In Lyon, France, the mayor’s decision to remove red meat from school meals drew backlash from the government.
Greens member, Mayor Gregory Doucet, argues that this will make food service easier in pandemic conditions.
The government warns that this could put children’s health at risk.
“Let’s stop putting ideology on our children’s plates, let’s put what they need to grow. Meat is one of them,” says Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie, who shared a post on his social media account.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmain says this is “an insult” to French farmers and butchers:
“We see that the moralist and elitist policies of the Greens exclude the broad masses. Many children can only eat meat at school meals.”
Mayor Doucet reminds that the right-wing mayor, whose predecessor, also took the same measure in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Fish and eggs continue to be present on school menus in Lyon. Doucet says the menus offer a balanced diet for all children.
Nutritionists emphasize that there is no harm in eating a vegetarian diet for children, but attention should be paid to adequate protein, iron and mineral intake.
Lyon cuisine is known especially for its meat and offal.
On the other hand, there are indications that the preferences in the kitchen are changing.
Sales of meat-free products are increasing. A legislative change in 2018 also required schools to have a vegetarian menu at least one day a week. For the first time, a vegan restaurant made history by winning a Michelin star.
Lyon Mayor Doucet had previously criticized French traditions, saying that the Tour de France cycling races “are macho and cause pollution”.
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