concerns including childhood obesity, which the World Health Organisation regards as one of the most important challenges of the 21st century. Schools can also play an integral role in encouraging pupils to establish healthy eating habits from an early age, and plant-based meals are suitable for almost everyone, whatever faith and whatever their dietary requirements.
“Food is powerful, empowering, and over time can promote or destroy good health in both our bodies and the environment. I make plants the centre of every meal, and I think the five recommendations in ProVeg UK’s campaign are a great starting point,” said Derek Samo, Chef and Director of Plant-Based Innovation and contributor to the School Plates campaign report.