Leticia Baird, a public health leader in Bahia Province had a vision: to end the policy of spending large amounts of money on unhealthy food in schools. As she said, “”Providing our school districts with plant-based meals will help save environmental and public financial resources, allow for a future of healthy adults, and build a fair world for the animals.”
To realize this vision, she partnered with the mayors of four cities in the province, who are leading an ambitious program to completely phase out meat in school canteens in just two years, with a 25% reduction every semester. They are working with the Humane Society International on this program, which includes partnering with local organic farmers, and training school chefs in strategies for plant-based meals that students will eat. There is a big focus on making food that is familiar to students, so they aren’t overwhelmed with too much change. Overall, this will result in 23 million vegetarian meals each year.
This pilot program is just the beginning. Why not expand it to more public canteens?
Greenpeace’s global challenge:
Our supporters are challenging cities to race to the top on meat reduction to protect our climate, forests, and water. We aim to have at least 50 cities commit to serving two vegetarian meals (no meat or dairy options) in all public canteens weekly by the end of 2019. We expect to have at least 100 global cities make this or a greater commitment toward less and better meat and more plant-rich meals by 2020.