Diners tuck in on meat-free Monday
Young eco-warriors from Highfield and Brookham Schools have realised a green dream – by taking meat off the menu for a day.
Meat-free Monday this week was the brainchild of our Year 7 eco committee, who are always looking at ways to lessen the school’s environmental impact.
Despite always having two vegetarian choices on offer to pupils and staff at meal times every day as a matter of course, never before has the menu been completely devoid of a meaty option.
But that was exactly how it was on Monday as the caring crusaders sat down and worked on a series of alternative mouth-watering dishes that our skilled catering team readily rustled up for their hungry young diners.
Out went firm favourites such as cottage pie, spare ribs, lasagne and chicken curry to be replaced by Quorn spaghetti bolognaise in a puttanesca sauce, halloumi fries with chipotle mayo in a sourdough pita, nachips with a vegetarian bean chilli, and hummus and falafel flatbreads.
And did the vegetarian and vegan offerings get the seal of approval from the youngsters at Brookham School and the older pupils at Highfield? Contented faces, big smiles and clean plates would certainly suggest so.
Plant-based diets are widely-regarded as being a significantly healthier option than their meat alternatives, helping cut incidences of heart disease, easing arthritic conditions and reducing calorific intake. Studies have also shown that there are big environmental benefits, with the whole food production process of farm to plate currently accounting for a whopping 30 per cent of all global greenhouse emissions.
Phillip Evitt, the headmaster at Highfield School, said:
Meat-free Monday was a delightful initiative from our Year 7 eco committee, who are very much committed to making the world a better place for future generations in any way they can. The issue of climate change and global warming is rarely out of the headlines these days and it’s very heartening for us to think that we are living and working with a group of selfless young people who really care passionately about their immediate environment and the world we all live in
We have long prided ourselves on our approach to the environment and sustainability, with a carbon-neutral biomass boiler being introduced in 2013. The boiler uses woodland from the school’s 500-acre estate in Liphook to produce energy to heat both schools, which have now incorporated sustainable energy into the curriculum with pupils visiting the renewable-energy installations as part of their studies.
And the pupils themselves continue to be busy with a range of ongoing green themes, such as building bug hotels, clearing ponds on the school grounds to encourage new growth and new life, and growing lettuce in their very own kitchen garden.
Mr Evitt added: “We really value the way our children learn and grow at every opportunity, and how they take on challenges and problem solve under their own steam. The future certainly looks bright with such a thoughtful, caring and dedicated generation at the helm.”