Hundreds of UK schools embrace plant-centric menus

handful of vegetables
CC BY 2.0 Hamza Butt

Efforts to reduce meat consumption are shifting focus from individual choice to systemic changes.

For the longest time, efforts to reduce meat consumption seemed to focus primarily on shifting individual consumer choices. Recently, however, we've seen companies refusing to compensate meat-based employee meals and restaurant chains and retailers setting goals in terms of plant-based meal sales.

In other words, there appears to be a strategic transition underway from promoting personal virtue to undertaking strategic, systemic interventions which move the needle for all consumers. As I've argued before, I think this is really the only way that things change on the scale we need them to.

So I'm delighted.

The latest example of such efforts is a move by 110 primary schools in England to embrace more plant-centric menus which include Meat-Free Mondays, daily vegetarian options, as well as adding more vegetables to other meals too. The effort was created in partnership with campaign group ProVeg International. Critically, the initiative doesn't just begin and end with providing (or eliminating!) options, but is also focused on rewriting menus and making sure that plant-based meals are sold as effectively as their animal-based counterparts.

Currently, the effort is underway in two school districts—one in North West England, and one in London—but according to the Yorkshire Evening Post, it is set to expand to regions across the country next year.

Hundreds of UK schools embrace plant-centric menus
Efforts to reduce meat consumption are shifting focus from individual choice to systemic changes.

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