France: row over meatless school lunches

In a measure aimed at speeding up the food service at school cafeterias amid coronavirus restrictions, the Mayor of Lyon and member of the Green party Grégory Doucet has temporarily removed meat from school lunch menus. Some ministers, including Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin and Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie, as well as farmers and parents are fiercely protesting the decision.

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Causeur (FR) /

Fatal for the socially disadvantaged

A meatless diet endangers children's health, criticises Causeur:

“Depriving Lyon's young of meat will not fail to have consequences for their daily nutrition requirements - above all at a time when it is vital to avoid anaemia. And what could be more unfair than depriving low-income families of the guarantee that their children will get a balanced meal - perhaps the only one of the day? Equal access to a varied diet is thus being sacrificed at the altar of ecological injunctions. The desire to 'protect the planet' is not reprehensible, but let's not forget about also protecting the natural immunity of our young children!”

Slate (FR) /

Making children fit for the future

Encouraging children to try out vegetarian food is an innovative educational approach, Slate counters:

“Who will really be punished if no meat is served in school cafeterias? The children, or Interbev, the meat lobby that offers educational materials for teachers and free school visits? Giving children more vegetarian food, or at least reducing meat content, letting them taste beets and showing them what can be done with rice and chickpeas is the path to the future. Not to turn them into vegan lobbyists, but to teach them how to feed themselves and others.”