MPs urge government to scrap compulsory portions of meat at school

UK MPs are urging the government to remove mandatory portions of meat, including fish, and dairy from school meals.

The push is part of a campaign by PETA to overhaul school food standards, which it has called “outdated”.

Backed by the McCartney family and vegan chef Omari McQueen, the charity has sent a letter to incoming Education Secretary Kit Malthouse.

MPs back campaign

Signed by MPs across the country, including Caroline Lucas and Henry Smith, the letter says “current meat and dairy mandates limit the ability of schools to serve climate-friendly vegan foods to children.”

It also says removing the ‘meat mandate’ would ‘benefit children’s health, prevent animal suffering and reduce carbon emissions’.

“School lunch reform will provide students with a healthier, greener future and spare sentient animals a terrifying death,” said PETA’s head of corporate projects. Dr Carys Bennett.

“PETA urges the Department of Education to update archaic school food standards to remove mandatory portions of meat and dairy, foods that have been shown to be harmful to the environment and human health.”

Hearty school meals?

The current government advice because school canteens favor “an abundance of fruits and vegetables” as well as starchy foods such as rice.

He cites “use of legumes twice a week and soy, tofu, or mycoprotein-based meat substitute once or twice a week.”

However, daily offerings of dairy and meat products (including red meat) are also encouraged and praised for their “healthy” benefits.

* The open letter is signed by MPs including Henry Smith and Dame Diana Johnson DBE, over 40 English advisers, Greenpeace UK, Upfield, Quorn, Linda McCartney Foods and others.