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A German International school in India will be dropping all animal products from the menu and serving exclusively vegan food for the new school year.
Staff at the German International School Chennai decided to make the dietary shift after they started rescuing farm animals earlier this year.
Thomas A. Pallushek, Advisor for International Schools in the Asia Pacific region, said: “We felt it was ethically not right. We wanted to reduce the human impact on the environment and eating less meat is the simplest way.”
He added that a plant-based diet is also healthier.
A post on the school’s Facebook page added: “We are the first ever 100 per cent vegan school in India to serve plant-based food to our students.
“As a school, we feel it’s imperative that our students start learning at an early the age the importance of healthy food choices and the benefits they reap.
“These values will stay with them for life and we are hoping that this decision will influence parents and other schools to rethink and make more environmentally conscious and healthy decisions.”
The school started transitioning to a plant-based diet in the middle of 2016.
Pallushek said: “We watched a couple of informative documentaries on veganism with the students and also included it in our ethics classes.”
A vegan buffet was held in December 2016, and parents were invited to come and sample the food. According to Pallushek: “They were very surprised to find it both delicious and nutritious.”
The school makes its own plant-based alternatives to meat and cheese, and bakes its own bread.
The daily menu includes dishes with cucumber avocado toast, zucchini bread and apple sauce, as well as ratatouille, flavored rice with dal curry, pumpkin spice muffins, and fruit smoothies.
And the menu is definitely having a positive impact. According to one of the pupil’s parents: “We are a non-vegetarian family. At home, I can’t get her to eat vegetables.
“But in school, she is eating a variety of vegetables and also other grains such as ragi and barley, and getting wholesome nutrition.”