New vegan options are being added to the menus in schools served by Leeds City Council. It's a part of the council's wide project to combat climate change. Serving plant-based food will help to reduce the city's carbon footprint.
Catering Leeds, which provides meals to 182 primary schools across the city, is set to trial “environmentally friendly” dishes in the canteens.
The city council proposes one meat-free day and one vegetarian day every week. According to the plan, there will be also vegan dishes introduced to school lunch menus, with more vegetables included in main dishes and dairy-free desserts.
The council hopes these changes will help cut down carbon emissions in the city by 2020. The city also plans to switch to renewable energy and purchase a fleet of electric vehicles for the authorities.
The report stated:
“Leeds pupils are taste-testing new environmentally-friendly school dinner menus in a project led by Catering Leeds.
"The aim is to reduce the city’s carbon footprint, and ensure that pupils enjoy even healthier meals with extra vegetable content.
"This will be offered to all 182 primary schools provided catering by Catering Leeds Children.
“The proposed menu includes one non-meat day and one vegetarian day each week plus vegan dishes, with more vegetables included in main dishes and even desserts.”
The report says that extra raw vegetables should be available for children who want them:
“Pupils have a rainbow of salad, vegetables and raw veg sticks to choose from, and often prefer raw vegetables to cooked.
Serving raw vegetables helps to reduce energy consumption while helping children to enjoy their five-a-day.”
The decision follows research conducted by Leeds City Council, which found that 84 out of 88 young children surveyed would “not object” to having one meat-free day per week to reduce their carbon footprint.
The new menu has been developed by experts including nutritionists, council officers and food awareness organisation Pro-Veg.