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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Anna Davis

CBBC host: Follow London pioneers and serve more veggie school meals

Carbon footprint and health are reasons for schools to increase plant-based options

(Picture: PA)

Schools must drastically increase the number of vegetarian and vegan dinners they serve, a children’s television presenter said today.

Omari McQueen, 13, who hosts What’s Cooking Omari on CBBC, is calling on councils to increase plant-based school menu options to reduce their carbon footprint and improve health.

It comes as Waltham Forest was named as the area with the “greenest” school dinners. One million plant-based school meals a year are served in the borough across 50 primaries, according to research by Omari, who worked with ProVeg UK and Meatless Farm.

Omari, who is vegan, called on councils to follow Waltham Forest’s lead, saying a national target should be introduced for reducing the carbon footprint of school menus by 50 per cent by 2025. He said: “Children in Waltham Forest have taste-tested the plant-based dishes on their menus and are inspiring more delicious sustainable meals. Every school menu should be like this one.”

Christine Cornall, Waltham Forest catering operations manager, said: “We are so pleased to be top of the Green School Menu League.”

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