As of Monday, February 4th, the school cafeteria will officially become vegetarian. All snacks and lunches will include meat substitutes such as tofu, chickpeas, jackfruit, eggplant, and lentils.
AISB Vice Principal Fiona Moss states that the change will take place because “meat is very expensive” and the school would “like to spend that money on other, more important things, such as computers and new buildings for more classrooms.”
Marion Siekierski, the Eco Committee Organizer, agrees that the school will see huge benefits from this change. She says, “We generally eat too much meat. So cutting down, in particular on red meat and processed meat, is a good thing! We can protect animals and save money while doing it.”
Moss adds that consuming less meat is better for students’ digestive systems, and points out that meat is one of the biggest reasons for large quantities of food waste in the cafeteria, as it “cannot be easily composted like vegetables.”
Cafeteria Manager Octavian Stoica says, “Producing vegetarian food is more ecologically sustainable and it reduces damage to the environment. Many people stop eating meat for ideological, ethical, or religious reasons, and we want to respect that.”
He explains, “Becoming vegetarian lowers body weight, helps people have healthier cholesterol levels, and lowers the risk of developing cancer. A vegetarian diet has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular risk factors. It was found that the more meat people consume, the higher their risk of type 2 diabetes.”
Stoica also confirms that that when the vegetables are in season, they are cheaper. “Meat costs a lot more than, say, beans or rice.”
So, for all those carnivores out there who can’t imagine lunch without a side of beef or chicken, pack accordingly. And make sure to comment below, to tell us what you think about the impending change.