A petition by ProVeg has gained over 40,000 signatures in a bid to encourage the EU to supply plant-based milk to schools.
The food awareness organisation ProVeg has launched a petition to encourage the EU to supply plant-based milk to schools.
As it stands, the EU currently supplies schools with a balanced diet of fruits, veggies and dairy products to encourage them to learn about eating habits and basic agricultural practices.
However, on the grounds of making schools more inclusive, ProVeg is urging the EU to ensure plant-based milk is available as an alternative to dairy.
The petition centres around several benefits of providing schools with plant-based milk, which include:
- Some plant-based milk has a considerably lower carbon footprint, usually between 63% and 78% less than that of animal-derived milk
- Nutrition experts say that plant-based milks fortified with calcium are an equally nutritional alternative to cow’s milk
- Around the world, 68% of people are lactose intolerant and would not benefit from ingesting dairy
- Choosing a plant-based product would reduce the amount of animal suffering greatly, as no animals would be needed in the production process
- Offering plant-based products would encourage the conversation around sustainable and more eco-conscious actions
- This seemingly small action could have a big impact and increase the inclusivity of schools as a whole, as plant milk can be offered to all students
With social media amplifying this petition with the use of the #schoolmilk hashtag, the petition has currently amassed over 40,000 signatures in support.
Vice President of ProVeg, Jasmijn de Boo, said in a statement, “Plant-based milks fortified with calcium are sustainable and healthy options that should be included in the school scheme as European society shifts towards a more plant-based diet.
“Offering plant-based milks will help the EU to decarbonise society and at the same time allow for greater choice for those who do not want to drink cow’s milk with their school meal.”
The petition itself closes on the 28th of July, and you too can sign it here.
Plant-based milks could be introduced to schools across the EU if this petition is successful. Image via ProVeg International
Plant-based milk in schools
This isn’t the first time schools have been urged to provide plant-based alternatives for their students.
In the summer of 2021, a father managed to convince a primary school to include plant-based milk in its scheme, on the grounds of inclusion for his child.
Younger people also tend to be more open to plant-based alternatives. It has previously been reported that the dairy industry was entering a crisis as teenagers were ditching dairy milk.
The health benefits of switching to a plant-based and vegan diet have been reported not only to be beneficial to our own health but also kinder to the environment.
“Both the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy and the Beating Cancer plan recommend adopting more plant-based diets, and this includes plant-based alternatives to conventional dairy products.” de Boo added.
“We urge the Commission to embrace the opportunity with this review to make calcium-fortified plant-based milks eligible products in the scheme and thus ensure greater choice of milk drinks for children across Europe.”
Thirsty for more? Discover our top 20 plant-based milk recipes!
Feature image via Getty by Johnny Greig.