Canteens 2022: 100% vegetarian meals in some schools

From this year, the canteens of public schools in Grenoble have decided to offer only vegetarian dishes to their students. To be able to eat meat or fish, you will have to request it in advance.

  Canteens 2022: 100% vegetarian meals in some schools

[Updated September 5, 2022 at 2:26 p.m.] This year, the school canteens of public schools in Grenoble have chosen to serve only vegetarian dishes to their students. Zucchini with curry, vegetable lasagna, vegetable couscous... The little schoolchildren, who have just done their back to school , will now be entitled to a 100% vegetarian menu every day. ' On this back-to-school day in Grenoble, the new standard menus are vegetarian “, indicated Éric Piolle, the environmentalist mayor of Grenoble on Twitter . If the children wish to eat fish or meat, it will now be up to the parents to make the request at the beginning of the school year to the establishment. ' The logic is reversed, said the politician. This new operation follows a vote by the city council of the city last June, motivated by ecological reasons.
However, this decision is not unanimous among parents. According to our colleagues from RTL , ' 94% of parents choose either the blue menu based on fish, or the red menu which alternates fish and meat.'

Vegetarian menus, beneficial for the health of children

According to a Greenpeace France poll conducted last April, 59% of parents say they favorable to vegetarian menus in canteens. For the federation of parents of students, 'School is a good vehicle for changing mentalities ' and teach young people to consume differently. In addition, eat without meat or fish once a week is in no way advised against by nutritionists, especially since these vegetable proteins perfectly suited to the nutritional needs of schoolchildren. Indeed, vegetarian meals are beneficial for the health of children: they contain less saturated fatty acids and help prevent the risk of type 2 diabetes , and reduce the risk of hypertension or obesity. However, some municipalities, such as Marseille, believe that the canteen is the only place where the most disadvantaged children eat balanced meal .

Economic and ecological interests

Already implemented in some French cities such as Lille, the switch to vegetarian menus in canteens has reduced the bill for both municipalities and families. Sometimes it's a drop of 30 cents, which results in an increase in canteen registrations. We avoid food waste: when the meat is not of good quality, it is often the food that is the most put aside. Finally, on the side of local authorities, there are nevertheless fears of an economic loss for rural meat-producing regions.