After 24 French MPs backed an amendment bill urging schools to reduce their meat consumption, schools across France will trial a new plant-based menu at least once a week.
Over the course of the trial, the French Government and various catering companies will assess the impact of the changes on food waste, the cost of school meals and the number of interested pupils.
Barbara Pompili, leader of the motion concerning this change, told La Chaîne Info that: “We need schools to play a role in teaching children what [good] food is.’ She hopes to dispel the myth that a balanced diet must contain meat.
However, the motion has been met with some disapproval. Stéphane Travert, the Minister for Agriculture, argued that the law should not intervene in dietary choices. Additionally, earlier this year, French MPs banned the use of meat terms to describe plant-based products, claiming that the packaging of vegan alternatives was ‘misleading’.
Seemingly, there is still a lot of resistance to meat-free diets in France, however Pompili maintains that the vote for plant-based school meals reflected ‘a strong view from the population’ and is a ‘step in the right direction’.
The news comes months after French MPs voted to ban producers of vegetarian meat substitutes from using words such as steak, bacon or sausage to describe their products if they are not partly or wholly composed of meat