Lausanne schools to join Meat Free Monday

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Schoolchildren in Lausanne are to join Meat Free Monday this year following a near-unanimous vote by the authorities in the Swiss city.

Lausanne City Council has approved a motion put forward by the Green Party that cafeterias in schools and daycare centres leave meat off the menu for one day a week.

Police stations and the city’s La Rama training centre, which hosts cultural and municipal events, will also take part.

Canteens and cafeterias across Lausanne produce about 1.3 million meals a year.

The Greens and other left-leaning parties had been advocating for a change to the city’s dietary priorities since 2010, both on health grounds and to preserve the environment.

Green Party councillor Isabelle Mayor said the idea of a city-wide day without meat had gained little traction at the time, but that things had changed in recent years.

“Today it is accepted almost unanimously. Many studies argue today for a reduction in meat consumption,” she said.

Welcoming the approval of the meat free motion, she added: “One day without meat or fish a week does not deprive anyone of anything – quite the contrary!”

The council also has plans to push the green-food agenda further, by introducing a requirement that 70 per cent of all ingredients used in its eateries are grown locally, with a preference for organic produce.

While it isn’t yet known whether Lausanne will opt for a Meat Free Monday or another day of the week, councillor Oscar Tosato said the meat free day would come into force in September.

This means, at the start of autumn term, that Swiss schoolchildren will get the chance not just to eat with people and planet in mind, but to digest the importance of changing the way we feed ourselves for the better.

 

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