'Unacceptable insult' as city bans meat from school lunches

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·2-min read

A mayor is being widely criticised for removing meat from school canteen menus.

Grégory Doucet, the mayor of Lyon in France’s southeast, has introduced a new menu to school canteens in a bid to promote “a healthier and more responsible diet”.

“In an effort to consume better, the City of Lyon marks its commitment to better food in Lyon's canteens by offering more vegetal cuisine, 100 per cent organic and 50 per cent local,” a statement from the City of Lyon reads.

“Reconcile nutritional quality and environmental quality by reducing the distance between fields and the plate (short circuits), favouring organic products and expanding the vegetarian offer… environmental, ecological and health benefits; commitments that the City of Lyon has made in its canteens.”

A boy wearing a mask is served food by a woman in PPE.
Schools in Lyon are moving towards meat-free menus. Source: City of Lyon (file pic)

However, it should be noted the current menu does include fish and eggs with the aim to have a 100 per cent vegetarian menu by 2022.

For example, this week children have hake fish, organic and mashed potatoes, green cabbage and spinach on the menu.

Fury over meat-free menu

While it might be popular with some people, a number of politicians have voiced anger over the menu change.

Gérald Darmani, Minister of the Interior, tweeted it is “an unacceptable insult to French farmers and butchers”.

“it is clear that the moralist and elitist policies of the ‘Greens’ exclude the working classes,” he tweeted.

“Many children often only have the canteen to eat meat. Scandalous ideology.”

Mr Darmani is referring to Mr Doucet’s political party the Greens in his tweet.

Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie called for politicians to “stop putting ideology on our children's plates”.

"Let's just give them what they need to grow well. Meat is part of it," he tweeted.

Cr Doucet pointed out his right-wing predecessor as mayor Gerard Collomb made the same decision when he was in office last year.

Cr Doucet assumed office in July 2020.

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