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A major campaign is calling on councils throughout the UK to create ‘plant-based schools‘ 

Members of Animal Rebellion are voluntarily running the campaign – which demands councils provide the maximum amount of plant-based options at schools. Currently, due to the existing national school food standards, this is only two vegetarian days per week. 

Campaigners are asking councils to make this change to ‘reduce the impacts of climate change as well as providing healthier food for children’.

Plant-based schools

Elizabeth Harvey is a secondary school pupil and member of the Hackney campaign. In a statement sent to PBN, she said: “Councils have a responsibility to provide healthy and sustainable school meals for students.

“Providing more plant-based meals is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective ways of reducing our impact on this planet. 

“This is a crucial and necessary step for councils and schools to safeguard the future of young people.”

‘Access to nutritious foods’

Moreover, Rohini Bajekal is a Nutritionist and Head of Communications at Plant-Based Health Professionals UK. She added “Schools play a crucial role in setting healthy eating habits for children at an early age. 

“Only 18 percent of children are currently meeting the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day in the UK. 

“More plant-based meals in schools would help improve schoolchildren’s access to nutritious foods as well as promoting planetary health. A healthy plant-based diet is suitable at every age and life-stage and can also reduce one’s risk of chronic diseases.”

Animal Rebellion

Additionally, Animal Rebellion is urging all future council-run events to serve exclusively plant-based food. Enfield and Lewisham Council have already done so.

It is also planning a campaign to change the national School Food Standards. Currently, the law states that schools must serve meat three times per week and dairy every day. 

Groups such as the Soil Association already say the existing School Food Standards need ‘drastic changes‘ . It is suggesting a shift to one mandatory plant-based day per week.

Animal Rebellion will run the Plant-Based Schools campaign in over 300 councils that have declared a climate emergency. To find out more about the campaign, you can register your interest here

Liam Giliver

Liam is the Deputy Editor and Social Media Coordinator for Plant Based News. He has written for a number of top publications including Gay Times, Attitude Magazine, Oh Comely, and The Huffington Post - and is the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.