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How fantastic to see Jamie at the amazing Greenside Primary vegetarian school, Channel 4 clip video below. Kids enthused to queue up to eat a delicious, healthy range of beautifully prepared foods. And all within the school budget and school food nutrition requirements. But is vegetarian the only way?
You have to admire Jamie for not turning to the camera and shouting: “Why has nothing been done to fix school meals and teach kids about food?”.
Especially when he did so much work with school meals over 13 years ago. Work that transformed school kitchens but saw parents pushing burgers through the fence from the adjoining cemetery to their kids during the school lunch break?
What has changed to get everyone at this school so enthused? Is it the savings by cutting out meat? Global warming and extinction rebellion? The positive actions of the school head and dinner ladies? The parents getting involved with the creation of the meals?
Or as we have discovered and written about many times; getting kid’s enthused to eat the veg by growing it at school, selling excess through a local shop and linking it to the curriculum. Here is one of our blogs from April 2013 ‘Getting people enthused about food’ with video about a school we worked with in 2012 click here for the blog:
You may also like to read another BigBarn blog from 2011 about meat and factory farms here From work we did supplying local schools with quality meat from local farms. As such we would say that the saving made by becoming vegetarian is a bit of a red herring. We proved that local farms could supply 95% lean beef mince cheaper than freeze flow mince from Rotterdam with 30% pork fat from a traditional school supplier.
It is brilliant is that this school has won the enthusiasm of the kids, parents, and teachers and other schools must be helped to follow. Perhaps have ‘good’ meat only twice a week.
We are convinced that to help this process and get kids enthused about veg we need to get all kids growing it, especially when 14,000 of our 26,000 schools already have a veg patch. So please sign our petition to get Food Growing Cooking and nutrition on the school curriculum here 7,820 signatures so far!
As far as money for this is concerned you may also like to read our blog about how the NHS is wasting £40M a year on the Free Fruit & veg for Schools Scheme. 75% of the produce is thrown away and only 30% comes from the UK. (£40M works out at £1,538 per school, a decent veg patch and orchard).