Calls for mandatory meat-free day in schools

The Soil Association has said that changes need to be made by the government to update “weak” school meal policy and to introduce a mandatory “plant-based protein day” each week.

The move would ensure that more children get their necessary ‘five a day’ whilst reducing levels of obesity. It will also assist in creating more sustainable farming which, in turn will help tackle climate change.

There are current recommendations in place for this, but it is not yet something that UK schools are legally made to adhere to.

Rob Percival, the Head of Policy for Food & Health at the Soil Association, stated: “The updated School Food Standards should require that all schools serve a plant-based protein day each week.

“The current, non-compulsory advice for a meat-free day is too weak. We know children would benefit nutritionally from eating more beans, pulses, and plant-based proteins and the climate would also benefit – we should all be eating less and better meat.

“Leading Food for Life schools are already showing that it is possible to serve children healthy plant-based meals, with the cost saving used to ‘trade-up’ to higher-welfare and more sustainable meat for the rest of the week” he added.

“It’s time the government caught up!”