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More than 170,000 students in Brazil are set to receive healthy, sustainable school meals, packed with plant-based foods.
In the Brazilian municipality of Salvador, a new agreement—made between Conscious Eating Brazil, the Humane Society International, and Salvador’s city hall—will see that more than 10 million sustainable meals are served to students every year.
The dishes have been developed with the students’ needs, tastes, and food culture in mind. They will feature plant-based ingredients, like vegetables, legumes, grains, and fruits.
The new menus will come at no extra cost to the schools involved. And the partnering organizations say they will ensure that the educational facilities involved feel supported with the right resources and materials. They will also provide a team of nutritionists, chefs, and menu development professionals. Participating institutions will also receive plant-based meal preparation training.
The impact of more plant-based school meals
The new plant-based meal program will help to save 75,000 tons of CO2 emissions. Plus, 400 million liters of water and 16,000 hectares of forest will be spared.
But the new initiative isn’t just about sustainability, it’s also about giving more students access to nutritious meal options.
“The idea is to instil and create long-term changes in students’ eating habits,” said Marcelo Oliveira, the Salvador Municipal Secretary of Education, in a statement. “Today in Brazil we know that children, mainly from the poorest strata of the population, which is the target public of the municipal school system, do not consume the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables, and protein sources are concentrated on products of animal origin.”
They added: “So our proposal is that we can encourage our children to form a healthier palate for the rest of their lives.”